Julie Italy 127 Comments

How to travel from Rome to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast can be a little confusing. You can’t simply hop on a train in Rome and ride it all of the way to Sorrento or Positano. In this post, we explain your different options for getting around this region.

Rome to Naples

By Train

Whether your final destination is Sorrento, Capri, Positano, or Amalfi, you will first have to travel to Naples. The best way to do this is by train.

This journey takes between 60 minutes to three hours, depending on the train you choose.


Trenitalia, Italy’s national rail service, has three classes of trains. The frecce trains (frecciarossa, frecciargento, and freccebianca) are the fastest, with travel times of around one hour or slightly longer. These are the most expensive Trenitalia trains. These trains need to be booked in advance.

Intercity trains take about 2 hours and reservations are recommended.

Regionale trains take about 3 hours and do not have seat reservations.

How to book your Trenitalia tickets online:

Trenitalia.com is the main website. The website is offered in English but you will have to input city names with their Italian spelling (Roma for Rome and Napoli for Naples).

Italiarail.com is easier to use than Trenitalia (no Italian names necessary) but there is small booking fee ($5 USD) for using this website.


Italo is a private company that operates high-speed trains in Italy. Travel times and prices are similar to Trenitalia’s frecciarossa trains. From Rome to Naples, it takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and there are many trains throughout the day.

Book your tickets on the Italo here.

About the Train Stations in Rome

Roma Termini is the main train station in Rome. Most trains will leave from this station. However, there are two more stations in Rome, Roma Ostiense and Roma Tiburtina. These are located farther from the city center.

When booking your train, it is very important that you note the departure station in Rome. Both Trenitalia and Italiarail list the names of the stations when you are choosing your tickets. Roma Termini is the ideal station to leave from because it is centrally located in Rome and easy to get to with public transportation.

Most, but not all, trains from Rome will arrive in the Napoli Centrale station in Naples.



By Car

It takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours to drive from Rome to Naples.

By Plane

Yes, you can fly from Rome to Naples. Don’t expect it to save you time over the train. You have to factor in transport to and from two airports and airport security time. It can take between 3 to 4 hours to travel between these two cities by plane.

It only makes sense to fly to Naples if you are already at the Rome airport (for example, you just landed in Rome and are traveling to Naples).

Naples to Sorrento

By Train

From Naples, take the Circumvesuviana train or the Campania Express train to Sorrento.

The Campania Express is a special tourist train that runs along the same route as the Circumvesuviana but makes fewer local stops. It costs a little bit more (€15 one-way and €25 round trip) but travel times are slightly reduced and there is guaranteed seating (if you purchase your ticket in advance), air conditioning, and luggage storage. It runs from April through October. Outside of these season, you will have to ride the Circumvesuviana.

For the Campania Express, we recommend booking your tickets in advance.

The Circumvesuviana is a local train, similar to a New York City subway train, that makes many stops between Naples and Sorrento. There is no A/C, it tends to be hot, crowded, and late, and pickpocketing is common. Sometimes it can be standing room only.

We rode the Circumvesuviana, since the Campania Express did not exist when we made this trip. We highly recommend taking the Campania Express over the Circumvesuviana.

The Circumvesuviana is much cheaper (€4.90 one-way). There is no need to book this ticket in advance. You can purchase tickets at the ticket office located next to the platform or at the newspaper/tobacco shops in the train station.

Make sure you validate your ticket before getting on the train.

It takes about an hour and 10 minutes to travel between Naples and Sorrento.

On the Circumvesuviana

On the Circumvesuviana

TRAVEL TIP #1: If you are traveling with luggage on the Circumvesuviana, it’s best to put it in the overhead luggage racks or stand with your luggage in the standing areas near the doors. If you put your luggage between you and the wall, this will help deter pickpockets.

TRAVEL TIP #2: Napoli Garibaldi station is the name of the Circumvesuviana platform located inside of Napoli Centrale, the main train station in Naples. This is stop #2 on the Circumvesuviana route and Campania Express route. Most people board the train at this stop so it can be very difficult to get a seat. If you don’t mind walking, you can exit Napoli Centrale and walk 8 minutes to the Porta Nolana station, which is the first station on the Circumvesuviana line and Campania Express line. Doing this will almost guarantee you a seat and an overhead luggage spot.

