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Cruzmama

Best way to visit Rome, Florence, Naples

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Our cruise ends in Rome.  We want to spend a few days in Rome, day trip to Florence, and two days in Naples/Pompeii.  Need ideas on what the best way is to do this.  Go to Rome first, then travel out from there? Travel straight to Naples from cruiseport?  We'll be traveling everywhere by plane.  Thanks.

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You won't be traveling by plane, it makes no sense at all.  Florence is only 100 minutes from Rome by high speed train, city center to city center and Naples is only 70 minutes.

 

Does your flight leaving Italy depart from Rome?  If so it makes sense to end your time in Rome.

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Totally agree train is the best way to see those areas...and have done it. It is discussed here frequently, and there are many people who have far more Italian train experience than I, if you look around the board. Train couldn't be much easier, with a little research and planning.

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look at www.seat61.com for information about the great Italian train system, and www.rome2rio.com for routes and schedules

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Please don't rely on rome2rio for more than a general idea, go directly to the source for up to date and correct information on transit.

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On 5/27/2020 at 11:45 AM, Cruzmama said:

Our cruise ends in Rome.  We want to spend a few days in Rome, day trip to Florence, and two days in Naples/Pompeii.  Need ideas on what the best way is to do this.  Go to Rome first, then travel out from there? Travel straight to Naples from cruiseport?  We'll be traveling everywhere by plane.  Thanks.

The idea of flying from Rome to Florence and/or Naples is totally insane.  😉

Take the train.  

Suggestion:  Go to Naples first from the port (change trains in Rome - 3 hours). Then go to Rome and while there take a day trip to Florence - by train.

Another suggestion: if your cruise's last stop before Rome is Naples, find out if you can arrange to leave the ship there.

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You don't mention where in Italy you plan to fly to from the States.

But can I presume that your cruise starts & finishes in Rome?

 

If you're flying into Naples, you'll be spending time in that region before travelling to Rome (Civitavecchia). By train is easiest, simplest & most economical on both time and pocket)

But if you're flying into Rome then it makes sense to see Rome pre-cruise, because this gives you wiggle-room if there's a problem with your outbound flight. Naples can then be for post-cruise.

If La Spezia or Livorno are ports-of-call on your cruise, you can visit Florence from there (Livorno is easier than La Spezia, by direct train or shared van).

 

Like others, I've mentioned travelling by train.

For good reason :classic_wink:

 

JB :classic_smile: 

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I completely agree with Marazul.  The idea of transferring between Rome, Florence and Naples via airplane is insane!  Train connections between all 3 of those cities are excellent (faster then flying when you consider the time needed to go to and from airports, check-in clear security, etc).  Unfortunately, Naples and Florence are opposite directions from Rome which does add some transfer time.  Also keep in mind there are frequent trains between these 3 cities so there is little need to make train reservations far in advance.  However, reservations will guarantee you a seat on the train of your choice and might get you a lower price.

 

Another advantage of the trains over flying is that you do get to see some of the countryside when on a train.  It is an enjoyable way to travel and gets you from city center to city center.  Consider that Rome's airports are some distance from the city while the train stations (they have several) are located relatively close to the main tourist centers within the city.  It is the same in Florence and Naples where you can even walk between the train stations and many of the desired tourist areas.  And hotels are generally arrayed relatively close to train stations.

 

Hank

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Thanks to everyone.  We'll definitely be traveling by train.  Our plan will be to dock in Rome and depart a week or so later from Rome.  We'll definitely do a day trip to Florence and may bypass Naples to spend more time in Pompeii.  Any thoughts on Naples?

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On 6/5/2020 at 8:59 PM, Cruzmama said:

Thanks to everyone.  We'll definitely be traveling by train.  Our plan will be to dock in Rome and depart a week or so later from Rome.  We'll definitely do a day trip to Florence and may bypass Naples to spend more time in Pompeii.  Any thoughts on Naples?

