I am thinking of revising my schedule for my June trip to include the Amalfi Coast. To best accommodate my existing plans, it would require I travel from Florence to the AC. I realize it is a long journey and certainly I am not opposed to an overnight train. What are my best options? As always, thank you for your thoughts.
Which town are you planning to "base in" on the Amalfi Coast? Sorrento would be a good choice, as it has good transportation connections and easy day trips to nearby sites.
My preference in this case would be a EuroStar Italia / Alta Velocita train departing Firenze SMN at 08:49, arriving Napoli Centrale at 12:05 (time 3H:16M, 2nd Class 63.70€, reservations compulsory). From Napoli you'll take the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento. The trip is about one hour which should get you to Sorrento in the early afternoon.
Note that the times I've listed are based on schedules that I checked today, and may be slightly different at the time you travel.
Hope this helps? Happy travels!
Thank you so much! Yes, I think I will stay in Sorrento as it look lovely. Not only your suggestion leads me to that decision, but I was watching RS DVD last night and decided..."that's for me". I am forfeiting my stay in Siena, but am staying five nights in Firenze, so will get a flavor of Tuscany.
Thank you too for the guidance on the train. Sheesh, I thought it would take all day or night long, so I'm am thrilled.
We stayed in Sorrento for 4 nights for our Amalfi Coast visit this past April. As Ken states, it is very easy to day trip from Sorrento. We went to Capri, Pompeii, Positano & Amalfi. The Sita bus makes it easy to visit the Amalfi Coast. Using the RS book information, made the trip really easy.
Effective 12/13/2009, there will be major Trenitalia train schedule changes. Between Florence and Naples, there will be HOURLY ES/AV Trenitalia trains, taking ONLY three hours!!!!! Can you believe that ... just 3 hours to get from Florence all the way to Naples!! The standard second class fare will increase to 71 Euros (ouch!), but you may qualify for a 15% or a 30% discount by purchasing the ticket at least 7 or 15 days in advance, respectively (not on the Trenitalia website, which does not accept non-Italian credit cards), but by asking a friend or relatives in Italy, or going through a local travel agency such as American Express.
At Napoli Centrale train station, follow the signs for the Circumvesuviana commuter rail, and take the escalators underground for your 65-minute trip to Sorrento. The one-way fare is a mere 3.30 Euros. The Circumvesuviana rail is NOT part of the Trenitalia system. This commuter train departs every half-hour.
Once in Sorrento, you can take the hourly SITA buses all the way to Positano/Praiano/Amalfi for 3 Euros, or you can buy a day ticket for 6 Euros or a 3-day ticket for 15 Euros, for travel on the SITA buses along the Amalfi Coast. There will also be hydrofoils available from Sorrento to Capri, Naples, Positano, Amalfi and other points along the Amalfi Coast. You can also take the Circumvesuviana train to Pompei Scavi to visit the archeological site (departures every half-hour, one-way fare is 1.90 Euros).
There will probably be yet another major Trenitalia train schedule change mid-June of next year, so you should double-check the schedules just before leaving for Italy.
www.ferroviedellostato.it (Trenitalia trains)
www.vesuviana.it (Circumvesuviana trains)
www.sitabus.it (SITA buses)
Thank you so much! Sounds like a very doable plan and sensible plan to hang my hat in Sorrento. I am pleasantly surprised at the amount of time it will take to travel from Firenze! Since I arrive in Ital on the 2nd of June and do not go south until the 9th, perhaps I can take advantage of the advance booking cost! Great tip and thank you.
Now...does anybody have any recommendations for a good place to stay in Sorrento? I am a single woman traveling alone and prefer a hotel rather than a hostel. That said, nothing fancy, schmancy (aka very expensive). Is there hotel mid-range with a view?
I was there several years ago, but I scarcely remember it because we were with a large tour group and I was chasing my (then young) son around. I do, however, recall the amazing vistas and the immense beauty of the region.
Thank you again.
Thank you Steve...I appreciate your feedback.
Pass up Rome? Heavens no! From Sorrento, I head back to Rome for eight glorious days! From there I fly back to SFO. So to summarize my vacation: Milano 2days, Firenze 6 days, Sorrento 6 days and then Rome for the remainder. It is my "rebirth" trip.
Initially I planned on going to the CT, but as a result of copious moguls in my youth, one of my knees is in bad shape and even though I will have it rebuilt (again) by the time I go, I simply did not want to inhibit my good time due to the likely limitation!...hence the AC. I have a passion for art, history and gelato, so I should get my fill...(in addition to plenty of time to wander aimlessly).
Watched the RS dvd and he stayed at the Minerva. It's in his book w/a discount offered, so I booked it!
I am, totally booked - air and hotel. Now it is the logistics; tix for sights. WHAT sights to see, trains. I could not have possibly done this without this forum. Not only have I garnered valuable knowledge, but additionally, the confidence. Thank you all!
Regarding Hotels in Sorrento, there are lots to choose from. I'd suggest having a look at the Italy Guidebook to see which Hotel and which price range appeals to you.
One Hotel you might have a look at is www.desireehotelsorrento.com/. It's somewhat "basic" but the owners are wonderful and there's a great rooftop terrace where you can sit in the sun in the afternoon and enjoy a glass of the local Vino. They share a beach with La Tonnarella which is another Hotel & Restaurant next door (the restaurant has a most incredible view of the Bay, especially at night).
Both of the above Hotels are a bit of a walk from the station, so a Taxi would be a good idea when you first arrive. However, I had no trouble walking from there into town on numerous occasions or to the station (without luggage of course), even though I also have a knee which is somewhat "less than ideal" due to an injury a few years ago.
Here are the set rates for taxis to hotels etc when you are in Sorrento.
Have a look at this place, gets good reviews on Tripadvisor. Called a hostel but you will see from the reviews that it is a hotel, something to do with the planning laws when it was built ie no permission to build another hotel in the town.
Your best option is to take the Eurostar to Naples and then the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento. Use Sorrento as your home base to explore the Amalfi Coast. I made the same trip last month and it was about 4 hours travel time. Leave early in the morning and you should have a good half day when you arrive in Sorrento.
Thank you for such great suggestions. Has anybody taken the ferry from Napoli to Sorrento? That sounds kind of neat.
After some additional research, I have discovered the hotel I booked, Minerva, is located out of town up a hill. While I surely don't mind walking, I think I would prefer to be based "in town" and closer to the harbor and train station. Therefore, back to the drawing board for lodging in Sorrento.
Take care and thank you!
If you are looking for lodging in Sorrento I highly recommend a B&B called IL Roseto. It is about a 7 minute walk from the train station on Corso Italia. It is fantastic and a great deal at 65 euro per night. It should be in Rick's book. Check it out on trip advisor.
Regarding the Hotel Loreley in Sorrento-it is CLOSED and has been for two years. they were supposed to be remodeling it but have not mad any progress. I have not been able to find out when(if ever) it will re-open.
You can easily take a public bus short daytrip from Florence to Siena so you won't feel like you missed Tuscany. Take the bus then see Siena for 2 hrs and return to Florence bef dark.Florence is not really Tuscany but close geographically only. Sorrento is heavenly for amalfi coast base. enjoy.