Walking Map Naples Station

While traveling between Naples and Sorrento, you have the option to visit Pompeii. Get all of the details here:

How to Visit Pompeii when Traveling between Rome and Sorrento

Rome to Sorrento


By Car

If you have your own car, it takes one hour to drive between Naples and Sorrento. On the way you will pass Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii. Consider spending several hours here.

If you don’t like the idea of taking the Circumvesuviana and don’t have a rental car, consider hiring a private driver. This costs much more than the train, but it is a more comfortable way to travel and you do not have to worry about standing over your luggage during the one hour journey on the Circumvesuviana.

Here are several transfer options from Naples to Sorrento.



By Ferry

You can take a direct ferry from Naples to Sorrento. This takes 35 to 45 minutes but daily departures are limited. Click here to learn more.

Italy Travel Guide Florence

Naples to the Amalfi Coast

There is no train to take you directly from Naples to the Amalfi Coast towns, including Positano, Amalfi, Ravello, and Atrani, just to name a few.

To get here, you need to rent a car, hire a driver, take the bus, or travel by ferry. You also have the option to take a train to Salerno or Sorrento and then use public transportation to get to the Amalfi Coast towns.



Hire a Private Driver

This is the easiest way to travel around the Amalfi Coast. The road can be difficult to drive, with hairpin turns and distracting but gorgeous views along the coast. Add in the traffic of tour buses and many other cars, especially during the summer months, and this drive begins to feel more like work than a fun road trip. And you haven’t even tried to park your car yet (the closest spots you may find are a mile or farther from town).

A private driver is the most expensive option but it’s also the one we recommend the most. If you plan on enjoying your experience here at the Amalfi Coast, hire a private driver.

Sorrento Silver Star has private drivers and you can use this transfer service from Naples airport to Positano.

By Ferry

There are no direct ferries from Naples to the Amalfi Coast. From Naples, you will first have to take the ferry to Sorrento and then travel to Positano and Amalfi. Ferries operate this route from April through October.

Visit ferryhopper.com for more information.

By Bus

You can take a SITA bus from Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast, including the towns of Positano, Praiano, and Amalfi. This is the most economical way to get around the region.

We did this in July 2014. It was a nightmare. Catching the first bus from Sorrento to Positano was great, no problems. After touring Positano, our plan was to catch a SITA bus to take us to the next town of Praiano. We waited and waited at the bus stop. After 45 minutes, no bus had arrived, and now a huge number of people were also waiting along with us. A private company offering a hop-on-hop-off bus tour arrived. We paid a hefty fee to take this to Amalfi, but it was better than waiting in the hot sun.

Later, the exact scenario repeated itself in Amalfi. Buses failed to show up and once one finally did, it was almost a pushing match to get a spot on the bus because so many of us were in the same situation. This is not a pleasant way to spend your vacation and this tainted our experience of visiting the Amalfi Coast.

Maybe things are better now. But I recommend hiring a driver or getting around by ferry.

By Tour

If you plan to stay in Naples, there are several day trips to the Amalfi Coast that get great reviews. On this full day tour, travel by bus, van or car, depending on the group size you choose, and visit Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. 

Naples to Capri

The most economical way to get from Naples to Capri is by ferry (you can travel by helicopter if you have money to burn and want to arrive in style).

Ferries take between 40 to 80 minutes, depending upon the speed of the ferry and whether or not it stops at Sorrento en route to Capri.

Ferry routes and prices change frequently. Check out this post on Capri.net that explains all of your options.

If you plan to stay in Naples, you can visit Capri on a day trip. On this full day tour from Naples, cruise across the Gulf of Naples and take in the view of Mount Vesuvius. Once at Capri, you can make an optional swimming stop at the Faraglioni Rocks. Spend 4 hours on Capri before traveling back to Naples.

For information on how to plan your visit to Capri, read our article Best Things to Do in Capri.

Marina Grande Capri


Putting it All Together

I’ve explained all of your options, but what really is the best way to travel in this region? Here is what we recommend:

Rome to Sorrento: High speed train to Naples, private driver to Sorrento (comfortable and convenient) or Campania Express or Circumvesuviana (for budget travelers)

Rome to Capri: High speed train to Naples, ferry to Capri (but that helicopter sure sounds nice, doesn’t it?)

