Italy - Naples and Surrounding Areas

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by Roadrunner, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    We have a sister-in-law in Italy, and will be visiting her before the year is out.

    Since she hasn't been well, we won't be spending more than 2 or 3 days at her place - then onward.

    Any suggestions on where to stay - and where to go? We know we want to visit Pompeii, and the Amalfi Coastline and understand taking trains and buses in the best way to travel...or is it?

    Yes, yes - I know the "system" in Naples (organized crime) is for many intents and purposes the government there (remember we have relatives) so please, no lectures on that. Also, we won't carry any valuables in pockets or obvious places.

    We will be with good friends (another couple) and obviously want a good time.

    Thank you for any and all tips! :D
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  2. StartAdventures

    StartAdventures riders on the storm

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    Hi there i guess to better answer this question you should write more details. I guess you are not going to ride, right ? Which time of the year ? How many days ? What you would like/ or U guys like to do ( sea side or mountain or hike and big cities or small cities and so on)
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  3. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    Nah...I'm the most experienced rider. My spouse has only been riding a year or two, and doesn't even like riding our freeways. Our couple friends don't ride at all. We've done scooters - but only at Bonaire while scuba diving, and there was hardly any traffic.

    Sorrento also sounds fun. We like scenic views, good restaurants, but not TOO much night life. We enjoy quiet hotels, or B & B's, but not to far away from trains, etc. We are all retired (me the most recently). And of course, the one time I've been there before the Sistine Chapel was closed - so I'd like to see that. And also when there before, the Leaning Tower of Pisa view was from the back seat of a car - since it was POURING. :lol3

    We will likely be there about a week. Thank you. :thumb
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  4. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    A week, Pisa to Pompeii by public transport... Sounds like you want to repeat your Pisa "drive by" experience. Lots to miss.

    Italian public transport - at least my very limited experience of it - is that it is very good. What kills it is the waiting for connections if two places do not have a direct link. If the train is going where you want to be, then it is reasonably cheap way to travel, but the stations are fixed and not out in the attractive countryside, with the views. Add the walking to the time or the taxi to the cost.

    Pisa is over rated. A wobbly tower is all. I much preferred Lecco and the country side around. The chance to find a little out of the way trattoria, and have lazy lunch on a shady terrace. I have always used my bike or car, I don't have an Atlantic to cross, but I do have a 1300mile ride and a sea voyage to get there (I'm retired too).

    My usual working principle is to first find the restaurants I want to eat at, then sort out accommodation suitable to make it possible to eat there.
    In France where I go far more often, I can use the ever reliable Michelin Guide. There is an Italian version, but much smaller, so less choice. However there is an online version called ViaMichelin. Pug in your town, village or destination and ask for restaurants or hotels, and it goes through its database nearest to as far as you like. Website links to places that have them - still not a universal given. But you can check it out and have a play. It used to be very flaky, but has been brought into modern times - I believe there is a mobile app version too.

    As an alternative as far as accommodation is concerned, you could try the various Agri Toursimo here's a Toscana link http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com...MZUTf19CLXlJnWFyItUbDklC5X6XCUS3gjRoCIVvw_wcB It does tend to be somewhat fragmented compared to various comparable schemes in France, but it should give you something to ponder. Other regions have there own sites.

    One way of giving yourself an itinerary is to eat in decent restaurants and see if any particular ingredients are particularly special. Wine is a pretty obvious choice (for me) especially as so many places now sell wine by the glass rather than only full bottles. Note the name of the vineyard, find it in the www and the map, and go visit.
    I can rather redundantly give you names of places where you will not get much more than a look at the chateau from the outside, but most vinyards are in the business of not only making wine, but of selling it too. It is likely you get offered welcome and a tasting. Being pissed by 8.30 in the morning is not cool, so spit most...
    My personal view, it that unless the wine is totally bad, I buy at least a bottle, but often a case - but that is slightly more convenient for me. You can always use it for a mountain top picnic to accompany the market fresh ingredients.
    I have come across some really excellent vinyards and their wines this way. They may also recommend a local hostelry that is not in the guides.
    I have also done this with sourdough bread, cheese, proscuiutto and olive oil etc, just in case people think I only travel to get drunk.

