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Venice, Lake Como,& Sorrento / Amalfi Coast-with lots of Rain-parts 1-7 Completed! EDIT-got COVID!

Well, it's 3:30 am and I'm awake for the day, it seems, so why not entertain myself by writing about our experiences? Our 2023 two- week trip included repeat visits to Venice and Lake Como, and finally getting to Sorrento and the AC. The latter portion had been a victim of COVID and rescheduled twice. I was just so excited , my carry-on luggage packed days in advance, happy that my 70-ish knees were in go-mode. Our British Airways flights were purchase almost a year ago, as we snagged very decent Companion fare Business Class rates, and we had no flight cancelations or delays this time- a first in recent history. Getting through security at the San Diego airport took mere minutes, the Business class lounge did have a line to enter, and our flight left perfectly on time. What could go wrong?
Yes 100% chance of rain for several days was predicted, but in the past we have been very lucky and the previous poor forecasts improved greatly once we arrived. Well, we ran out of luck this year, and it's the first trip I didn't bring my rain pants!
We landed at the Venice airport around 7:30 pm, and breezed thru Passport Control. It was a walk to the Alilaguna airport shuttle dock, but with easy- to- find signage, and 15 euro tickets sold by machines. The Alilaguna is public transportation, one can't see much from the low seating and dirty windows. The are about three steep steps as you enter, which requires some agility, even with carry- on luggage. We rode the Orange line to Madona D'Orta stop. As we knew the Cannaregio area we were staying, we were comfortable with this mode of transport and walking to the hotel. If you have never stayed in this beautiful, quiet, not crowded area, I would recommend a water taxi to the hotel, especially at night ,which sits directly on a small canal.
I booked our room at the Hotel Ai Mori D'Oriente about 9 months in advance, direct booking, (based on reviews,) which saved us about 12%. The hotel was beautifully decorated in a Moorish theme, and very comfortable, with a great breakfast, lift, air conditioning, modern bathroom, and the staff was excellent. I would highly recommend this hotel, and would happily return. The Cannaregio area is an escape from the Venice crowds, and is ideal if you've had enough of the Rialto and St. Mark's Square areas. (However, these areas are easily accessible by vaporetto or walking. ) There are plenty of restaurants and gelato shops in this area, just two bridges away. However, the canal on which the hotel is located is always peaceful and quiet, and you can get beautiful sunset pictures sans people. The area is adjacent to the old Jewish Quarter of Venice.
Our first day is Venice was sunny and beautiful. We just wandered, as planned. Our hotel has a sister hotel by Rialto, with a recommended rooftop bar. The bar was pleasant, but the views were other rooftops, not of the Grand Canal. We also wanted to practice the route to the T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi view rooftop terrace above the high-end shopping center, for which I had secured (online) free 15 minute viewing tickets, in the coming days. If you exit the vaporetto at Rialto, just look up and you will see the Moorish rooftop accents. This terrace is immediately above the big bend on the Grand Canal. The free tickets are made available on an irregular basis two to three weeks in advance, I just checked daily until I found our dates posted. Booking was then easy.
Our hotel had an inside bar and set up tables outside along the canal, at which we had a pleasant happy hours with a light dinner. We were surrounded by Brits and other Americans, so engaged in lively conversation with fellow travelers. A waiter-manager, Phillipo, entertained us with stories about Venice, spritze liquors, and olives. The day and evening were pleasantly warm, and not a cloud in the sky.....certainly the forecast was wrong???

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Part 2-
We woke up to rain- constant, steady, no clearing for days rain. The forecast offered no optimism. The Staff at our wonderful hotel reported Venice had been in a drought, so they're quite happy to have rain. Since we had previously done the big sites, our plan for the next two days was wandering. We were now in the lemonade- making mode.

