Julie Italy 123 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

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

Italo is a private company that operates high-speed trains in Italy. Travel times and prices are similar to Trenitalia’s frecciarossa trains.

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.

Positano

Positano

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 to Sorrento.

Upon arrival in Napoli Centrale, follow signs for “Circumvesuviana.” The train platform is downstairs. You can purchase tickets at the ticket office located next to the platform or at the newspaper/tobacco shops in the train station.

Purchase a ticket to Sorrento (€3.60). Trains leave approximately every 30 minutes. There is no need to purchase this ticket in advance. (Click here for the Circumvesuviana timetable).

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

It takes between 45 minutes and 75 minutes to travel between Naples and Sorrento. The direttissimo trains are the fastest because they make the fewest stops.

The Circumvesuviana is a commuter train, a local train that is more like the subway in New York City than the Italian high speed trains. There is no air conditioning and during the summer months it can get quite hot and crowded on this train. Sometimes it can be standing room only. And beware of pickpockets, not only on the trains but also in the train stations.

On the Circumvesuviana

TRAVEL TIP #1: If you are traveling with luggage, 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. 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. 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

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.

Sorrento Silver Star is a reputable company that provides private drivers, not only for transportation to and from Naples but also for day trips along the Amalfi Coast.

Here is a private driver through GetYourGuide that gets excellent reviews.

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.


Naples to the Amalfi Coast

There is no train to take you directly from Naples to the Amalfi Coast towns of Positano and Amalfi. 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 and then use public transportation to get to the Amalfi Coast towns.

Rome to Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast

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.

Again, we recommend Sorrento Silver Star.

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 mid-May to September.

Visit the Alilauro website 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 know that if we ever return to the Amalfi Coast again, we will hire a driver and skip the dreaded SITA buses.

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.

Capri

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’s how I would do it, if I returned to this part of Italy again.

Rome to Sorrento: High speed train to Naples, private driver to Sorrento (comfortable and convenient) 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.

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


More Information about Italy:

Planning a trip to Italy? Read all of our articles in our Italy Travel Guide.

You Might Also Like:

 

Rome to Naples Sorrento Positano Amalfi Capri

 

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Comments 123

  1. Avatar for Telma Sousa
    Telma Sousa

    Hi, I found it very interesting and loving the tips of the blog of vcs! Valuable tips to plan your trip to Italy and avoid beginner mistakes. Congratulations on the site and this post will help a lot of people !!!

  2. Avatar for natalia rivera
    natalia rivera

    Hi! Since I found your page, started day dreaming immediately. I am almost sure that I would invest my 13 days of vacations in Italy(last week of March and fist of April my bday! )Now I am struggling with deciding what goes, and what’s not… I guess this is very common. I want to save on airfare I’ve seen that Milan, Rome and Venice are the most economical one and the rest could be done by high speed train, but i would not like to waste time of buying round trip plane ticket from Rome and waste time going back. I need a suggestion :S I really like Rome, Amalfi Coast (Positano/Capri)- staying in Sorrento as you said would be the wise way, Cinque Terre (staying in la Spezia or Vernazza), Naples, Florence, and maybe Venice is too much. Trying to get organize… I know once a buy the ticket plane it would be easy to plan around that.
    Since you guys are kind of expert travelers, I would highly follow your tips. Thanks again!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Natalia. I recommend you start with our itinerary #2 on our Italy Itineraries article. Using this itinerary, you can add on EITHER the Cinque Terre or Venice. It would be too rushed to add both of them into a 13 day itinerary. From Florence, it’s quick and easy to get to the Cinque Terre and then you can end your trip and fly home from Milan.

      Using our itinerary #2, yours would end something like this:
      Day 8 – Florence
      Day 9 – day trip to Tuscany
      Day 10 – travel to Cinque Terre in am, tour 5Terre
      Day 11 – Cinque Terre
      Day 12 – travel to Milan and tour Milan
      Day 13 – fly home

      If you would rather visit Venice, you could travel from Florence on day 10. Or, you could use day 10 for another day to day trip into Tuscany and travel to Venice on day 11. I hope this helps! 🙂 Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Luisa Tejeda
    Luisa Tejeda

    Hello,
    I would like to thank you for putting this information together becuase it was very helpful.