Rome to Amalfi Coast: High speed train to Naples, private driver to the Amalfi Coast

Getting to Sorrento, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast can be a hassle. However, it’s worth it. With picturesque towns perched on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the chance to visit the historical site of Pompeii, and one of the most beautiful drives in the world, it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular destinations in Italy.

More Information for Your Trip to the Amalfi Coast

AMALFI COAST TOWNS: For an overview of where to go, check out our article 17 Beautiful Towns to Visit on the Amalfi Coast. We also have detailed guides about the Best Things to Do on the Amalfi Coast and how to visit Positano and Ravello. Learn how to plan your time with our Amalfi Coast Itinerary.

GETTING AROUND: Learn how to visit Pompeii when traveling between Rome and Sorrento. We also have a guide to the Best Way to Get around the Amalfi Coast and what it is like to drive the Amalfi Coast.

PATH OF THE GODS: The Path of the Gods is a gorgeous hike on the Amalfi Coast.

SORRENTO & CAPRI: Learn about the best things to do in Sorrento, how to spend 3 days in Sorrento, learn how to plan your day trip to Capri, and find out whether or not the Blue Grotto is worth it.

WHERE TO STAY: For recommendations of where to stay, including Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello, take a look at our Amalfi Coast Hotel Guide.

VISITING IN OCTOBER: Learn what it is like to visit Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast in October and November.

ITALY ITINERARY: On this 10 day southern Italy itinerary, visit the Amalfi Coast, Castelmezzano, Matera, Alberobello, and more towns in Puglia.

POMPEII & PAESTUM: Learn how to visit Pompeii when traveling between Rome and the Amalfi Coast. And don’t miss our guide to Paestum, one of the best places to see Greek ruins in Italy.

If you have any questions about planning a trip to Italy, comment below!

More Information about Italy

ROME: For a list of the top experiences in Rome, read our article Best Things to Do in Rome. Learn how to put these together in our 2 Day Rome Itinerary, where to eat in our Rome Restaurant Guide, how to visit the Colosseum, and where to stay in our Rome Hotel Guide. And don’t miss our guide to the Best Rooftop Bars in Rome.

CINQUE TERRE: One of the best experiences in the Cinque Terre is to hike between all five towns. If you are traveling on a budget, get our money saving tips for the Cinque Terre.

PUGLIA: Read about 15 beautiful places to visit in Puglia and the best things to do in Alberobello. We also have a guide to the best things to do on the Gargano Peninsula and how to spend one day in Vieste.

ITALY ITINERARY: If you have two weeks in Italy, check out our 14 day Italy itinerary, which covers the highlights (Rome, Florence, Venice, the Amalfi Coast, and the Cinque Terre).


We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including Rome, Florence, Venice, Tuscany, the Dolomites, the Amalfi Coast, the Cinque Terre, and Puglia.


Rome to Naples Sorrento Positano Amalfi Capri


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Comments 127

  1. Avatar for Nihar


    I am planning to go from Florence to Sorrento via Naples. The first part of the journey seems straightforward, into Naples
    But when I look at the Campania express website, do I take the “Napoli P Garibaldi – Piano di Sorrento” one to book it ahead of time?



    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      That’s a great question. The route would be Napoli P Garibaldi to Sorrento. Piano di Sorrento is an area just outside of the town of Sorrento so you don’t want that stop. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Lauren C
    Lauren C

    Hi Julie,

    Thank you for the fantastic tips, we travelling from Rome to Amalfi and I see you state we must catch a train to Napels and then Salerno. What train would we take from Salerno to Naples?

    What is the price of hiring a private driver to take us from Naples to Amalfi?