    So that is probably what I would do. It's your trip, you do what suits you and your friends.
    To make it happen most easily, I would rent a car if at all possible.
    Final thing it to be realistic about what you are reasonably be able to do in a week... Europe and Italy in particular is not Kansas. There are lots of people, all wanting to get around, strut their stuff, do their thing. It may seem chaotic, but there is a sort of logic, eventually. If you can tear yourselves away from the hotspots and into the beautiful hills and mountains, it can be serene.
    It's hectic however you transport yourselves. But if it is under your control, then at least it leaves when you want it to, not 5 minutes before or two hours later.

    Busy times, stuff in the Vatican can be hours waiting... Is Assisi back up and running yet. Many, many other sites of religious interest if that is your thing.

    Sorry no time to properly read through for mistakes...
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  5. thewildcallsjon

    thewildcallsjon Aesthetic Voyager

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    I would be tempted to pop over to Ischia. 60-90 minutes on the ferry, its got to be done.
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  6. StartAdventures

    StartAdventures riders on the storm

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    I think in a week is just almost not enough to see the places u have listed. 2 days on Amalfi coast- 2 days in Rome- 1 day in Pisa than i don't know from where u fly back and counting the time spending to move, U have no time for any extras.
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  7. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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  8. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    Thank you for all the great information! :clap
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  9. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    All great suggestions. We have some flexibility as far as time goes - was just aiming at around a week and not set in stone.

    That is why I'm looking for all the information.

    Thank you, everyone! :thumb
    #9
  10. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    The train from Naples (Napoli) goes all the way to Sorrento. There are train employees wearing bright red shirts at every station, who's job it is to help tourists find their way. For the leg between Napoli and Pompeii, they even ride the train with you to tell you where to get off. I was impressed.

    Traffic pace is not bad once you get out on the Amalfi Coast, but I would only recommend an experienced rider attempt Napoli or Pompeii. Stop signs and lane markings are literally only a suggestion. You have to cut off lots of cars in traffic, play chicken with tour buses, and be very aggressive just to get anywhere. Not for the faint of heart, but an absolute blast once you get in the swing of things. Just follow a local until you get it (they will be the ones with a ratty pedal scooter with an uncorked 500cc motor bolted in :lol3).

    That said, I highly recommend renting a scooter for the day in Sorrento and riding out to the south Amalfi Coast. You can go by yourself in half a day.

    In Sorrento, there is a pedestrian shopping zone in the northwest corner of town that will keep the rest of your party busy.

    There are lots of scooter rental places, but none on the internet. Just have to find them face to face. I tried to find a Ducati, but the 250cc Italian scooter I ended up with was perfect for the area.

    Restaurants stay open late in that whole area. Very few places take credit cards, so you just have to carry a bunch of cash. There were a few bad areas, but I didn't see anyone I couldn't hold my own against so wasn't worried about getting robbed. Although the Euro is strong against the dollar, you can get meals for great prices. Other items are as expensive as you'd expect for a tourist area.

    My favorite thing about the area? Lemon everything! I must have revisited the frozen limoncello stand a dozen times. :beer 2-3 Euro gets you a glass of this refreshing beverage, which was very welcome in the heat/humidity.
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  11. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    We'll be spending a couple of days in Rome - seeing the Vatican / Sistine Chapel, and the next day The Roman Colosseum where we will not only go into the arena area and floor, but also into the subterranean areas where they held gladiators and animals.

    [​IMG]

    Then we are off to Naples for a couple of days. One of those days we will going to Pompei and climbing Mt. Vesuvias.

    [​IMG]

    Then off to the Amalfi coast - Praiano and Sorrento. We will be going to Capri Island while at Praiano.

    Here is Praiano;

    [​IMG]

    Then off to Sorrento where we will be here;

    [​IMG]

    You have to take an elevator to go to the town above it. :D
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  12. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    The information you gave here is helpful - thank you! I didn't realize few places take credit cards. That actually surprises me. We weren't planning on carrying many Euros. How many do you recommend 2 people carry per week?

    Thanks!
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  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    It has been a while, but I seem to remember that it was mostly restaurants that don't often take credit cards, while retail stores often do. So, the amount depends on how you want to eat. You can do OK with 10E/meal, with a pretty high end plate for 30E. Breakfast and lunch are less. Probably 50E per person per day should cover everything.

    There are also quite a few ATMs around, so you can get more if needed.
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  14. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    Thank you HHH! :D
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  15. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Best if you get a card that does not charge for overseas transactions. One holiday, an unread change by the card issuer cost me a couple of hundred £'s in charges.

