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janfred 07-11-2012 12:38 AM

Pompeii question
Does anyone know besides the Cameo Factory what else is near that is nice to visit.
Any ideas for a nice Cafe to get out of the heat for a drink or nice shops? We will have
about 2 hours to do a little exploring outside the site. We will be on foot.

Jim C. 07-11-2012 08:02 AM

Unfortunately, not really. The entrance to the site are a LONG walk from any kind of shopping area. Basically the closest place is on the far side of the ruins from the site entrance. Not that it could not be done, but if the idea is to cool down while taking in some shopping, then having to walk 1/2 mile in both directions in the heat kind of kills the plan. You would have to take a taxi. The only thing are the gift shops at the entrance to the site itself (there is a cafe there too).

We had train passes, we took the train from Naples to Pompeii, then continued down and had a late lunch in Sorrento which is really nice, then got back on the train and took it back to Naples. It took the entire day and we didn't get to see Naples.

janfred 07-11-2012 03:47 PM

Thank you. I just got back and I am going again so I didn't want to spend time in Pompeii again but see and enjoy some of the local places. The excursions just about all include Pompeii again, (not that I wouldn't love to see that again but time is so limited) We had picked an excursion that was the only one that included the boat cruise to the Amalfi Coast (loved it) and wanted to do it again. We fianally picked Sorento. Any advice on that excursion. Of course it is only 5 hours which 3 of it is getting there and back to the ship! I would love to get a tour that gets us there and leaves us for about 4 hours !! Any not to miss in Sorento?
Thanks so much.

Hank 07-11-2012 07:10 PM

You two seem to be comfortable discussing the subject with each other so we are a bit hesitant to jump in and offer some services, but let me toss out some ideas. If you are are limiting yourself to cruise line excursions then you have to simply decide among the choices. However, if you are open to doing things on your own (with some good detailed info) or booking a private excursion we can give you a basic idea of options. If you enjoyed Pompeii you might want to visit Herculanium which is nearby in the city of Ercolano. And then there are islands such as Capri (easy to do on your own) and the more obscure islands of Ischia and Procida (we do not normally recommend these places unless the traveler is really looking for something different). As to the Amalfi Coast (we have spent 2 extended vacations here) there are the fabulous cities of Positano and Ravello and also Amalfi. And then there is Naples itself which is actually somewhat better then many folks think and does have a fabulous archeological museum (which has many treasures from Pompeii).

Regarding Sorrento (not our favorite place) it is easy (and cheap) to simply take the Circumvesuviania Train from Naples. There are two trains per hour and it takes about 1:05 each way. Sorrento is easily explored on foot.

As to private excursions, they are expensive (400 - 550 Euros) but you get to set your own itinerary and get great service. One highly recommended private tour company is Rome in Limo Tours.

P.S. As to my personal expertise we have been to Naples on more then 15 cruises and have spent several weeks vacationing along the Amalfi Coast (we stayed in Praiano) with our own rental car.

LisaP 07-11-2012 08:24 PM

We visited Sorrento as part of an all-day tour that also included Pompeii. You can easily spend a couple of hours walking around its streets. The main area is only about 16 blocks, if I recall correctly. There are a couple of places where you can purchase inlaid wood items -- I purchased a beautiful box for my bureau top that didn't cost much. We also enjoyed a walk down to the bay. There are also a lot of shops that sell the basic tourist items -- we skipped those and went straight for the gelato!

Is this the tour that also includes a visit to the family-run farm for lunch?

Also, I agree with Hank about Herculanium and Naples. We spoke with several passengers on our cruise who had visited one or both, and we made a mental note for ourselves to consider these next time.

f-mattox 07-11-2012 08:54 PM

It's also a great place for beautiful music boxes, that play . . .are you ready? . . . ."Come Back to Sorrento."

janfred 07-12-2012 01:50 AM

Hank, F-Mattox and Lisa,
Thank you all for your help, great information. Lisa the tour doesn't include the family-run farm, that sounds wonderful. We are going to a family run gelato tour while in Tarquinia!
F-Mattox I did love the Ruby Princess a few weeks ago. Hank you sound like you could be a tour guide and I am joining your group !! I do appreciate all the great help we did a private tour in St Petersburg and it was 2 fantastic days just us a driver and a tour guide worth every penny :OD

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