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Review my itinerary Rome, Venice, Amalfi Coast and Sorrento

Arrive in Rome September 11 Wednesday 8PM
Rome Thursday sleep
Rome Friday sleep
Rome Saturday sleep
Rome to Venice Sunday (train)
Venice Monday sleep
Venice Tuesday sleep
Venice Wednesday sleep
Venice to Salerno Thursday (train)
Amalfi Coast Friday sleep
Amalfi Coast Saturday sleep
Amalfi Coast Sunday sleep
Amalfi Coast to Sorrento Monday
Sorrento Tuesday sleep
Sorrento Wednesday sleep
Sorrento Thursday sleep
Sorrento Friday sleep
Sorrento to Rome Saturday (train)
Rome Sunday sleep
Rome depart 7:30 AM to California

Interested in side trips to: capri, towns along the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii
Considering to stay in Ravello, Praiano, minori, maiori.
We’re not looking to be rushed by moving from place to place, first time visitors

Posted by
5041 posts

Both Capri and Pompeii are easily done from Sorrento. I'll let others chime in on recommended stays on the AC.

Posted by
787 posts

Hi there! I think this is a pretty good itinerary, and thanks for stating where you're spending the nights, gives us a better idea. So here are my questions - Are you sure you only want to spend 3 days in Rome (with a second stop-over) and so long on the AC? I would add an extra day in Rome & take one from Sorrento, used mostly as a jumping off point for Pompeii (and I'd try to see Herculaneum too, much more compact and fewer tourists) and Capri. Crystal did a great trip report on Sorrento - https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/12-nights-in-italy-jul-aug-2023-trip-report-part-2-sorrento

We booked a car leaving the town of Amalfi with a driver, stopped at Pompeii and delivered us to Naples train station. Many on the Forum have recommended Mondo tours for this area. I LOVED Ravello, though there isn't that much to do there in the evening, I would be delighted to spend 2 nights there. It's a gorgeous little town perched above the Med, visit the Villa Cimbrone overlooking the sea, this town is less busy than the towns along the coast.

Where are you staying on the AC? Personally, I would choose Amalfi, large enough to wander, bus up to Ravello, take the ferry along the coast rather than buses, god forbid. Positano is best viewed from the water, no need to day trip there. Others recommend staying in Salerno, good beach and a real small town with good food. Also use search bar above, just type in something like, 'Salerno Forum'.

Have you booked your flights? You could consider a multi-leg, into Venice & out of Naples, no back tracking to Rome for a second stay, stop there on way. I loved Capri & have been 3x, but haven't been there in decades, lots on the forum using the search bar above about how to spend a day there. Had you considered a stay or at least going into Naples from Sorrento to see the Archeological museum? I still recall the awe and wonder of it's statues, long before i was interested in ancient Roman & Greek art. It will help make your visit to Pompeii come alive.

You won't want to necessarily follow my TR for Rome sights, (although if you want to be nearly alone in an incredible museum, consider the Palazzo Massimo across from Rome Termini station) but we ate at some pretty good restaurants. And the view described out overlooking the Forum from the Capitoline museum was priceless. https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/rome-was-jammed-over-ny-but-still-fun. Good luck and let us know below how the plans progress! Booking accommodations soon would be best.

This is another good thread that might provide other insights - https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/italy/10-day-itinerary-starting-and-ending-in-rome-heading-south

Posted by
934 posts

Looks cool to me. The places you’re looking at on the AC are more on the remote side, but if you’re not looking to move about then thst is an asset. Ravello is lovely, and I would recommend visiting there over Positano or something, but personally I’d prefer to stay somewhere on the water. Your call. When it’s time to head to Sorrento, take the ferry. The views, particularly of Positano and Amalfi, from the water are spectacular.

The trips to Capri, Pompeii, and I’d include a day to Naples is possible, are best done from Sorrento. Which it looks like is your plan. Sorrento itself is nice, but is pedestrian as “places to see” go. You don’t have to carve out time to explore the town itself.

Posted by
12 posts

What area by the water would you recommend. We're really not into walking from shop to shop and bumping into tourist all day. My wife loves taking scenic pictures with her 35mm camera and enjoying great restaurants. We live in maui and love the beach life. We try to avoid all the tourist locations, shops everywhere and tourist filling all the streets. The pictures of positano I've seen just look like a tourist trap during the day time hours.

Posted by
7496 posts

Not all these places have sand beaches. Sorrento is built on a cliff, and Positano has pebble beaches. We did love our extra cost Vesuvius view from high-end Ambasciatori Grande in Sorrento. Gulf boardwalk private swim platform reached by hotel indoor elevator.

We were happily busy every minute of our five nights in Sorrento so I only say this in a pleasant, advisory way: if I lived in Maui, I would not fly 19 hours to use the public waterfront on the Amalfi coast or in Sorrento. It's just not competitive. Who needs to wade ankle deep in chilly water that's inside a small harbor, with a faint aroma of diesel fuel?

Posted by
787 posts

What area by the water would you recommend. We're really not into walking from shop to shop and bumping into tourist all day. My wife loves taking scenic pictures with her 35mm camera and enjoying great restaurants. We live in maui and love the beach life. We try to avoid all the tourist locations,

Hi again, I agree, if I lived on Maui, I would focus on those beautiful views your wife wants to photograph and skip any thought of nice beaches.... The further off the beaten track you get, for example you can hike along the cliffs of Capri on the west side and have the place pretty much to yourself. Check out Anacapri & Villa San Micelle (which will have lots of people, but is perched on cliffs overlooking the Med and is basically a wonder.) https://www.villasanmichele.eu/ rather than Capri town, for example. Or local (BIG elevation changes) walks from perhaps Ravello? I would take a look at walking guides. And get out EARLY in the mornings, before the crowds.

I've been traveling to Italy for 35 years, & the number of visitors all crowded into the historical centers have done nothing but go up! I'm sorry but you're going to the most heavily touristed areas of Italy in September, which isn't even the old shoulder season, so there will be LOTS of tourists, both foreign and local, at all these locations. As an example, Venice gets at least 20 million tourists a year, many of whom don't spend the night, and they're all trying to see the 3 square miles in the historic center that is most charming on small narrow passageways.

Maybe consider using a tour group like Mondo Tours to figure out the logistics of getting you away from crowds? Pompeii receives about 2.5 to 3 million tourists a year. The next time we go to the area, we'll visit Herculaneum instead, which receives a fraction of the number of visitors, 300,000 per year, just as an example of how to avoid crowds. https://www.helenonherholidays.com/visit-herculaneum/. Before others say, 'But you HAVE to go to Venice... Pompeii.. I just wonder if you will enjoy a trip where basically you're only going to some of the heaviest visited places in Italy, given your preferences. Not to be a downer, just a reality check on these very busy places!

Posted by
7496 posts

Note that Sorrento is also closest to Capri and has very big ferry docks. Positano does not. A big ferry is your friend on open water. Opinion: It is not essential to spend the night on Capri. And the Blue Grotto is a two boat time-sucker that many visitors can skip.

Ravello is a frequent favorite, but it is FAR from the water.

You can't spend too much time in Venice. Biennale? Rome is good for a week for first timers, but few travelers have that much time. Don't forget The Vatican booking in advance, and maybe Villa d'Este.

Posted by
12 posts

I was also considering Ischia, spending several days there. This seems more to are liking. Puglia area also is very appealing.

Posted by
7496 posts

I have not been south of Sorrento/AC. but note that the northern government has starved this area of funds and infrastructure (like public transportation) for decades.

Edit: Be sure to research luggage handling if you sleep on an island. Also study ferry schedules.