12 Replies Latest reply: Jul 19, 2014 3:05 PM by californian RSS

My southern Italy dilemma

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Hi all,

I think Pluto will have a strong opinion on this, but I would love to hear from the rest of you.  As some of you know, I'm continuing my work on ancient natural disasters, specifically earthquakes, fires and volcanoes, and had planned to stay in Naples at the end of August.  But as always when I plan to go to Naples (except on day trips for research), I have second thoughts because I think the city is so ugly [IMHO] -- except of course the view of the sea of Naples and Capri.

 

I think Pluto also was the one who lit a spark in my mind -- Sorrento.  The dilemma is that I'm flying to Rome, so I'd have to take the hour train to Naples, then switch to the Circumvesuviana, which I've never used.  Has anyone?  The end of its line after Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius is Sorrento, so it would be very convenient for my work.  I was planning to use it from Naples, but Sorrento seems much more delightful in terms of where to stay.  I'll be in Rome the night before I come home (the day before school begins!), so returning isn't an issue.  I guess what I need to know is whether after flying PWM (that part is good) - DTW - AMS - FCO whether I will have the stamina to navigate the same amt of train stations (FCO-Termini, Termini to Napoli, change to Circumvesuviana etc.  I will never rent a car in Italy, so that's not a possibility.

 

No here's the kicker -- the hotel I booked (I have both booked now, fully cancellable) in Sorrento, the Grand Hotel Capodimonte, is cheaper than the one in Naples with a minimalist pool! (At least one pool is important for me because of my arthritis.) And the Grand Hotel has five pools and I'll have a balcony with a sea view! I know I'm convincing myself, but I just need some thoughts from others.

Grazie mille,

ProfC

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    Professor,

     

    Just a couple of thoughts:

     

    Since you are traveling by yourself, you may want to consider seeing an upgrade on the train portion of your trip!  It may cost more, but certainly is safer.  Watch for "Pickpockets" working as teams in/around train stations.

     

    That last night in Rome, consider the airport hotels!   Give yourself three hours prior to flying to be at the terminal.  In December, with Delta, even In Business, I needed that much time, and it did involve a "Shuttle Bus"!

     

    Finally, that Sorrento aspect does really sound wonderful!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
    profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi Jerry and others,

    This morning I decided on Sorrento.  Last night I wrote in Italian (it really does catch their attention) to the hotel to make sure my room would have a view of the sea, and I got a wonderful email back from the manager saying he couldn't wait to welcome me to the hotel in late August.

     

    I am actually staying at the Boscolo Exedra on points the last night in Rome, and since it's right near Termini, I'm going to keep that reservation so I can enjoy part of the last day in Rome. Or I might just a cab to Terminal 5 early in the morning, since I know that's a hassle with the train.

     

    Getting to Sorrento will be a challenge (I'm even looking at the possibility of private transfers, either from Rome or Naples since I will be so tired).  Normally I'd simply cancel my Rome ticket and fly to Naples with the Delta $300 cancellation fee (Naples is MUCH cheaper, but I hadn't originally intended to go there.  But now, since Delta is making you pay the fee PLUS match a ticket of equal or greater value that part is no longer possible. 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Professor,

       

      Congratulations!

       

      That sounds like a great move!

       

      BTW, really enjoying your book on "Joan of Arc"!  What details!  I had no idea of the complexity of that time period!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Dear Jerry,

        Thank you so much!  I had a great time research and writing it and literally followed in Joan's footsteps from Domremy to the Loire Valley, southern Burgundy (where she was sent on a useless mission after she had become expendable) and ultimately to Compiègne and Rouen with her capture and trial/execution.  It's surprising, but when I first started studying Joan, I was swamped by the amount of original sources from the period -- more than for any other medieval figure, and from all sides.  The hard part was weighing the different sources for likely accuracy.

         

        Trying to deal with the complexity of the time period was one of my biggest challenges, because everyone on each side was somehow related to everyone else!

