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Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

houston, texas
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Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

Hi, We are going to be in Rome at the end of July. We decided to spend a few days in Sorrento and will go to Pompeii or Herculaneum and do the Amalfi coast. Our travel agent recommended that we stay off the train between Naples and Sorrento and take a private car instead. She said the train from Rome to Naples is okay - we have a 2nd class reservation, but really did not like the Naples to Sorrento portion. We were wondering what everyone thought of the local train? It would be much cheaper, but I think I've read that there wouldn't be any air conditoning and maybe not even any available seats. We will have some big suitcases also. Thanks for your help.

Saint Marys, Ohio
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1. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

The Circumvesuviana is a local and makes a LOT of stops. It wasn't designed for comfort. The seats are hard plastic, there is NO air conditioning, and, depending on the time of day, there may not be seats. I've had to sit on our luggage in the space between cars. It's covered and safe and all, just no seats; it's made for standing.

In July it can be quite warm and crowded.

We've used this train a couple of times each way but since we started using DriveAmalfi, never again. Yes it's cheap, but that's about all you can say. When we arrive in Napoli Centrale after making arrangements with DriveAmalfi, the driver is standing on the platform with our name on a sign. The mini-vans are air conditioned Mercedes, very roomy, the driver speaks good English, and he drives you right to your hotel. For 110 EUros for up to 4 people I don't think it can be beat. The drivers watch the board and will wait if the train is delayed also.

Safety is a relative term. Yes, there are some ne're-do-wells on the train but we've never had a problem. Musicians often travel through the train playing various instruments and looking for donations. I've heard stories about people being accosted on the train but have never witnessed it. It's probably like many other things; a grain of truth.

italybound@verizon.net

Hagerstown, Maryland
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2. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

I've ridden on it two or three times. It's not the most comfortable way to travel, but all kinds of people, both tourists and locals, ride it every single day and nothing happens to the vast majority of them. So statistically speaking your chances are good. At the end of July I think the lack of air conditioning would be the most unpleasant thing about it.

St Paul, MN
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3. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

I rode on the Circumvesuviana repeatedly in Feb 2006 and Feb 2007. To take a private car to Sorrento will cost you something like 100 euros there and 100 euros back and I didn't have that kind of money to spend on my vacation. It only cost somethng like 4 euros to go one way from Naples to Sorrento.

In Feb 2006 we stayed 11 days in Pompei near the ruins and the Circumvesuviana stop. In 2007 we stayed for 10 days in Sorrento. It was our main mode of transporation.

if you are worried about air-condioning, worry about the Rome-Naples train also. I rode the train on may 26. it was just starting to get warm outside. In the car we were in 6 people breathing was enough to overburden the air-conditioning. It was hot in the car by the time we got back to Rome. i have read on other boards that this is not unusual.

We have ridden on the Circumvesuviana with our luggage. maybe it is different in the summer, but the further we got away from Naples the less crowded the car became. yes, we had to stand at first. by the time we got to Erculano Scavi 5 stops from Naples) there were places for us to sit and each of us used an empty seat for our luggage. There is a bin at the end of the car for your luggage, but I wouldn't put my luggage there unless I were sitting right across from the bin. The Circumvesuviana make a lot of stops and someone could walk off with your luggage if you weren't watching.

The Circumvesuviana runs until 10:30 PM. We often rode on it that late in 2006 because we spent most of our evenings in Sorrento even though we were staying in Pompei. we were never hassled on the train and it was almost empty that far away from Naples in the evening.

One of the hardest things is getting your luggage to the basement of the Naples train station where the Circumvesuviana stop is. There is no elevator or escalator, only the stairs. I carry one rollie and a backpack for a carry on bag. Step by step I can make it although I am 55 and not all that fit.

St Paul, MN
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4. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

if you are worried about the heat and lack of ari conditioning, maybe you should be worried about going to Pompeii ruins. I have been to Pompeii for a total of 4 full days and really enjoyed it, but I went in feb. Pompeii is really a shadeless place. There are only a few trees and most of the roofs were fell in from the pumice when it got buried. Only the restored houses have roofs. Here is a picture of Pompeii taken from the top of the small theatre along Via Stabiae. there are shadows in this picture because of the angle of the sun in Feb.

www.slowphotos.com/photo/showphoto.php…

houston, texas
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5. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

Thanks to everyone for your help. Since I'm a wuss, I think we will take the car service from the Naples train station to Sorrento. Now more questions - We are definitely in Sorrento for two nights. What should I do for sure? I was thinking explore Sorrento the afternoon of the day we arrive. Leave the next morning for Pompeii, in the afternoon climb Vesuvius if we aren't too pooped or hot. Then the next morning (which is the day we leave) we have until 3pm when our car/driver is scheduled to pick us up to take us back to Naples, maybe hire a car and driver and see the coastline some and have an early lunch in Ravello then back to Sorrento for our pick up. Is this a good plan? Should I worry about traffic back from Ravello and being late back into Sorrento or is it not that far? Thanks again!

Norfolk, Virginia
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6. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

If you live in southern Texas, you should be somewhat prepared for the heat of the Mediterranean in July. However, I would not advise you to begin climbing Vesuvius in the afternoon. Although the climb takes only 30-45 minutes, the bright sun & humidity combine for very hot, very humid conditions and there is no shade. It is easy to sweat a lot & become dehydrated within a short time. Air conditioning is not as common in public buildings in Southern Italy, and your body will probably notice the difference during your stay here. You may want to rethink that plan if at all possible. Be sure to wear sunscreen and take plenty of water with you.

Norfolk, Virginia
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7. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

Regarding your proposed itinerary, I would suggest you drop the afternoon climb of Vesusvius after visiting Pompeii unless you are a really dedicated hiker, and instead consider:

1. Take the local Circumvesuviana train to Napoli (cheap & easy) if not already using a car service & visit the famous Archeological Museum which contains artifacts from Pompeii & Herculaneum. Closed on Tuesdays, but otherwise open until about 7pm & full of great mosaics and Roman statues you'll see no where else.

2. Drive to Ravello & enjoy a late lunch or at least a leisurely cafe, gelato, or glass of wine, shopping, sightseeing & view of the Amalfi coast from the top of the cliffs.

3. Take a local ferry from Sorrento to one of the local towns along the Amalfi coast like Positano or Amalfi. Easy to do in 1/2 day from the main port at Sorrento and not too expensive. You could leave in the morning & be back by 3pm for your scheduled car service.

Just a thought..

Winchester...
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8. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

safe? anyone who has ever travelled on a train in Italy can tell you:

E' pericoloso sporgersi dalla finestra

Winchester...
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9. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

I think it would pretty much take you all day to do Sorrento to Ravello and back. I'm sure your driver would know better if you could be back by 3 PM. I've done the drive (at least once) myself but I recall it taking pretty much a whole afternoon to get from Sorrento to Salerno. I've driven from Salerno to Ravello (and back) a couple of times and I think of it as a day trip.

Anyway, if you hire a driver they can advise.

Winchester...
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10. Re: Naples to Sorrento train - Safe?

playing with google maps the distances are not as far as they feel when you are driving left-right-left-right-left-right along a steep cliff above the coast - google maps thinks you can drive from Sorrento to Ravello in 47 minutes, but I find that a bit hard to believe. it sure feels like a much longer drive. it says you can drive from Vietri sul Mare to Ravello in 25 minutes - I would have thought it's like 2 hours, it is so exhausting.