    With a different bank, I find some ATM companies still charge - and not all banks/ATM co's share a common policy, unlike the UK.
    I now withdraw up to €500, and use that for day to day smallish amounts, even meals. Generally posh/expensive eating or accommodation, fuel and tolls gets the card treatment.
    Paying for "everything" on the card like I do at home will nickel and dime you to death when you have variable exchange rates and varying charges.
    On this subject, it is generally thought better for your card to be charged in local currency and then your provider gives you the daily rate. Some stores can apply lots of charges/commission for the conversion. In France generally they either ask or do the local thing anyway. Italy ???

    I have never had one, but I have noticed that there a lot of "NO AMEX" signs. Visa & Mastercard, no problem. But make sure you have more than one - and make sure you inform your provider that you will be away,
    We have had a couple of "incidents".
    One sorted immediately - a freshly issued and unused card, cloned and used in Russia for 2000 rouble withdrawals every 15 minutes. The bank rang and sorted it out, good we had more cards though.
    Second was more dicey - they rang me, and I fluffed the security question so they stopped my main card with no chance tp reactivate. Again, a spare saved the day, but I had to sit and think what the PIN was.

    I now have a main and a back up card, only for abroad (plus access to my others in extremis - not yet). I also have two wallets.
    The UK one gets locked away with only licence/id transferred with a little cash for tea on the ferries home.
    The euro wallet has the cards, id and a few professional membership cards which occasionally get me free admission (in France) and an E111 reciprocal health card.

    I carry up to €500, I have never in over 50 years of travel through Europe and beyond felt threatened or in danger.
    Back in poorer days, the ex had a tiny wallet I made that hung round her neck, under everything. All documentation and money was in that, two passports, the one card we had and the cash.

    Have a great time.
    #15
  16. GiorgioXT

    GiorgioXT Long timer

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    That's the past : now nearly every place has a "Bancomat" that accept Bank ATM cards , surely those with "Maestro" network and also credit cards , VISA and MC , AMEX and Diners are way less accepted and used (too hefty commissions) usually with EU banks is cheaper paying with ATM Maestro card , but this depends of each bank contract

    A place absolutely to see is Caserta and its monumental palace "Reggia di Caserta"

    [​IMG]
    Larger and more magnificent than Versailles

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #16
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  17. Roadrunner

    Roadrunner (Negativus Supersonicus)

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    Thank you!

    We already secured 500 Euros each earlier this week, and I am carrying 2 cards - all banks have been notified. Though I need to tell the spouse about the AMEX notifications, as he was planning that as one of his cards.

    The only update I have to make with the bank(s) and credit cards is that I will have an international phone number while over there. I also purchased a vest made for travel that has a lot of inside pockets - so I hope to not even carry a purse on excursions. We also have hidden money belts.

    How did they get your credit card numbers to use in those 2 incidents?
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  18. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    My partners experience - the Russia thing - was a brand new card, never used.
    Normally my card with the free currency transactions gets all the heavy lifting and we just adjust balances when we get home.
    Fortunately, Di's card was on our "Premier" membership at another bank and they called her up and asked if she was in Russia, and withdrawing lots of cash and buying expensive stuff on Nevsky Prospekt... Er no!
    All sorted by them from then on. We never heard anything else, to be honest we suspected some insider naughtiness.
    This was with the self proclaimed "world's largest bank".

    My experience was different. For irrelevant reasons we had to delay departure. When I used my card in our local town, by the time I got home, the bank had rung (I don't use a mobile).
    I rang them, and failed the security question - they gave me no prompts like dad's middle name, first bike, whatever. Just failed me when I said I can't remember what I had written years previously, and so they cancelled the card as we were about to walk out the door to race 200miles to the ferry. So no flexibility there then.
    Obviously we coped with no problems, but I changed bank when I got back.

    In lots of decades, I have never come close to feeling threatened and I have been to some dodgy places and at night. Many Euro banks, the ATM is inside, so people can't see you handling wodges of cash. I do sometimes carry a second wallet with the unimportant stuff, and the PIA/painful to replace stuff somewhere discrete. But like I said, never in all the years since the early 1960's have I felt it was hazardous anywhere.
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  19. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

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    I just read an article that Naples and its environs are about to erupt in some kind of volcanic apocalypse. Besides Vesuvius, Naples' western suburbs are basically built on an enormous volcanic caldera which has been acting up lately. You need to get in and out of there!

    But Pompeii is super-cool and Naples' archeological museum is one of the best in the world, I highly recommend both (before they're buried (or re-buried in Pompeii's case) is several meters of volcanic ash...).
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  20. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    I think the same has been said about San Fransciso...
    #20