Going to Italy in mid Sept. My plans are to start in Palermo (after stopping in Paris) stay in Sicily for 3-4 nights while seeing a lot of the coastal region. I am trying to decide if we will take a flight from Palermo to Naples (or somewhere near there) or take the overnight ferry to Naples. Some people are saying that they find the ferry easier to deal with than the airport. Thoughts? If we don't go to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast area would be missing out? Does this area look much different than the coastal regions in Sicily? I am just finding it difficult to complete our 2 weeks in Italy if we go south from Naples. I want to go Rome, Tuscany region(not sure where yet but something with easy access from train)Florence,Bologna and finish in Venice. If anyone has other suggestions of how we should plan this I would love some input. Thank you in advance for your advice. I find this site a great help with planning.
One more question. In Rick Steves book he doesn't recommend sleeping in Naples. Has anyone stayed overnight there and if so how did you feel about it?
I would fly from Palermo to Naples. From Naples to Sorrento is about 70 minutes from Napoli Centrale train station (the Circumvesuviana commuter train is downstairs). There are trains every 30 minutes or so, and buses from Sorrento to Amalfi every 30 minutes. This would be a daytrip if you have the time. I stay in Naples frequently, just don't wear jewelry in public.
Sicily alone deserves more than 10 days. It's consistently voted by Italians the most beautiful region in Italy. U should fly to Naples. There is also bus service from Naples airport to Sorrento. By American standards Naples is very safe. If Naples were in the US it would be the safest big city after Honolulu and San Jose.
Given all you want to see in Northern Italy, I would skip Amalfi this time. The transportation connections from Naples are technically simple but in reality more complex due to transfers and traffic.
I just came back from Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, Naples, and Rome trip. I stayed in Naples 3 nights and absolutely loved it, felt very safe there during the day and late evening hours. I think you should skip Sorrento-Amalfi coast for this time. If you were to find Naples not very pleasant, then you can do a day trip to Sorrento from there (70 minutes by train), or go to Vesuvius, or Pompeii ruins, etc. The trip to Amalfi coast from Naples will be very long and tiring, better safe time for Rome and other places you want to get.
I flew into Naples (from Dublin) and found their airport very easy to get around; although I took a bus to Sorrento directly from the airport and not to the city.
I've stayed in Naples several times... I've never had any problems, and never felt unsafe. If you're trying to decide between staying there or staying in Sorrento, it's really a matter of personal taste. Naples is a large and busy city, and if you stay there you'll be right in the middle of the action. (If New Orleans, for example, is overwhelming for you, then Naples might not be your thing.) Sorrento is more of a beach resort. It caters to tourists, so of course you're going to feel very safe and welcome, but it also feels a little sanitized of its "Italian-ness"... as though it could be any cute, easy-going beach town anywhere you might want to travel.
Thanks for information. Any recommendations of hotels etc. that we should stay at in Naples? We will have 2 couples in our group.
With only 2 weeks for Italy save Amalfi coast and Naples for another visit(wonderful area to visit for sure).
Rome, Tuscany, Bologna, Venice are very ambitious in itself within your timeframe.
You're not going to see much of Sicily, in 3-4 nights! It is beautiful! Deserves its own trip :-)
I stayed in a Piazza Bellini Hotel in Naples.
I'm a fan of Hotel Correra 241, right off Piazza Dante.
Try Hotel Rex in Naples. Great location, clean, affordable. Gets high marks on Trip Advisor & other sites. We loved Naples Lots to see & do.