The hotel offered a free motorboat ride to the Murano glass factory, which is indoors, so we headed out there . The private motorboat taxis pick you up at the hotel, and about a dozen folks had the same rainy day game-plan. On a clear day, these motorboat rides are a thrill, with great views of Venice. On a rainy day, sitting with the top closed, the views were limited. However, I love seeing the beautiful, expensive glass at the factory, along with the demonstrations, and there was no high pressure to buy. (Never has been.) At our own pace, we left the factory, and proceeded to explore Murano. The factory offered us a free motorboat return ride, which is a first, but we had a three- day (45€) vaporetto pass. (We purchased the pass at a tobacco shop by the hotel. Because they were an intermediary seller, they wanted cash, no credit cards, but there was no price mark up. The 72 hours start the first time you validate to use the pass.)

I love glass and do collect small pieces, so was looking forward to browsing Murano. The rain was heavy by this time, so the plan was to duck into the smaller, owner- run shops and browse. I was disappointed as many of the small glass shops seemed closed, so Murano was very sleepy. (I'm not sure if the smaller shops didn't survive COVID, or didn't open because of the rain.) My favorite pre- COVID shop was still there, but closed. Disappointed, because I liked the glass pendants she made, and wanted to purchase more for gifts.
We returned on the vaporetto, dropped into the Madonna D'Orta church for a quick view of the Tintorettos, followed by a jet- lag induced nap.
The hotel recommended a nearby restaurant, Ristorante Due Fratelli, that served lunch/ dinner all afternoon, since we still couldn't stay awake very long in the evenings yet. The food and atmosphere was great, the staff cordial and welcoming, and we liked it so much we returned the next day. I still find the Italian sitting service fee odd, about 3€, and of course the charge for water. Yes, the tipping is less , but these charges are a fact of life in Italy. We quickly found a nearby gelato shop, and a grocery store. The rain continued, even heavier.
Even tho we had full length rain coats, we weren't sure they could stay dry all day, so in our wandering we bought 5 Euros colorful ponchos which were pretty well made, and these 7 euros " rainboots" that are almost knee high. ( Rather look like moon boots.) I had been seeing these colorful rainboots on people on the streets, and as the Venice puddles continued to grow, these boots met a need, as they started to appear outside the local shops. The boots held up well for the next two days of constant wear. (The hotel's umbrellas are being broken by the wind, so were useless.)

We had one more day in Venice, and as the forecast remained the same, had to fine more lemonade recipes.

To be continued....

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Part 3- Venice
deja Vu- waking up to the non- stop rhythm of heavy rain against the hotel, with no hope from the weather forecast.
We are now fully prepared with rain ponchos over our full- length packable raincoats, and I had my plastic rainboots with the elastic tops. These boots went up to the knees, and actually stayed up. With all these layers, I'm completely protected from pickpockets and rain. I asked the hotel staff if I looked like a tourist.😉

Folks here added useful comments for activities, and we were off! Our initial intention was to avoid the Rialto area, but that's where many indoor activities were located.
Because we had never received a cancelation emailed, we arrived for our 10:15 am reservation for the rooftop terrace, figuring we could see something from this vantage point- but no, the terrace was closed for the day, due to the rain.
Also because of the rain, the crowding around Rialto wasn't too bad, and we actually enjoyed observing folks who thought they could venture forward without rain gear- foolishly optimistic, they were soaked, some having better senses of humor than others.

The vaporetto seemed most crowded around 10:00am, the time many places opened. For the rest of the day, we did not experience crowded boardings.

The morning lemonade plan was to see the Tintoretto ceilings at the Scuola Grande San Rocco. They were fabulous, the audio was a little hard to follow, and the mirrored viewing trays were a very creative way to study the ceilings. These trays were slightly heavy , maybe 24" long, and were magnified, so the details of the ceiling art were easily studied. In addition, the wood- carved room was circled with chairs, always welcomed when viewing art. Obviously not in our original plan, but a worthwhile venture! Chalk up a win for the funny- looking folks in the moon boots!

