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3 Nights in Sorrento, March 2020

I will be staying for 3 nights in Sorrento in early March 2020. I’m planning to make itinerary as follows:
• Sorrento city sights
• Day trip to Pompeii
• Day trip to Capri
My questions are:
• Does this itinerary look good?
• Sorrento city sights I can make by foot or buses. However, are Pompeii and Capri possible to do by my own by using ferries and/or public transportation?
Your suggestions are much appreciated.

Posted by
5864 posts

Sorrento is small but there is a sight seeing bus that may save you some time given you only have 3 days. https://city-sightseeing.com/en/60/sorrento
We went to Pompeii on the local commuter train from Sorrento: the Circumvesuviana
https://www.visitpompeiivesuvius.com/en/naples-to-sorrento-train-schedule

Real Easy. I think it was 5 euros roundtrip.
But don't sit any valuables on an empty seat if you don't want it stolen.
Capri there is a ferry from Sorrento, but probably not running in early March because if the weather.

Anyway you should consult a Rick Steves or your favorite publisher's tourist guide book to Italy; everything you asked has the answers in there at the finger tip.

Posted by
50 posts

Your itinerary is very doable. We were in sorrento in may this year. We reached sorrento at 1 pm, but could easily manage capri that day by ferry . Pompeii by train the next day ( its half day trip, but do take a guided tour)
Positano on the third day by sita bus, and ferry on the way back.
Only in march do check ferry timing for capri .
Sorrento is good for just roaming around on our own in the evening and sitting in the many cafes. Sorrento is a lovely town to use as a base, you will have plenty of time to explore it after your day trips in the evening.

Posted by
10559 posts

Your itinerary is fine. Per your question about transportation, I'm a bit curious how you're planning on reaching/departing Sorrento to begin with?

Daylight will be short in early March and you could see some rain. I would keep your Pompeii and Capri days flexible as while the scavi wouldn't be ideal in wet weather, it would probably be better than Capri. Understand as well that it'll be "off" season in the Sorrento/Amalfi region so many shops and restaurants on Capri (and some in Sorrento) will be closed.

Unless the weather is too stormy to do so safely, ferries run all year between Sorrento and Capri (islanders use them for transport to the mainland) so no issue there. Winter schedules are not up yet but check this page later for timing:

https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/ferry-schedule

As noted above, take the Circumvesuviana commuter train to/from Pompeii: very easy, very cheap, and only takes abt. 1/2 an hour. It's an unlovely, bare-bones thing but gets the job done and also runs to Naples. The station you'll get off at is Pompei Scavi Villa dei Misteri, right in front of the main entrance. Pompeii scavi is very large and can easily absorb the lion's share of a day if deeply interested. Guides can be hired at the entrance (and you can spend more time exploring when your tour is done), or you can also purchase a guidebook and do it on your own. In addition to the website previously linked, here's the official version, although some of the info might be the same.

http://pompeiisites.org/en/

On Capri, the best thing to do is just hike around the island and enjoy the scenery (skip the Blue Grotto) Suggested treks are here (link below) and you do NOT need a tour for any of it. Get a map at the tourist info center and off you go. Oh, the chairlift up Mt. Solaro (from Anacapri) is fun.

https://www.capri.com/en/traveller-search?todo%5B%5D=nature&all=1
https://www.capri.com/en/s/mount-solaro-cetrella

Sorrento is not all that big so seeing the "sights" doesn't take an entire day, A suggested self-guided walking tour here:

https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/e/sorrento-tour-walking-itinerary

Villa Comunale, mentioned in the walkabout itinerary, is a nice spot at dusk to watch the lights twinkle on around the Gulf of Naples. :O)

Edited to add: Ferries will not be running between Sorrento and Positano or Amalfi in early March.

Posted by
1653 posts

Like the Kath-meister says, you will not have availability of the ferry to Positano (45 min by SITA bus) or Amalfi (1 hour). And as stated upthread, the weather can curb your plan to go to Capri. We've been in Sorrento twice in early March, and the key is truly weather, so simply have a Plan B or even Plan C at the ready. In the rain, Pompei is nasty and downright dangerous--wet, angled rocks. When it's nice--and about 60 F is about as nice as it's going to get--it seems like you have the place to yourself, and is simply wonderful. But we experienced 3 days of rain out of 5, luck of the draw, you know? Fortunately, most all the Sorrento restaurants were open and they for the most part are fabulous and reasonably-priced.