        Cheers, ProfC

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
      iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
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      Prof,

       

      You made an excellent decision.  When we fly into Naples a couple of years back we were so taken back by how trashed and run down the city looked as we drove to the Amalfi Coast via Sorrento.  Upon reaching Sorrento and heading toward the coast everything was "yeah, we're in Italy" again. 

       

      The drive from Naples to Sorrento seemed like less than 30 minutes and was so easy on the Autostrada.  Maybe you can call Delta and use your charm to get the agent to make the changes for you with no fee.  

       

      And hey, we both might be in Italy during the same time although much different parts of the country.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi IAHFLYR,

        I cannot believe the double bits of luck I just had (though apparently I got screwed the last time I made a Delta change).  I called their Platinum line and asked what it would cost to change to BOS-NAP, and after a few minutes, she said with the change fee included $133.50.  I stupidly (but not fatally) asked if that included the change fee of $300 and she said yes, because the Naples fare was cheaper.  I snapped it up.

         

        It gets better.  Since I'll have to leave Naples midday on the Sept. 1, I had to book 1 night there.  Guess what?  The Renaissance Mediterraneo is only Cat 5, so I was able to use my Cat 5 anniversary VISA certificate for the first time in ages.

         

        I think I just saved a whole lot of money -- and now have the Exedra points added back to my account.

         

        Well, if you decide to hop down to Sorrento, let me know!

        Yippee!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
          iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Prof it's just good clean livin, awesome news!

           

          We will be too far north and then in Tuscany before coming home out of Bologna hoping to run into some of Mrs. IAH family members from way back. 

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
            profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Alas, IAHFLYR, one of these days we shall all meet (actually that sounded rather forebodingly religious...)  You know what I mean.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
          californian Platinum 37 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Once in a while things go in our direction.  Good for you!

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I held back as long as I could to let others reply.  Yes, Sorrento is a no brainer, even with the flight and jet lag, etc.  It's worth the extra effort. You can grab your ticket Rome to Naples online at Trenitalia before your flight. At Naples train station, go to the ticket window and buy the ticket for Circum...(mouth full of marbles) to Sorrento.  Platform is down some stairs.  Do not engage with would be sketchy looking baggage porters. More later, gotta go.

     

    Sorry, this post was frought with mistakes.  Better re-read.

     

    Message was edited by: pluto77

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
      pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Okay (had to catch my train), What time does your flight arrive in Rome?  You can save some euros by taking the Leonardo Express train to Termini, then catch the train at Termini to Naples.  The L E's first run of the day is at 7am, I believe, and runs hourly.  At the airport, I can't remember which terminal, but walk down the sidewalk to the pedestrian sky bridge, take the escalator (outside) up, cross the sky bridge to the train terminal.  Buy your ticket from the machine (live person window doesn't open until 8 or 9am).  The ticket price is something like only 14 or 15 euros, way better than the 48 for the taxi.  The L E is non-stop from FCO to Termini, which is nice.  I did it last trip after seeing my daughter off for an early flight.  I was very satisfied with the whole affair.  I can look up which airport terminal the sky bridge to the train is located at.

       

      Transferring trains and purchasing the ticket at Naples train station shouldn't be a big deal, except for the scammers and pick pockets.  For Sorrento, perhaps you can write the hotel and ask them the best way to get from the train station to the hotel.

       

      Switching gears and to piggyback on Iahflr, did a one way car hire from Sorrento to FCO, stopping at Pompeii, and it was a very easy drive with the autostrada and FCO being outside of Rome.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: My southern Italy dilemma
        profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Hi Pluto,

        Thanks so much for your comments -- as you'll see from my morning posts, amazingly, I resolved the situation saving me lots of money. I'll probably be tired enough after the flight to Naples via CDG (YES! Not Schiphol!) and a long layover (hopefully in a CL -- I have yet to hear anything from Amex, and only the new ticket Delta created with Richard Anderson's EXECUTIVE PRIORITY written on it).

         

        The hotel looks stunning (Grand Hotel Capodimonte) [see google image link below] and as I mentioned earlier it is cheaper than Naples, with all five pools, breakfast (with prosecco every day!!!!) and free wifi, with view on the Bay of Naples.

        Ready to go already...

        ProfC

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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