Hmm.   I would rethink your plans and try to spend 1 or 2 nights in Florence.   As to Naples, it ranks among my least favorite cities to stay and we will leave the pro Naples post to EuroCruiser (who will see this post) who likes Naples more then most folks :).   My recommendation would be to spend a few hours at Pompeii and not bother with Naples but "Euro" will likely give you a different opinion :).   And by the way, if you are looking to be "ruined" it is possible to see both Pompeii and Herculaneum  in a single day (using trains).   Many would say it is too much of the same (and lots of walking) but it is easily done.

 

Hank

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I could go on and on about the wonders of Naples (as Hank has already warned you) but I acknowledge that it's not for everyone.  You don't have a lot of time so it might make sense to base yourself in Rome for the entire time making a day trip to Florence and another to Pompei, each easily done by train.

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On Monday, June 08, 2020 at 3:54 PM, Hlitner said:

Hmm.   I would rethink your plans and try to spend 1 or 2 nights in Florence.   As to Naples, it ranks among my least favorite cities to stay and we will leave the pro Naples post to EuroCruiser (who will see this post) who likes Naples more then most folks :).   My recommendation would be to spend a few hours at Pompeii and not bother with Naples but "Euro" will likely give you a different opinion :).   And by the way, if you are looking to be "ruined" it is possible to see both Pompeii and Herculaneum  in a single day (using trains).   Many would say it is too much of the same (and lots of walking) but it is easily done.

 

Hank

Thanks.  I have since heard from others who share your same feelings about Naples.  We may bypass it in order to spend more time in Pompeii or even Capri.  I don't know anything about Herculaneum, but will research it.

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I'm not going to push you toward Naples because, as I already said, I don't think you have enough time.  That said I would caution all of us, in general, that succumbing to groupthink can cause us to miss out on great experiences and/or important insights. 

 

No place (or cruise line, or cuisine, etc.) appeals to everyone and often our disappointment is the result of unrealistic expectations.  In the case of Naples, if one goes there expecting a Disneyesque tourist town disappointment is sure to follow.  In the same vein, if one goes to Venice expecting a real Italian town they'll be letdown.   Even so, each place has its charms and plenty of reasons to visit, they're just not for everyone.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, euro cruiser said:

I'm not going to push you toward Naples because, as I already said, I don't think you have enough time.  That said I would caution all of us, in general, that succumbing to groupthink can cause us to miss out on great experiences and/or important insights. 

 

No place (or cruise line, or cuisine, etc.) appeals to everyone and often our disappointment is the result of unrealistic expectations.  In the case of Naples, if one goes there expecting a Disneyesque tourist town disappointment is sure to follow.  In the same vein, if one goes to Venice expecting a real Italian town they'll be letdown.   Even so, each place has its charms and plenty of reasons to visit, they're just not for everyone.

 

And therein lies the key!  People just want to visit what they have heard about rather than take the time to research what may be of actual interest to them.   Ergo the overcrowding in places like the Cinque Terre and the almost complete lack of North American tourists in Deep South Italy or anywhere off the well beaten path.  

 

I too happen to really enjoy Naples and there is always something more to do there.  Absolutely loved visiting Caserta, and Villa Oplontis.   Even an emergency visit to a Naples  clinic by taxi from Salerno!  That one not so much!  

Edited by bennybear

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1 hour ago, bennybear said:

 

And therein lies the key!  People just want to visit what they have heard about rather than take the time to research what may be of actual interest to them.   Ergo the overcrowding in places like the Cinque Terre and the almost complete lack of North American tourists in Deep South Italy or anywhere off the well beaten path.  

 

I too happen to really enjoy Naples and there is always something more to do there.  Absolutely loved visiting Caserta, and Villa Oplontis.   Even an emergency visit to a Naples  clinic by taxi from Salerno!  That one not so much!  