A great back-up plan is to have Archeological Museum in Naples as an alternative, literally to be used on a rainy day. About a 50-minute ride on the Circumvesuviana, and then a quick cab ride. Maybe even stop for some good Napolitan pizza in the birthplace although in truth Sorrento has some of the same high-quality pies.

Do what you want, but with at least half the hotels/B&B's still closed in early March in Sorrento, you'd do well to book at least 6 months in advance, meaning now.

Posted by
10559 posts

A great back-up plan is to have Archeological Museum in Naples as an
alternative.

As usual, the Jay-ster (LOL, Jay!) is spot on. When I reco'd Pompeii over Capri on a wettish day, I did NOT mean if it's raining buckets or raining all day so if it is, rattling into Naples on the Circ. and doing indoor sightseeing is an excellent plan. As he said, the stone surfaces at the scavi could be treacherous when wet. Actually, polished marble steps, uneven stone and cobblestone surfaces are all over Italy, it seems, and ALL of them can be tricky in the rain! ☔️

Posted by
466 posts

Is the three nights really three full days or just two actual days? Where are you arriving from (and departing to). Do you have any interest in seeing the towns on the Amalfi Coast?

Most people who base in Sorrento want to see Positano and Amalfi - they can be done by bus but you need most of a day. Ferries to those towns from Sorrento won't be running yet in March so bus is your only public transportation option, but the bus ride itself is, as Rick says, a three star site.

As other replies told you, Pompeii is easily done by local commuter train. If you are coming through Naples you will go right by Pompeii on your way to Sorrento. A lot of people do that as a stopover on the way to or from Sorrento, freeing up a day. If you do it as a day trip from Sorrento it will eat up a good deal of the day. I think most people spend about 4 hours there.

There are ferries to Capri year round (it's an island, the people who live there need ferries to get to the mainland, they don't have a 'bus option') but most of the ferries are between Capri and Naples not between Capri and Sorrento. I think that there are some year round to Sorrento.

Sorrento itself can be seen after the day trips. If you really only have two full days I'd do one day to Capri and one to Positano/Amalfi and do Pompeii on your way to Sorrento.

Posted by
859 posts

I don't think Sorrento has much in the way of city sights. There are the usual church places and it has some pleasant views and town walks. You could probably accomplish most of Sorrento's attractions in the late afternoons and evenings after your day-trips. What Sorrento does have - as well as plenty of good options for supper and relaxing - is great transport connections. Since so many of us tourists go there for that, you may well find your hotel posts up the next day's timetables and any weather warnings and directions. If not, do ask the receptionist for advice.

Both Pompeii and Capri are very straightforward to get to by rail and boat respectively from Sorrento.

Pompeii needs several hours, but (unless you're Mary Beard), for many of us it doesn't need a whole day. Perhaps you might combine that day with Herculaneum or Naples?

I'd add a visit to Naples if you can. Again, very easy to get to by either rail or boat from Sorrento, or perhaps it's on your arrival/departure route anyway? There is a lot to see in Naples and we stopped several nights, but even with just a few hours it's well-worth walking around the centre and taking in the "ambience" even without going inside any of the attractions.

Edit - Even for a short trip to the area, you might consider buying or borrowing a guidebook. DK have one for the region and that would likely be the best option.

Posted by
4197 posts

It sounds like this is the absolute beginning of your research. Do you have other stops on this trip from Ottowa? We can't evaluate your itinerary without more data. Visiting Sorrento in March is not like visiting the Caribbean in March. Sorrento has a huge range of hotel prices, and huge range of locations, from convenient and central, to remote and shuttle-bound. You have a lot more research to do.

Sorrento is an ideal location for daytrips. Except for the marinas being a large vertical distance (there's a 2 Euro elevator), it is a walking town visit, not a bus town visit. And it has a magnetic attraction for people in cold or rainy climates ... I mean the U.K., among other locations. It's a perfectly nice, postwar resort town, and the easiest place to get to in this area - which is important for short visits like yours. It has lots of touristy shopping, but not a lot of historic visits. It also has only one, unattractive, sand beach, down between the two marinas, with an aroma of diesel fuel. I would think that some proportions of the stores might be closed for the low season, but there is no "quiet" time in Sorrento.

Note that Sorrento can have a March temperature range from 60F to 50F. March has 14 rain days, as opposed to 7 rain days in June. We've been there twice, in the summer.