Used the Vaporetto to return to the hotel ( Casino exit on the Grand Canal). On the walk back, we found a 1€ glass DRAFT wine bar, La Fiaschetteri. Curiously, and needing a break from the rain, in we went. The establishment had 9-10 taps for wine! I visit many wineries here in CA, and I have never seen this! The 1€ pours were quite generous, in a plastic glass, in the event we wanted take away. The Pinot Noir was quite drinkable. The owner's English limited, as was our Italian, as we asked for a bottle to buy. To our surprise, he pulled out a recycled 1 liter plastic water bottle and filled it from the tap, and charged us 4€ for the liter. So our wine splurge adventure cost us a whomping 6 €!

For our last evening in Venice, we attended a costumed Baroque music concert, at the Scuola Grande di San Teodoro, Rialto area. The hotel sold us the tickets, 30€ cash, no mark- up, for general admission towards the rear of the hall. The rain slowed a bit, so this vaporetto ride on the Grande Canal was quite pleasant. I had always considered such performances to be too touristy so had avoided, but I was pleasantly surprised. The hall was beautiful, not very large, our seats were fine, and the performances great. The performers included about a dozen musicians on the small stage, and three singers. The costumes were opulent, and the singers frequently changed. The performance alternated between musical numbers and Italian opera. However, the performers were so animated, one assumed the operas were about lovers' adventures, and the audience was quite engaged. As a result, this was a highlight of our time in Venice.
Afterwards, we had a clear evening, finally, snagged an outdoor seat on the vaporetto, and rode down the Grand Canal as the palaces were beautifully illuminated, saying our good-byes to Venice.

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Part 4 - Venice to Lake Como
Woke up this morning to......more steady downpour!
We loved our hotel Ai Mori D' Oriente, & will return. Fyi, the hotel was fully booked during our stay, &the prices had increased since we booked last summer. We were also able to use our Chase Sapphire points to pay for some nights.
The walk to the Venice train station was about 20 min., &walking was more direct than taking the vaporettos, so rain gear on, we proceeded to conquer the puddles. And- I forgot to secure a plastic bag for my suitcase, but it appeared to be water- resistant. By this point, gals huddled under awnings were asking where I bought my rain boots. The prices seemed to go up closer to Rialto, &down closer to the train station. By this point, we are comparing/contrasting various rain poncho styles, with the ones with arms being much more effective. I saw a clear one full- length with actual sleeves I'm going to search for.

Our train tickets were easily booked using Trenitalia credits from our canceled 2020 COVID trip, so I must give praise when it's duly deserved. The train from Venice to Milan is 2.5 hrs, with reserved seats, and was quite pleasant. At Milan, we caught the 1 hr regional train to Varenna; regionals have no seat reservations. Having been to Lake Como before, we knew the 15 min walk to the hotel- in the rain, of course! We arrived at our lodging by 3:00 pm.

Varenna is a beautiful area of the Lake, even in the drizzle, with lots of steps and no car access to many hotels. We stayed close to Bar Il Molo, which is a popular spot now with younger folks, & the influencers were quite entertaining capturing their faux-lives. Even tho this was the weekend, we were surprised that it was not very crowded. Perhaps the weather forecasts kept travelers away? At this point, we considered 75% probability of rain a great prediction. We found ample covered seating, & the drizzle allowed views of the colored Varenna building against the hillside, with the lake &the Alps in the distance. Bar Il Molo has great pizza! And-laundry facilities are nearby.

When we stayed in this location pre- COVID, the restaurants all closed down by 10:00pm, and all was peaceful. However, it seems the young people have found the area, and it was a loud and raucous Friday night, which didn't quiet until 1:00am, even with the windows closed. There was no thumping music, just rowdy drinkers. Much of the lodging is built directly over the restaurants. Saturday night was more tolerable, &since the entire area was fully booked, there was no place to move to until Sunday night. As the property manager nicely said, times change, and there was nothing he could do, except allow us to leave early without penalty. I don't want to name the exact B&B, but do read the reviews before you book. Because we had stayed in this exact B&B before, I didn't check recent reviews.

