So I’m back from my Italian adventure! Because we saw SO much whilst we were there (the Amalfi Coast, Naples and Rome), I’m planning on writing a few posts about our trip, but the first thing I wanted to write about was an update on the travel logistics as a follow up to my planning post here.
I’ve done rail travel abroad before (usually for work) but this was the first time I’d navigated my way around a country where I knew only a few words of the language. Thankfully, the whole journey went pretty smoothly. Both my boyfriend and I are dreaming of travelling around Europe at some point so it was a nice practice run, albeit on a much smaller scale!
We decided to do the bulk of our travelling on our journey out. We flew out on the Sunday from Stanstead airport on an early flight into Rome Ciampino airport. From there, we took a bus and the metro to Rome’s Termini station so we could catch a fast TrenItalia train down to Naples. The Rome-Naples journey only took an hour, and the trains were extremely clean and comfortable. They also go all the way up to Milan and Venice, which I was sorely tempted by… It’s not a cheap journey – about €43 for a one way journey – but worth it for the speed.
From arriving in Naples Central station, we turned left and walked downstairs to Naples Garibaldi station for the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento. It’s actually in the same building as the Central station, and I have no idea why it’s got a different name – thankfully I knew about it in advance otherwise I’d have been really confused. The train was incredibly cheap though, only a couple of euros per person to get to Sorrento from Naples. Total bargain.
[Image source here. I didn’t want to get my camera out…]
Now, Naples is a little gritty. I’ll explain a little bit more about the city in a further post, but waiting for the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento did make me feel ever so slightly nervous for my purse and phone. The trains themselves are old, covered in graffiti and incredibly rickety, and the line is full of beggars and buskers playing accordions. It reminded me very much of New York subway trains from the ‘80’s.
It takes an hour to get from Naples-Sorrento on these trains, and whilst it’s certainly not a comfortable journey, if you keep one eye on your belongings and the other looking out the window at the increasingly lovely views of the sea, you should be just fine. It’s also the same line that you can use to get between Sorrento-Pompeii, which I’d definitely recommend going to see if you’re staying on the Amalfi coast.
All in all, our outbound journey from Rome-Naples-Sorrento took about three and a half hours with the interchange time included. And because we staggered our journey on the way back, going from Sorrento to Naples and then staying in Naples for one night before heading to Rome the next day, this made travelling a lot less tiring and more manageable.
I’d definitely do a multi-stop holiday again in future – below I’ve listed a few journey planning tools that I found helpful:
- Map Customiser – I’m rubbish at geography so this is perfect for planning a multi-stop holiday.
- Route Perfect – also brilliant for planning, plus you can book online as well.
- Rail Europe – Great for buying country-wide train passes, and giving accurate time table information.
- TrenItalia site – their trains go all the way from Milan down to Bari!