We sure hear ya.  Yes, DW and I are very adventurous travelers and often drive to places (within Europe) that are devoid of tourism although we also love many of the popular tourist locations.  But it was primarily because of the posts by Euro Cruiser that we finally decided to spend some quality time (we are talking multiple days) in Naples.  And we did enjoy Naples, Caserta, etc.  That being said, it is still not a place we recommend to those who have little travel time in Italy.  DW and I also love the Marche but its a part of Italy we would only recommend to experienced Italy travelers who have a rental car.

 

But Salerno to Naples for healthcare?  We would love to hear more about that story.  When DW was injured in Vietnam and ultimately had outpatient surgery in Osaka, Japan (long story) I posted a lot of the details on CC.  Those kind of emergency situations and how they are handled is a fascinating topic unto itself.  

 

Hank

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Posted (edited)

We love exploring by car as well.  Italy offers so many wonderful surprises.   Last year we explored around Pitigliano and  San Quirico d Orcia.   We still remain absolutely blown away by the deep south Lecce, Matera, Alberobello,  ........sigh!  


Ok since you asked,  we were on a 24 day Med cruise and had used our overnight in Athens to finally see Meteora.  Two days in a van for five to six hours each day, followed by a port change and immediate visit to Priene, Miletus and Didyma in Turkey  resulted in a very swollen leg.    After it didn’t get better I saw the ship’s doctor who was worried it was a blood clot necessitating a very expensive over four hour round trip by taxi to a Swiss clinic in Naples for an ultrasound.   Luckily it was just an extremely swollen cyst and I wasn’t allowed to even climb one flight of stairs!   It has settled back to normal, but I think it is easy to perhaps overdo it just a little!  Very thankful for great care on-board and at the clinic!  And my insurance covered it with just a bit of quibble over the several hundred euro  taxis?  I also got very good at negotiating with the Neapolitan taxi driver.  
I hope your Dw has recovered well too, Japan would provide great care I imagine.  We visited  there last spring and hope to return open day soon. 

Edited by bennybear

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Posted (edited)
On 6/10/2020 at 7:53 AM, euro cruiser said:

That said I would caution all of us, in general, that succumbing to groupthink can cause us to miss out on great experiences and/or important insights. 

 

I find there's no real substitute for doing some advance planning -- whether your preferred research style is watching youtube videos or reading travel guides or trip reports. If you spend enough time, you really can get a sense of whether something would be a "must see" for you or something that you can pass on (or save for a second trip, should that happen).

 

I really struggle when people come to these boards and ask "what are the must-see sights in Rome?" (or Venice, or Florence), because we're all different. Most would die of boredom if faced with my list of must-sees on every trip. 

 

Quote

No place (or cruise line, or cuisine, etc.) appeals to everyone and often our disappointment is the result of unrealistic expectations.  In the case of Naples, if one goes there expecting a Disneyesque tourist town disappointment is sure to follow.  In the same vein, if one goes to Venice expecting a real Italian town they'll be letdown.   Even so, each place has its charms and plenty of reasons to visit, they're just not for everyone.

 

Again, here's where advance planning can help. Don't just read one travel guide or listen to one friend who hated (or loved) a particular place. Learn enough about it so that you know what to expect and can make your own decision based on your likes/dislikes. Some feel that too much advance reading or researching kills the surprise factor for them -- but I can promise you that no matter how many photos or videos you've seen online of the Colosseum, for example, or the pyramids at Giza, the reality far surpasses any photo.

 

On 6/10/2020 at 6:02 PM, bennybear said:

 

And therein lies the key!  People just want to visit what they have heard about rather than take the time to research what may be of actual interest to them.   Ergo the overcrowding in places like the Cinque Terre and the almost complete lack of North American tourists in Deep South Italy or anywhere off the well beaten path.  

 

 

Very true. I think some folks travel with a checklist and are just looking to tick off various items so that they can show the pics or name drop when they get back home.  I've had a lot of people ask my advice in real life about visiting various areas, and inevitably when I suggest something a bit different, I get the same response of "Oh but we can't visit _______ and not see the ________!"
 

Edited by cruisemom42

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