Lake Como gave us variable, but dry weather! We were on the planned vacation now! We took the ferry (15€ all day ticket) to Villa Carlotta, to explore the celebrated gardens, & agree with the RS review that the vast gardens overshadow the house. However, due to the heavy rains, much of the colorful foliage had been knocked off the plants. Still, the views towards the lake are beautiful. If one has to chose, go to Villa Balbianello, which is more spectacular.

On our second day, we ferried to Bellagio, which is all steps, but we enjoyed just walking around, and the shops are less repetitive & offer higher, more unique quality goods. The (tap) visa received quite a workout! And- not as crowded as our 2019 visit & the ferries ran on time.

Changing to the Hotel Du Lac, about a 2 min. walk from our previous one, we found the lodging for a return. Beautiful lake views in a different direction, quiet, wonderful service, with a great happy hour wine tasting. We didn't want to leave! Grabbed sandwiches from the deli next to the apothecary, and onto the AC!

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Part 5 - Sorrento & the Amalfi Coast
We left Lake Como on the best weather day of our trip- the fates are cruel!
With input from the Forum, we compared flying vs. train to Naples. Surprisingly, it took equal amount of time. So we chose train. The regional train from Varenna to Milan was packed, standing room only, 1 hr., on a Monday morning. In Milan, we had a 18 minutes between trains, so quickly settled into the fast train to Naples, 4+ hrs. In Naples, we had a private car service drive us to Sorrento. I was amazed that it took almost 2 hrs to travel to our Sorrento Hotel La Tonnarella, above town, on Via Capo. Why- it was raining again, of course! I was exhausted by the time we checked in, and - getting a cold. The fates.........

We used Aldo Limos, based in Sorrento, for a package deal that included the Naples trip, the AC coastal drive, and the return to Rome airport. The woman in the office is a Brit, so email communication was clear, and they accepted USD, with a fair exchange rate. We paid a deposit on PayPal, and paid the balance in the office, right off the Sorrento main square, the day after arrival. The drivers were courteous, prompt, and had excellent English. I would highly recommend this service
I was naive regarding the traffic, congestion, lack/inefficiency of public transportation, & the distances involved in this area. There is no quick mode of travel. Private car service is very nice, but one is still sitting in traffic congestion on small roadways, scooters buzzing by, horns, mixed with the smell of diesel exhaust.

We booked 5 nites at Hotel Tonnarella, the most we have spent in one place. It was a splurge, a room with a large terrace, views of Vesuvius and Sorrento, &a private beach (with elevator.) I booked the hotel last July, & it was fully booked. When we checked in, the weather was so bad that we had no view beyond our terrace. It took 3 days to see Vesuvius. I was running out of lemonade recipes. In the restaurant having dinner that night, we spoke to many travelers who were equally frustrated, having spent so much money, but there was no entity to blame. Folks attempted the Walk of the Gods in the rain. News reports were showing the awful flooding in northern Italy. We were safe and dry.
Our first full day at a relaxed pace (now I was sick), walking downhill 15 min into Sorrento, which had a good vibe, between rain showers, (which were now alternating each hour). I felt really comfortable here, and enjoyed the street vendors, the ambience, the art stores, the views from the cliff. Close to the square a waiter was trying to get folks to come into his restaurant, which I read was not a good sign, but he made us laugh, so we did. The L'Osteria del Buonconvento setting is an old monastery, with ceiling- high library shelves, & blue and green lighting-very unusual. However, the food & wine were great, &we returned a second time. Sorrento has a great reputation for wonderful food!