    In June we’ll be spending four nights in Rome and we wanted to do a day trip to the Amalfi Coast, but reading the above I would love to go to Sorrento, Capri & the Amalfi Coast. Please let me know if that’s trying to tackle to much for one day. If you think we could do it what do you see that iteneary looking like?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      To visit Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast as a day trip from Rome is too much for one day. Capri is a nice option as a day trip from Rome: take the fast train to Naples and the ferry to Capri. You can include Sorrento but it’s a longer day and a more rushed experience. You could take the train to Naples, the ferry to Capri, then take a different ferry to Sorrento, and then return to Rome via the circumvesuviana and train from Naples (I think this would work if you bought one-way tickets for the ferries). The Amalfi Coast takes most of a day to visit. You can combine this with Sorrento but trying to add Capri onto the same day, especially as a day trip from Rome, is too much to do in my opinion. However, you could take one day and one night from your time in Rome and use it to visit both Capri and the Amalfi Coast, staying overnight in Sorrento. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for mrinal bhatia
    mrinal bhatia

    hi

    firstly i must thank you for all the wonderful information you have furnished on this page . we are a family of 4 two adults and two kids age 15 years and 10 years . we want to visit sorrento , capri ,amalfi and positiano in the mid november 2018 . we would like your suggestion if it is a good time to visit these areas .
    also if it is advisable to make sorrento as our base.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Sorrento makes a great base for exploring this area. It’s relatively easy to get to and there are a bunch of transportation options to get to the Amalfi Coast, Capri, etc. As for the weather…in November it will be chilly and your chance of a rainy day is higher. However, from what I know, it’s not rainy every day. Crowds will be low, so prices will be lower than the summer months, and there is a chance that some restaurants and hotels will not be open. I wouldn’t expect to get in the water, but it should still be beautiful and fun to explore. If you want to experience the coast with warm weather and the chance to swim, save this spot for a future trip. However, if you don’t mind cooler temps with the threat of rain (but also less crowds which is nice) then November will be fine. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Céline Berthelot
    Céline Berthelot

    Mr., Mrs,
    I have been avoiding going to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast because of all the posts regarding safety in Naples, pickpockets, etc.

    Is there a way to avoid going through Naples ? I will be traveling solo, so am I more a target for pickpockets ?
    I would appreciate if you could tell me what you think about safety and ways to make a successful trip !
    Thank you,
    Céline

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      There is not a way to avoid going through Naples, unless you rent a car in Rome and drive directly to Sorrento. I don’t think that traveling solo makes you a bigger target, but if you look like a tourist, then you can be a target. However, it’s really hard not to look like a tourist, especially since you will most likely be traveling with luggage. You can buy special purses, backpacks, and travel bags that are pickpocket “resistant.” Check out the company Pacsafe and look at their products. We use one of their daypacks and I use a large “purse” that I use as my camera bag. Don’t put anything in your pockets, don’t let your bags out of your sight (or lock them up if you are traveling on a train) and just pay attention to the people around you. Following these tips we have yet to be pickpocketed. And you should do all of these things everywhere you travel. Naples has a reputation for pickpocketers but it can be even worse in Paris and other big cities in Europe. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Brad J
    Brad J

    Hi
    Would love your recommendations for a family trip to Rome/Naples/Capri as it relates to hotels. I’m a Dad traveling with my adult kids (25,22,18). Would love apartments or hotels with two rooms two beds each room. Apartment sounds better but worried that they may not be what they appear. I tried your recommendation in Rome but its booked. Any others similiar you are aware of?
    THANKS so much

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Brad. I do not have any more specific recommendations, but we use Booking.com to book our hotel stays. You can also find apartment rentals as well on Booking. As I write this I am sitting in an awesome 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment in Slovakia that we found on Booking.com. We try to only book places with 8.5 stars and higher that have a lot of reviews. If you don’t have luck with Booking, you can also give Air B&B a try. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Eti
    Eti

    Hello,
    I am planning to travel to Sorrento with my husband and 10 year old boy in early June 2019.
    we are planning to take the train from Rome to Sorrento. stay there while planning to take 1 day tour to Capri and 1 day tour to Almafi .
    is there a good area to stay in Sorrento, perhaps by the beach?
    Do you recommend taking the train all the way to Sorrento?
    Thank you so much in advance!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Yes, there are lots of great places to stay in town in Sorrento. You can check Booking.com or Air B&B for recommendations. We stayed at a homestay type place in the hills above Sorrento. It was nice, but a long walk from the beach. You may want to read more about Sorrento in this post. From Rome, we recommend taking the train to Naples and the Circumvesuviana train or a driver to Sorrento, depending on your budget and travel style. The Circumvesuviana is budget friendly and the driver is more convenient but more expensive. Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Lisi
    Lisi

    Hi,

    This itinerary is so helpful, thanks!