Posted by
11 posts

Actually, I will be landing in Naples airport at 1:15 PM on 12 March 2020.
I have booked 3 nights - Grand hotel Cesare Augusto in Sorrento and 2 nights - Starhotel Terminus in Naples.
And from Naples I will fly to Frankfurt, Germany to stay with friends before returning home Ottawa, Canada.
Here are the main sights I would like to make: Sorrento, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Capri, Amalfi Coast, Positano, Naples.
I have learned that the key is truly weather, so if it is raining and wet, I will do the indoor sightseeing like museums or shops… As Nick suggested I will check with my hotel posts up the next day’s time table if there is any weather warnings and directions or ask the receptionist for advice.
With 4 full days in Sorrento and Naples seeming I will have a bit of free time (?) I would like you to help me to figure the itinerary.
Your suggestions are much appreciated…

Posted by
4197 posts

Actually, your landing time is important because some bus services (as opposed to the Circumvesuviana train) don't run into the evening. And you can't take a ferry after dark.

Some posters here want to use the reliable luggage storage at Pompeii Scavi to see that on their way to or from a hotel. We preferred to do it from our hotel in Sorrento, but that does take more time. You do multiply your free time by making this stop along the way. It helps if you can predict whether you want a 2-hour scan of the site, or a more in-depth visit of 4 to 8 hours. I could predict that I wanted to spend a lot of time, but you may not be as certain.

You can use the search box top center to read about Capri ferries and other topics discussed in excruciating detail in the past. Here are a few links to get started. You have not mentioned Positano, but since Positano makes Sorrento look like Disneyland, you might have some interest. (We slept in Sorrento for five nights for the transit options, and the upscale tourism aspect of Positano doesn't interest us much. But we did want to see it.)

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/herculaneum-and-pompeii-questions

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/pompeii-and-vesuvius-69e8366c-1e75-4a14-a0bc-0677269492d1

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/pompeii-salerno-capri-recommendations

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/surviving-naples

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/amalfi-coast-for-5-days-where-to-set-base-from

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/one-week-on-the-amalfi-coast

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/how-do-i-get-from-pompeii-to-positano-is-there-a-direct-route

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/amalfi-coast-day-trip

Posted by
16 posts

I too am going to do a March 2020 trip with my wife and we will be in Sorrento for 4-5 nights.

Does anyone have any hotel recommendations that are working walking distance of the Cory center area?

Posted by
11 posts

I have booked 3 nights hotel in Sorrento. My hotel named The Grand Hotel Cesare Augusto. From the hotel's website said: the hotel located in the heart of the city only a few steps away from Piazza Tasso, the main square of Sorrento. And a few metres from the Circumvesuviana train station and the port of Sorrento.
Please see a link below:
https://www.hotelcesareaugusto.com/en/location

Posted by
10559 posts

Great; you should enjoy it. Do be aware that the "Port of Sorrento" (Marina Piccola, which is where the ferries dock) is a steep downhill from the upper town. If not up to dealing with the climb back up, you might want to take a local bus (fee) or find the elevator (fee) listed on the website. If taking the ferries, don't confuse this with Marina Grande, which is where the fishing boats reside.

https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/getting-around-sorrento-italy#section-getting-around-08

Some feedback on the elevator:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g187782-d7146254-Reviews-Sorrento_Lift-Sorrento_Province_of_Naples_Campania.html

Posted by
11 posts

Seems no ferry operation from Sorrento to Capri in early March? Is there any way to get to Capri by public transportation? Or guided tour is only an option for Capri?

Please help. Thanks

Posted by
4197 posts

Ferry lookup isn't that easy because there are multiple companies. Although service can be interrupted by high seas, this island has to have SOME limited ferry service all year. Maybe there are more from Naples, but I think Sorrento (but not Positano or Salerno) would have winter service. Look harder.

Posted by
10559 posts

Seems no ferry operation from Sorrento to Capri in early March? Is
there any way to get to Capri by public transportation?

Of course there's ferry service to/from Capri in winter; residents as well as tourists use the service to access the mainland. That said, they run almost exclusively to/from Capri in winter only from Sorrento and Naples - no boats from Salerno, Amalfi or Positano - and service can be cancelled if the seas are too rough for safety.

I'm unsure if the later winter schedules apply (last schedule update was 11/4) but reference this site:

https://www.capri.net/en/ferry-schedule?from=sorrento&to=capri#

Understand as well that many restaurants and hotels on Capri close for the winter season.

Editing to add: the schedule link I've provided here is essentially the same as I'd provided earlier in this thread from the Sorrento tourism site. See this from my 10/18/19 post:

"Unless the weather is too stormy to do so safely, ferries run all year between Sorrento and Capri (islanders use them for transport to the mainland) so no issue there. Winter schedules are not up yet but check this page later for timing:"

https://www.sorrentoinsider.com/en/ferry-schedule