On our third day we explored the AC Coast. The weather prediction was questionable, but so was every day, &we didn't want to reschedule the Pompeii tour. The rain would clear for periods, with great coastal views, but no blue skies nor blue water. The entertainment was actually the experiences between towns on the hectic, narrow roads. A scooter coming around a sharp turn crossed the center line and almost ran into our car; thank goodness for the foresight of our driver. Inexperienced tourists in their rental cars didn't understand how to approach single- lane, blind tunnels and jammed the large SITA buses. At one point, the bus driver had to get out, walk thru the tunnel, and have dozens of cars back up on curving mountain roads in order to give the bus enough room thru the tunnel. The most charming interruption was large herd of sheep and goats ambling down the road, with one hard-working herding dog!

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Part 6 - Sorrento and Amalfi Coast
I don't know if it was the weather or my cold, but the AC coast drive did not thrill me. I'm sure if the azure seas were in sight, it would have been breath-taking. We did see the jagged hills disappearing into the ocean, and the colorful hotels clinging to the hillside. Positano was packed with people, and jammed with souvenir shops, all seeming to sell the same items. The beach was grey from the weather, the sand was dirt-like, and deserted. Forlorn folks told me the ferry wasn't running due to the weather, so they couldn't get out of town.
The drive between Positano and Amalfi was striking, even on a grey day.
Amalfi was even more packed, if that's possible, with the same souvenir shops, &we gave up trying to walk around. We sat down for a snack & glass of wine, the waitress asking if we wanted mozzarella with our snack, so sure. Didn't realize the charge for mozzarella was 15€, so with the charge to sit down and charging for water, and wine, our Amalfi "snack" ended up being about 50 €! Memories!
The drive between Amalfi and Ravello was short but scenic, and Ravello was charming: not crowded, more spread out, views of the coast and the green hillsides, less city, and just peaceful and relaxing. We could have skipped Amalfi and spent more time in Ravello, even tho the drizzle started again.
As OP Allan mentioned in another thread, you spend about 4.5 hrs in a car, & 4.5 hours out of the car on this experience. Our driver was great, and flexible, but 1 hr in each Positano and Amalfi was enough. I wondered if being with one of the shared tours, which would use a larger vehicle, would have been an advantage, as you ride up higher than in a car, with improved coastal viewing? Even tho we weren't driving, it was an exhausting, long day, and once again, going thru the congestion and traffic getting back into Sorrento.

On our 4th day, we had good weather, could finally see all of Vesuvius! The sky was blue, the water was blue, we had the scenery we had expected. This was our planned relaxing day, we enjoyed our terrace, walked down to the private beach area that wasn't open because of the weather, bought wine/cheeses for a light dinner on our patio, watching the lights of Sorrento, along with very short bursts of fireworks along the coast.

Our next day also brought us spectacular weather, so we were up to 5 days total without rain! This was our last full day in Sorrento, as we headed out for our Mondo shared tour of Pompeii. The walk to the train station was about 25 min, bought tickets at the station, and we took the notorious Circumvesuviana train to Pompeii. The train ran a little late, the journey was about 30 min., we had seats, and observed no crimes being committed.

Arriving at Pompeii, there's a carnival- type atmosphere: rush of folks off the train, the main gate, some general confusion, vendors and eateries all around. Private tour sellers act like official employees and direct you to an upstairs office area, & attempt to sell your their private services, acting like official Pompeii employees. In the confusion, we went upstairs, asking where Mondo area was. We quickly figured out the ruse, &left. Our guide later reported how upset she was about all this, but nothing has been done to regulate the behavior. We double-checked the Mondo instructions, walked a little further away from the main gate, finding the appropriate place to meet our guide. We booked the shared tour on the website provided by the RS Guide, &received our confirmation about 6 weeks before our requested date, when sufficient number of people signed up for the 11:00 am tour. We purchased sandwiches while waiting, as there's limited food inside. We paid the guide cash for the tour and the tickets, & a second person stood in line to buy the tickets, while we were getting organized. Mondo provided a wireless earpiece that worked with the guide's mike. No one seemed to concerned about backpacks.

