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Help me plan this Italian holiday please - Naples and surrounds.

61 replies

Celeriacacaca · 06/01/2020 19:06

We will fly into Naples and I imagine will have 2-3 days there to visit Pompeii/Mt Vesuvius. Then we have 3 nights which I'm not sure where we are best to spend them - somewhere on the Amalfi coast (or two places?). If you've been to this area, where would you advise please? (This is for DH, myself and two teenagers who're pretty tolerant of sightseeing etc). After that we're planning to go to Ischia for 5-6 nights so, again, any recommendations on areas to stay on the island would be helpful.

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GreyGardens88 · 06/01/2020 19:07

Positano if you can afford it. Have you thought of staying in Sorrento rather than Naples

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Notthisnotthat · 06/01/2020 19:09

Sorrento and Positano are my recommendations and a trip out to Capri.

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Summerdiamond · 06/01/2020 19:11

Sorrento would be nicer than Naples to stay in. A train will take you there, you could just spend the time there, close to Pompeii & bus goes to positano, pirano which is a lovely little town, far quieter & bus onto the town of Amalfi - a couple of good days out there if your based in sorrento.
Feel free to DM me if you want more info.

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FoxRedBitch · 06/01/2020 19:14

I felt really unsafe in Naples.

Sorrento is gorgeous.
You can stay in Pompeii.
Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are great.

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Celeriacacaca · 06/01/2020 19:23

Thanks all. I hadn't thought of being based somewhere other than Naples but that's a good idea.

Fox - why did you feel so unsafe?

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RainbowMum11 · 06/01/2020 19:37

There is the Circumvesuviana train which goes from Naples to Sorrento past Pompeii & Herculaneum (better than Pompeii IMO).
From Sorrento you can do boat trips to Capri, and around the coast to Amalfi/Positano - or evening the public bus does the amazing Amalfi drive along the coast - stunning views.
I got married in Sorrento 10 years ago so did quite a bit of research!!

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zafferana · 06/01/2020 19:42

I agree that if you don't actually want to see the sights of Naples then why stay there? Vesuvius and Pompeii are easily reached from other, much nicer, places. DH was mugged in Naples for his watch, it was very slick and fast and we knew we'd been targeted deliberately, which was horrible. I'd stay on the Amalfi coast, if I were you.

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AllideasAndNoAction · 06/01/2020 19:44

Sorry to and Positano only. Otherwise, just don’t go to Naples. Generally speaking it’s a rough as old boots dump.

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AllideasAndNoAction · 06/01/2020 19:45

I meant Sorrento

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AllideasAndNoAction · 06/01/2020 19:45

Yes Amalfi also

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DramaAlpaca · 06/01/2020 19:45

We did this trip last year. Naples isn't the safest of cities so we stayed in Sorrento. We toured the Amalfi coast and did Pompeii and Herculaneum by train.

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FoxRedBitch · 06/01/2020 21:16

OP, Naples is just unpleasant, lots of gangs hanging around, it's run down. The areas surrounding are wonderful, so don't waste your time in Naples.

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Celeriacacaca · 06/01/2020 21:18

Thanks all, very helpful advice.

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Hassled · 06/01/2020 21:27

I agree re Naples - good as a day trip but I wouldn't stay there. Sorrento and Positano are both beautiful and well worth a visit but they're very expensive and very crowded.
I prefer it a bit further along the road (and it's a hell of a road) to Amalfi itself or Atrani. Maori and Minori are also nice. But my number one must go place is Ravello - I adore Ravello. The most beautiful place I've ever been. Are you driving? You'll need nerves of steel but it's sort of fun, in a terrifying way.

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Celeriacacaca · 06/01/2020 21:50

Thanks Hassled - that's helpful. We're not driving but will be using public transport. Not sure if that's better or worse!!

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Hassled · 06/01/2020 22:10

There's a SITA bus which goes all the way along the SS163 (the main road along the Amalfi coast) - pretty reliable and a good way to get around. But yes, still pretty terrifying. There are Youtube clips of the SS163 - may be worth preparing yourself. When I was last there (4 years ago) you still had to buy the tickets from the Tabac (tobacconist) shops - I assume that's changed by now.
I'm very jealous - it's a wonderful area.