    Would love your advice:

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Rome-Amalfi Coast-Florence in early May 2018 (yes, very soon). Trying to figure out the Amalfi Coast component.

    1. Plan on heading from Rome to the Amalfi Coast on a Tuesday morning and staying until Friday morning (the taking a train from Naples to Florence Friday to arrive Florence by Friday afternoon). Is this enough time? Is it better to head from Rome to the Amalfi Coast Monday night?

    2. Should we get a private driver or tour? How many days are necessary to hire for or are there things that can be done on our own? We’re on a budget so we’d like to limit a private driver to a minimum.

    3. While on the coast, where should we stay? The same place each night or move to a different town every night. Is it best to stay in Sorrento because of transportation or if we hire a driver does it not matter where we stay? Again, we’re on a budget…

    4. Visiting Capri – plan on taking a day trip or best to spend a night there?

    5. What towns are a “must” (Amalfi/Pompeii, Sorrento/Positano/Revello)? Is Naples worth seeing?

    Thanks again!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      To make things easy, you can do our exact 3 day Sorrento itinerary. Sorrento is the most convenient home base for the area because you have access to the train station and can easily get to Capri. Tuesday morning, while traveling from Rome to Sorrento, you have the option to visit Pompeii. Wednesday, go to Capri and the Blue Grotto on a day trip from Sorrento. On Thursday, hire a driver for one day to tour the Amalfi Coast. Friday travel to Florence. Positano is awesome. We were less impressed with Amalfi. Never made it to Ravello because getting around the coast in July was a nightmare and no fun at all. In Sorrento we stayed at Casa Elena, a budget place located in the hills overlooking Sorrento. It’s not the best location, since you are not down in town, but there is a bus that can take you there, if it shows up (sometimes it never showed up in town and we ended walking uphill to the house). But the views are awesome and Elena is wonderful. She loved teaching me Italian. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Margaret
    Margaret

    Hello,

    First let me say I was so delighted to find your page. All of this information has been a great help in booking our honeymoon. Below is a part of our itinerary as it relates to Rome, Sorrento and Positano.

    Rome 9/12 – 9/15
    Sorrento 9/15 – 9/17
    Positano 9/17 – 9/20

    Our thought was to enjoy Rome then take the train to Naples. From Naples take a ferry to Sorrento where we would be near the port. Then finish the last leg of the trip relaxing in Positano.

    We were going to do a day trip to Pompeii and Vesuvius from Sorrento. Then a trip to Capri from Positano.

    Would you say that is an efficient itinerary? Or would you recommend visiting Pompeii and Vesuvius on our way to Sorrento?

    Any recommendations you have would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      You can visit Pompeii while in transit between Rome and Sorrento (and we have a whole post about this). It is more time efficient to visit Pompeii while traveling between Naples and Sorrento because you go right past it. It’s something to consider, because it saves you a transfer back and forth between Sorrento and Pompeii, which is kind of a pain in the butt. However, if you also want to visit Vesuvius, I think you are better off doing this as a day trip from Sorrento. Capri also works very well from Sorrento. You could add another day to Sorrento, use this to day trip to Capri, and then spend 2 full days in Positano (9/18 – 9/20). So you would stay in Sorrento 9/15 – 9/18. Just something to think about. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for Margaret
  10. Avatar for Shakera Kaloo
    Shakera Kaloo

    hello. we are travelling to Italy this month and while planning your page has been a blessing, so THANK YOU!!! I learnt so much and used all your tips when planning my trip.
    our trip is as follows:
    Rome 3 nights
    Sorrento 3 nights
    Florence 2 nights
    Milan 1 night
    Venice 2 nights, i would like to know if we should pre book all our train tickets for can we catch the trains as we want once at the stations? i know now that ROme to Naples, i will prebook, what about the rest?
    thank you

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Your itinerary looks great!! High speed trains need to be booked in advance (Rome to Naples, Naples to Florence, Florence to Milan, Milan to Venice). You might also want to look into getting a rail pass since you will use the trains so much. Take a look at the website italiarail.com. On this website it’s very easy to book your trains (with a small service fee) and get info on the rail pass. Between Naples and Sorrento you can take the Circumvesuviana (no need to pre-book this one) or hire a driver. Have fun! Cheers, Julie

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