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Part 7- Sorrento and Amalfi Coast / Pompeii
Pompeii was spectacular, the weather was warm and sunny, and the tour guide was great. One really needs to walk the (very uneven) streets to appreciate the scale of the city, the sophistication, and the loss. How could this city have been so forgotten, and how did civilization fall into the Dark Ages?
Seeing the surviving original mosaic floor tiles, the frescoes ( even from the brothel,) the original marble, the overall workmanship, the technology and the lifestyle of these ancient people is an amazing experience!
A two hr tour is the appropriate length, IMHO, physically (perhaps not intellectually,) as Pompeii is about 10 degrees warmer than the coastal cities, the walking on the uneven surfaces is arduous, and it's a challenge getting there and returning to one's lodging. (There is a limited food area close to the Forum, with long lines, and free bathrooms.)

Returning to Sorrento from Pompeii-
Our experience with the Circumvesuviana train was painful: standing shoulder- shoulder for an hour on the hot train, after walking all over Pompeii. It took an hour instead of half hour to return to Sorrento. In some areas there is a single track, such as the tunnels, so if the train runs late, it loses it's time on the tunnel track, so the train waits and waits at a station until it's cleared to continue. I felt like I was in an oven in a NYC subway! No one was worried about pickpockets, they were worried about not expiring from the heat- in May!
The added frustration is that there's few alternatives to the train- a private car would cost about 100 € each way, we were quoted.
But we did survive, long enough to get to the David's Gelato by the train station, which is the best of the best gelatos I have ever tasted. It was truly heavenly, and melted away the heat and exhaustion from that afternoon train experience. This shop does have gelato making classes, but they didn't fit into our schedule. ( And beware, reportedly there's another shop with a similar name closer to the town plaza, which is not then same.)
Concluding the day, we had dinner at a great little hopping' place close to our hotel, and watched our final Sorrento sunset from our terrace, enjoying one of the very few days of beautiful weather we had on the entire trip.

Our last morning in Sorrento we woke up to - rain, again!
Our plan was to wander down into Sorrento, pick up some lemon- themed items, have our last fine late lunch, gelato, &just be there. The rain/wind came and went, we sat on a bench by the coastal cliffs under an umbrella, people watched, and reflected on the trip. Two cruise ships had anchored, so the town was noticeably busier, but not uncomfortably crowded. The churches on the square were very busy with weddings, moving wedding parties through in an assembly-line mode, as they all dodged the rain. The wind came up again, we concluded our lemonade-making adventure, walking back to the hotel in the drizzle.
The car service picked us up mid- afternoon for the 3.5 hr trip to the Rome airport Hilton Garden Inn. Once again, just getting thru Sorrento took an hour, before we were on the highway. The airport hotel was completely booked for the night, and had a busy Restuarant, definitely not Sorrento quality.
Three days after our return, my husband, who hasn't been sick in years, tested positive for COVID! The fates really did have a great time entertaining themselves at our expense!
Things that worked well-
We flew on Sundays, so we only had one weekend in Italy, when places are usually more crowded. The airports also seemed pretty quiet, no lines at security or passport control in San Diego, Venice, or Rome.
Using the tap Apple Pay feature of our phones pretty much eliminated the need for a wallet. I just tucked 20€ into my Bandolier phone case, (which has a neck strap.)
For the future travel- northern Italy keeps calling me to return, southern Italy, not so much. Safe travels!

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3363 posts

Hi Pat, sorry you are being drowned out by rain, but OTOH, glad that area is getting some much needed rain. I bet you will remember this trip! We go to Venice next year, I would sure be bummed to have constant rain.

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3994 posts

Thanks for your detailed report so far. I can actually hear the rain beating on your windows, rain gear, boat roofs, restaurant overhangs, etc. We experienced a huge, torrential rainstorm when we were most recent in Venice but not the duration of yours!