    Thank you once again

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Lauren. As for the train from Naples to Salerno, Italia Rail has a great guide explaining your options. I don’t know what the price would be to hire a private driver but you can get more information from one of the companies that do this route. Here is the link to Sorrento Silver Star (we recommend this one because it is also recommend by Rick Steves and we’ve always had good luck with his recommendations), but there are more companies if you Google “Naples to Sorrento driver.” Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for CJ

    Hi. Thanks for these helpful tips.
    From Naples, I am going to Sant’Agnello, is that a stop on the train to Sorrento?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  4. Avatar for Nita Solanki
    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We stayed in Casa Elena, which was a nice budget place, but it was located in the hills above Sorrento, and transportation into Sorrento and to the Amalfi Coast was a bit of a hassle. I don’t have any specific recommendations for Sorrento but we use Booking.com to make our hotel reservations when we travel, so this is a good place to start. We typically only look at properties with a rating of 8.5 or higher, and ideally over 9.0. Here is a link to the Sorrento properties on Booking.com to help get you started. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Candace Blair
    Candace Blair

    I used this guide in 2019 for a successful trip to Positano from Rome and referenced it again for my 2022 trip as well as recommend it to others! Thank you for keeping it updated and not letting it turn into a dead link lol!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  6. Avatar for Rick


    You are a lifesaver! This article is a Godsend. I have been researching an upcoming trip to Italy and you would think it would be easy to find good, clear, concise information about how to get from Rome to Sorrento. NOT TRUE! The internet is full of useless information regarding this and are very confusing. Most sites gloss over the critical details…But you have included it all! Names of stations, names of train companies (since trains are not very commonly used in US, many of us do not understand the concept of multiple train choices!) and I love your tip about how to be ‘first in line’ by walking 8 minutes around the corner in Naples!

    I plan to go to Italy in May and will DEFINITELY be pinning this webpage to refer to, time and time again. Thank you so much!
    This New Yorker appreciates it-

  7. Avatar for Troy

    Hi Julie,

    Thanks for your recommendations, they saved us a real headache this morning. My partner and I arrived in Naples from Rome, going to Sorrento and what would you know, there was a local strike with the trains. Instead of leaving in 15 minutes it was 1.5 hours, we were just glad they were running at all.

    They wouldn’t let anyone down to the platform, so we waited outside. When we came back in the crowds were insane, we had a lot of luggage so knew it would be a nightmare. I then remembered your recommendation and had the tab open on my phone for this page, so we popped around the corner to Porta Nolana station. The train was already waiting, we got on board nice and relaxed and it was probably only 30% full.

    Once the station got to Garibaldi it was a nightmare for everyone there, very uncomfortable. People were cramming into the train all on top of each other, painfully so. Probably some of the worst overcrowding I have ever seen.

    Thanks for the tips, saved us so much stress and probably few grey hairs 😂

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Wow, that sounds rough! I’m glad we could help save you some time. I hope the rest of your visit to Italy goes more smoothly. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Jian

    Hi Julie and Tim:

    Thanks a lot for the very practical information as you always do in your blogs! I have a question about train tickets. In general, is it necessary to book tickets in advance (e.g. Rome to Naples)? If so, how much time in advance would you recommend?

    My second question is about car rental. What do you think about the idea of renting a car and drive by myself in places like Naples (to Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast) and Tuscany (to Hill Towns)? Thanks.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      As for train travel, if you plan to visit Italy soon, I know that their public transportation is currently operating at 50% because of COVID-19. So, with less capacity, if it were me, I would book my train tickets in advance. But during “normal” years, you do not have to book your tickets in advance if you don’t want to. There is usually enough availability that you can get your ticket just before boarding. But Tim and I like to have things planned out, so we usually book our tickets in advance.

      Renting a car for Tuscany is a great idea. It gives you lots of freedom and flexibility to go where you want to go, and when. It’s easy driving around Tuscany. As for Naples/Sorrento/Amalfi, it depends. If you are going soon or during the off season, yes, rent a car, because it is easier to get around. If you are planning a trip for next summer, then use the trains and ferries and hire a private driver. From what we saw, trying to park at the towns along the Amalfi Coast is a nightmare during the summer.

      Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Jian

        Hi Julie:

        Thank you so much for your quick and detailed response! I am thinking of next year or after. The pandemic situation is so volatile and it’s difficult to plan an overseas trip.

        1. Avatar for Julie Post

          I agree. Tim and I were hoping to go next month…now we just don’t know. Let us know if you have any other questions as you plan your trip!

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