Rome/Pompeii/Almalfi Coast/Tuscan Hill Towns...Oh my!!

Hello everyone!! I am very excited to say that my husband and I are planning a 12 night trip to Italy in March. We are arriving in Rome and return home from Florence. So far I have booked a room in Rome for 5 nights. I would like to take a day trip to Pompeii but would also like to somehow incorporate some time on the Amalfi coast, mainly to see it and maybe relax a little. Are the two possible to do on the same day? And if so, how? The second part of our trip we would like to see Florence but also enjoy the Tuscan hill towns using the outskirts of Florence as our base. Which towns are a must see. We plan on renting a car. I am thankful for any suggestions for an itinerary. Thanks!!

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
21432 posts

Oriana, It is possible to take a day trip to Pompeii from Rome, but it will be a long day! I'm not sure you'll also have time to visit "the Amalfi coast, mainly to see it and maybe relax a little". Regarding "must see" towns in Tuscany, you might find it helpful to have a look at the Italy 2013 Guidebook, as that has good descriptions of the most popular towns. What may be a "must see" for me may be totally boring for you, so it's important to find places that interest you. Siena is one city that I would definitely recommend. As you'll be driving in Italy, note that EACH driver will require the compulsory International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. Failure to produce an I.D.P. if requested can result in fines on the spot! You can easily obtain I.D.P.'s at any AAA office for a small fee. You may also want to search other Posts here regarding the Zona Traffico Limitato areas that are becoming increasingly prevalent in many towns in Italy (especially Florence!). EACH PASS through one of the automated Cameras will result in a €100+ ticket! In some locations, parking tickets or having "The Boot" applied will also be a concern. With only a very short 12 nights, you'll need to plan your touring carefully. Good luck with your planning!

Posted by Gail
Downingtown, USA
1671 posts

Yes you can go to Pompeii from Rome in a day. You can leave early in am on fast train to Naples, the local train to Pompeii. Should be no longer than maybe three hours total one way. But to go to AC and relax a little I really don't see how that is possible. From Pompeii it is another half hour to Sorrento where you can get a bus to AC sites and down coast to say Positano is another hour. I think far too much for one day. maybe someone can suggest a private driver which might be expensive but doable, don't know.

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
4721 posts

If you only want to "see" the Amalfi coast, you can do this on a day trip from Rome. If you actually want to enjoy it and "relax a little," you need to stay at least one night in the area (Sorrento, or the Amalfi coast itself). I saw Sorrento and Positano as a daytrip from Naples, and felt it was a waste of time; I would have really been upset if I had tried this from Rome (and with Pompeii on the same day, the way you're asking, it would be miserable). You can do a daytrip to Pompeii from Rome (still a long day, but many do it); for anything else in the area, plan at least one overnight. As you're learning, there's never enough time to do everything on one trip, and compromises have to be made.

Posted by Oriana
Clovis, Ca, USA
2 posts

Ken,Gail,and Harold, Thanks for your replies. I appreciated any help and direction I can get. :)
We were originally going to just Rome and Florence, but when I saw the Pompeii as a day trip from Rome in the Rome 2013 book I figured we could fit it in, and how can we go all the way to Pompeii and not see/stay at the AC? So... Here is what I'm thinking... We were originally planning on 4 nights in Rome the train to Florence for 8 nights, taking it slow and peacefully enjoying the sights, scenery, and people, but now I'm thinking maybe do 4 nights Rome, train to Pompeii then check in at the Open Gate in Praiano for 3 nights, train to Florence for 4 nights. Has anyone stayed at the Open Gate? Am I trying too hard to fit things in? Help...