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pastabest · 06/01/2020 22:25

I think if you are having to choose between activities at any point and trying to decide what to fit in I wouldn't bother with Vesuvius. It's basically just a dusty walk uphill.

Pompeii is interesting.

the amalfi coast terrifying on a coach

Ischia mainly caters for Italians and Germans, pick your hotel and restaurants carefully if you are wanting Mediterranean food rather than Italian translations of German food. If you do go definitely go to the botanical gardens. Make sure you get on the bus in the right direction otherwise you have a long trip round the island. The ferry crossing is about an hour and a half.

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MidtoLon · 06/01/2020 22:39

Another recommendation for Ravello. Hotel Parsifal is a lovely hotel. Stayed there when my daughter got married in a beautiful tiny church set into rock face in Scala. Went to Pompei Vesuvius via taxi arranged by hotel plus Sorrento and along Amalfi coast to Positano from there all as day trips by local bus Boat trip to Capri from Amalfi. Beaches at Amalfi Maori and Minori

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forkfun · 06/01/2020 22:40

I'll go against the grain - I love Naples! It's worth going to the archeological museum (lots of finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum are there). The Castello is also well worth a visit. Pizza fritta from street vendors, and all the crafts at the via dei Presepi - just a very vibrant place. And lots of stunning churches. The old town is gorgeous, have no idea why anyone would describe it as a dump. I'd def spend one night in Naples. One full day in Pompeii.
I think sorrento, Positano and Amalfi are all worth a visit (and as previous posters have said, easily done by bus). Ischia is stunning. I camped there so no recommendations for accommodation, sorry.
Have fun!

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HolyheadBound · 06/01/2020 22:45

Naples is fine if you’re careful about where you go. We stayed in Chiaia and loved it. My favourite village on the amalfi coast is Praiano, which is between Positano and Amalfi. There’s a tiny beach in a little cove if you are up to walking down the steps to it. We loved it, although it might be a little bit quiet for teenagers.

Would agree that Sorrento, Positano and Amalfi are overall a better place to stay than Naples.

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Eve · 06/01/2020 22:47

Vulcano Solfatara is a great visit North of Naples.

We visit Naples regularly and have no issues there , though my husband used to live in Naples so is comfortable with the area.

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MonnaLIza · 06/01/2020 22:52

Napoli can be a magnificent city but it's a hard one for a tourist. I am from northern Italy and the first time I went there it was a constant arguing in shops and restaurants because they would constantly overcharge me. And yet I had wonderful memories of the place. I stayed in a little pensione in the Santa Lucia quarter, ate sfogliatelle and bought beautiful, cheap coloured glass drinking tumblers at the market. It was December and yet so mild that some young teens were jumping in the sea from the rocks at the harbour. I remember nativity scene statues and piazza Plebiscito enchanting me with its geometries. I was back again the following year, this time I had made friends in the city through work and we had fabulous pizza - they showed me round and this time nobody tried to swindle me. You know where to go and the hospitality and friendship was amazing. It's a difficult town full of poverty and problems but, ultimately, fully deserving of a few days there. In a sanitised world full of chains and fast foods one of the few places that still has a soul, even if that soul is perhaps a little blacker then you wish it would be.

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MonnaLIza · 06/01/2020 22:54

Sorry about the typos. On my phone.

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Startoftheyear2020 · 06/01/2020 23:00

We went last year - fabulous area to visit. We loved Vesuvius but do your research so you're not ripped off. Herculaneum is great too. It's much smaller than Pompeii and better preserved. Pompeii is fab though! The local train service is super reliable and stops everywhere so you won't miss a car. You can even use ferries depending on when you are travelling. Have a great time!

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JayAlfredPrufrock · 06/01/2020 23:02

Sorrento is dull dull dull.

Naples is bloody fabulous.

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