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2599 posts

I enjoyed reading this! I could envision you dressed to the nine for rain! Glad it wasn't your first trip to Venice as the rain would have been doubly disappointing.

We just returned from Sicily where we too had less than ideal weather. I have to write it up. I have only written up the couple days in very sunny Rome!

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I was naive regarding the traffic, congestion, lack/inefficiency of
public transportation, & the distances involved in this area.

That may be the most important fact that needs to be pointed out to people who are creating an itinerary. Don't count on getting anywhere on the AC fast, not by boat, bus or car. Transportation will eat up a big chunk of your day.

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Tammy, Mona, Beth, and Allan, thanks for your comments. I'm wishing you all same travels under clear skies!
Beth, looking forward to reading how you adapted .
Allan, your Trip Report was so comprehensive and well done.

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2856 posts

Great report Pat!!! I’m in no hurry to return to Italy after my recent March trip. I felt I had to be on high alert all the time for all the scammers. Not really a pleasant way to enjoy a vacation. At least not for me.

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2494 posts

Great trip report, Pat. So sorry about the rain but I did chuckle at you being protected from pick pockets in all the rain gear!

I'm planning to go to Venice next year and am considering the Cannaregio neighborhood for the exact reasons you mentioned. I've bookmarked your review and hotel.

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As if we didn't have to make enough lemonade on this trip as it was, we received a grand finale - COVID! My husband tested positive three days after we arrived home, and I tested positive yesterday. We are all vaccinated. I masked up on all public transportation, but he did not. So by the timing, my husband probably was exposed on the crazy Circumvesuviana train, and I was infected by him after we returned. ( I am really working very hard not to verbalize the obvious!)
I am so glad we didn't get this on our trip, as for us, it has been more than a slight cold. My husband slept 20 hours a day, the first few days. I have a heavy cough, so it was off to Urgent Care yesterday. Not a great morning when you're standing outside the Urgent Care entrance at 8:00am Sunday morning, waiting for the center to open.

Not wanting to invite masking vs not debate, just sharing our Grand Finale!

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I am sure it will not make you feel much better but we shared not only the Italian rain with you but Covid too! My husband had symptoms that did not seem quite cold like three days after our return so I had him take a test. Positive! He has not been terribly sick and so far I have not caught the virus. We masked on the plane but I must admit not on the trains or buses which probably makes no sense. But he was nowhere I wasn't so not sure how he caught it and I (at least so far) have not.

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Beth, did you stay healthy? I'm still pretty fatigued- and making lemonade.

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497 posts

Nice trip report Pat, you poor thing! Well on to plan the next one, eh? This was helpful to me because we are planning Northern Italy (and north ONLY) combined with another return to Switzerland.

BTW on Covid, we got our doctor to give us a prescription of Paxlovid to take with us on our recent Tahiti trip. On the second to last day of the two week trip, I got it after having dodged it for 3 years with vax and boosters. Took that Paxlovid right away and never turned into anything more than a slight head cold. DH tested negative. So maybe for future have that tucked in your stuff.

Anyway thanks for the info!

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3812 posts

Future readers may find useful to know that in May the Campania Express train is already running. It takes 1 hour and 15 from Naples' main station to Sorrento, costs 25 Euro return and all trains stop at Herculaneum and Pompeii on the way. Tickets can be purchased online. The Campania Express cars are air conditioned and never as crowded as the Circum.

Oh, drinking mineral water (still or sparkling) is not yet mandatory.

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On May 19 the crowded SRO train we were on had air conditioning vents, so maybe it was the Campania? ( I'm not sure how one tells the difference. ) However, the windows were all open, and the train doors stayed opened so long that the feeble air circulating did nothing. The train was running late, so we ended up just sitting still many times, doors open, so I'm assuming the single-track train tunnels were backed up, and we had to wait our turn for passage.
The trip from Pompeii to Sorrento took an hour. And we figured out that's where my husband picked up COVID!
It was quite an adventure!