Need 6 Day Itinerary for Southern Italy

Starting in Palermo working to Rome over 6 days, does anyone have a sample itinerary that has worked well.I prefer rail & bus but will drive if needed.
Thanks

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

The other day you were asking for flying options from Rome to Palermo. I've seen you've found something workable with EasyJet. Now you are asking to go back to Rome. I'm assuming you are flying to PMO to see all of Sicily and not just for the heck of it so that you can come all the way back to Rome as soon as you land. I'm therefore assuming that by the time you are going back to Rome, you've already seen everything there is to see in Sicily, which is a whole lot. If by the time you want to go back to Rome, you haven't seen the whole of Sicily, I suggest you spend those 6 days visiting Sicily. You'll be much more impressed than anything you'll see between Sicily and the Naples/Amalfi Coast area. Therefore I'll suggest a quick itinerary starting from Messina. The closest point to Calabria, on the mainland. In Calabria, I care only for Tropea, a sea resort town. Others will disagree with me, I'm sure. But that is my opinion. That's the only place I would care to see in Calabria along the route. There are other places in the interior and the other side but since it's out of your route, I wouldn't bother. Trains go to Tropea. You may have to change trains in Villa SG and Rosarno. I've never been to Reggio C. Some people like it, especially because of the Riace bronze statues. Since I've seen those in Florence, when they were displayed when they were first found, I didn't care to go to Reggio.
(cont'd)

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

(cont'd) In Basilicata, I would care to see only Maratea, another sea resort village on the coast. The city of Matera is also very nice (Sassi di Matera), but Matera is way out of the way from the route Sicily-Rome. Maratea is along the way instead. Maratea is on the main train line from Sicily to Rome. In some cases you may have to switch trains in Paola. In Campania is where I would spend most of those 6 days. There is plenty for the tourist there. Amalfi coast, Sorrento, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum (south of Salerno), Naples, Capri. You could go to Salerno, the main town on the south of the area and take a bus through the Amalfi coast. Once you're done in Campania, you probably only have time to quickly head to Rome with the first Freccia available from Napoli Porta Garibaldi station (just over 1 hour from Naples to Rome).

Posted by ekc
Portland, OR
282 posts

I would get from Palermo to Salerno or Naples then rent a house in Positano for a week, exploring the other towns on the Amalfi Coast.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3353 posts

ekc above gave you the best idea. Skip Calabria and the rest of the 500 miles between Palermo and the Amalfi coast and go straight to Positano, a pearl on the Amalfi coast. There are plenty of ferries from Palermo to Naples and Salerno or even 3 daily flights with AirOne Cityliner, a regional airline part of Alitalia. Leave Calabria to the next trip. Amalfi coast area should come first.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17792 posts

wayne, I also agree with the suggestion from ekc. The Amalfi Coast would be a great choice, and you should have no problem finding things to do for six days. Some of the possibilities are touring Pompeii or Herculaneum, Vesuvius, Paestum, the isle of Capri, Ravello and of course enjoying the town you're staying in. Positano is a beautiful and distinctive smaller town, but not as convenient for transportation, as it doesn't have rail access. It does have boat access though, so you could travel to Capri or Amalfi fairly easily. One point to mention about Positano is that it's kind of "behind a mountain" so it doesn't get much sun in the late afternoon. Sorrento would be a better choice (IMHO). If you decide to stay in Positano and can afford "posh" accommodations, Le Sirenuse is a good choice to consider. As Roberto mentioned, you could fly from Palermo to Naples, and then travel to Sorrento via Circumvesuviana. There's also a Curreri Viaggi Bus that goes to Sorrento directly from Naples Airport. If you have time, the Archeological Museum in Naples is well worth a visit (especially good if you're also seeing Pompeii). Cheers!

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1562 posts

We loved Positano and don't remember having problem with not getting much sun. We were there in june a year and a half ago and all days were bright and sun filled. However, there is not much to do there but shop and eat, is great for relaxing. You should be aware that it is one huge hill and no transportation to the "main area" of the town. I would suggest Sorrento to stay as has great transportation connections and only go to Positano for a day trip.

Posted by ekc
Portland, OR
282 posts

In viewing the webcam in Positano today, it looks like the main beach lost its sun around 6 p.m. Positano has much more to do than just shop and it has great beaches, which Sorrento does not. There is an bus that runs up through Positano and to nearby Praiano, if you don't feel like walking up and down all of the steps. Sorrento has good access to Pompeii and Naples, but Sorrento is only a short ferry ride away from Positano. There is a direct ferry from Pos to Capri, as well as Amalfi/Ravello and Salerno. From Salerno there are direct buses and trains to Paestum and direct trains to Pompeii, Naples and Rome. But any place you stay on the Amalfi Coast is charming and has lots to offer. I am just not a fan of Sorrento (which technically is not on the Amalfi Coast BTW) unless you just want to use it as a base for going to Pompeii, Ercolano, Vesuvius and Naples. Just that's just humble opinion! :-)

Posted by kate
washington, dc, us
22 posts

I'm of Calabrian descent, so I disagree with those who dismiss my kinsmen along the bunion. What you'll find in Calabria are people who are friendly and interested in talking to Americans. You'll eat amazing fish that doesn't know it's been caught, it's that fresh. Fewer people will speak English, and those who do will be eager to practice and tell you all there is to know about their city/town/hamlet. Here's an itineray I'm thinking about for our next trip. Warning: This'll be my first time south of Lamezia Terme, so I don't know how reasonable it is. After visiting Trapani, Erice, Monreale and Palermo by public transportation, we'll go by train or bus to Cefalu for one night, just long enough to walk around and climb to the summit. Then we'll take the 8:15 a.m. hydrofoil to Lipari for two days in the Aoelian Islands, where the highlights will be kayaking through the caves of Isola Vulcano and the night tour around erupting Isola Stromboli. There's a daily tourist boat between the Aeolians and Campora San Giovanni, which is between Falerna and Amantea, Calabria. If I can catch the afternoon ride back there, we'll spend a couple days in Amantea then get on the train headed north. Last year, we stopped over in Paestum as the halfway point between Amantea and Rome, and that's very worthwhile if you've never done it. Even in August, you can have Paestum almost to yourself.