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 Nicole
    Nicole

    Hi, I would be traveling from Rome to Amalfi coast and spend 2 nights there. Thinking of day trip to positano and Capri. Which train shall I take from Rome to Amalfi coast? Is there any ferry from amalfi coast to positano and Capri? How would you plan for my itinerary? From amalfi coast, I am going to Florence, please advise what transportation available? Do I need to book in advance? Thanks.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Nicole. I recommend you take a look at this article again (a lot of the answers to your questions are here). There is no train from Rome to the Amalfi Coast. You can take a train to Naples, and then read our section on Naples for how to get to the Amalfi Coast. There are ferries that operate between Capri and the Amalfi Coast (take a look at the Naples to Capri section). To get to Florence, you can take a train from Naples (take a look at the section on Naples for how to get here from the Amalfi Coast). I recommend having at least 3 full days in this area, one to visit the Amalfi Coast, one to day trip to Capri, and one day to visit Sorrento and/or Pompeii. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for JP
    JP

    Thanks for the great content. My wife and I were thinking of flying to Rome (from NYC) July 4th week. We will be traveling with our baby daughter, who will be 7ish months old in July. We are open to your suggestions about planning our itinerary, but ideally would like to minimize the amount of hotels we stayed in. We would perhaps stay in Rome for a night and then head South via train. What would be the best location to stay in if we value a safe location, close to the water, great restaurants, and proximity to do easy day trips. We would like to spend (day trips) time in Capri, Amalfi, Sorrento etc and just wanted to know where we should stay. Thanks again for your help!

    JP

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      As for that entire area of Sorrento/Amalfi/Capri, Sorrento is the easiest to get to and the easiest to also take day trips from. This is where we stayed during our visit. The “problem” with Sorrento is that there is not many beaches here, and what is here is small and very crowded. However, we loved Positano. In Positano, you will have access to the beach. It will be a little more difficult to go on day trips, but you can take a ferry to Sorrento/Capri/Amalfi which might be perfect, keeping you off of the congested roads in the summer months. So, if you want convenience, stay in Sorrento. If you want the beach, go to Positano. Both towns will have great restaurants. Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for JP
        JP

        Thanks for your quick response. 2 last questions-Assuming we wanted to stay in both Amalfi and Capri separately, what is the easiest itinerary assuming we are coming from Rome and would have to go back to Rome. We would be taking the train from Rome down to Naples and would go directly to Capri or Amalfi first and then to the other location second and then back to Rome. I simply wanted to know if you would recommend one location first logistically.
        Second-Assuming we stayed in 2 different locations, would you suggest Sorrento as one over Capri/Amalfi. Location convenience is no longer that important as it will be just my wife and me traveling. We would value beach access, good food, some action, and the surrounding beauty most of all. We would have 5 nights in the area. Thanks again!

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
          Author
          Julie

          5 nights, that sounds nice! I’m not sure the order matters too much. I think it would depend upon the train and ferry schedules and how they line up. You could arrive in Naples and then take a ferry right to Capri. Once finished with Capri, consider taking the ferry to Amalfi. Then, to get back to Rome, hire a driver to get to Naples and take the train. Of course, you can do this in the opposite order.

          I think it would be nice to stay in either Amalfi or Positano as one of your two home bases. As far as choosing between Capri and Sorrento, they each have their advantages. It’s very easy to get to Sorrento and Sorrento has a lot of hotels and restaurants to choose from. From Sorrento, it’s simple to take a day trip to Capri. Plus, you could hire a driver from Sorrento to take you one way down the Amalfi Coast, visiting Positano and Praiano on the way, and dropping you off in Amalfi (so your transportation and a day of sightseeing gets lumped into one cost…as long as you don’t mind leaving your luggage in the car with the driver…we do this in a lot of places and so far have not had an issue).

          If you stay in Capri, you get to see it at night and in the morning, once the day trippers leave. Sometimes when we have trouble trying to decide between two different towns, we do a hotel search. Sometimes, the price helps make the decision easier or you find a really great hotel that you just can’t pass up. But either option will be very nice.

          Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Jennifer H
    Jennifer H

    Hi Julie, This is so helpful! Thank you for your sage advice. This is our first time in Rome as a family. Which of these three trips do you think would be most toddler-friendly? We are spending 9 weeks in Rome for my husband’s job and we have a six day holiday available to travel with our two year old. We are happy to hire a driver if we go to the Coast. Or do you have other ideas on places to go in Italy that might be toddler-friendly and easily accessible from Rome? Thank you! Respectfully, Jennifer

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Jennifer. Sorry, I don’t know which three trips you are referring to (maybe our 3 different itineraries for Italy?). Capri, Sorrento, and the Amalfi Coast make a nice destination with a toddler. You could stay in Positano for a few days and enjoy the beach, and from here, day trip to Capri by ferry. Of course, how long you stay out all day depends on your toddler’s nap schedule and their ability to sleep anywhere. You could also go to Tuscany for a few days and visit the hill towns. That would be much more fun for the adults than your toddler. I personally like the Amalfi Coast/Sorrento idea just because it’s a nice, relaxed destination, and gorgeous! Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Christinaa
    Christinaa

    Hello Julie! First and foremost, I wanted to say great site and thank you for your post, super helpful to first time travelers like ourselves. After stumbling onto your page, We have since forwarded your site to our family and friends and signed up for your newsletter. 🙂

    My husband and I are planning to take my parents on vacation. We are planning for a 12 days vacation but if you suggest that 12 days is not enough to see everything, we could possibly take another two days off too. Please advise us of best methods of travel and days of stay. This groups loves to eat, site-see and are ok to walk around.

    Our preliminary plan:
    (Flying from Toronto)

    Greece (Athens, Santorini, Mkonos)- 5 days
    Rome- 2 days
    Venice and/or Florence (2 days, one day in each city) if not enough time, Venice would trump Florence.
    Sorrento (Base) – 3 days
    Day trips to Almafi Coast, Positano and Capri.
    Can we fly back to our hometown Toronto from the Almafi coast so we don’t backtrack?

    Of course we are on a budget but we absolutely do not mind splurging on transportation if it meant to keep our parents from long waits, no seats for long hours, and having to walk too much to rush to board on to our next destination.

    Any advice, tips on transportation methods and prices,, days and duration of stay in each place, basing out of one city to do day trips out of is MUCH APPRECIATED, I wrote it in caps because we are all first time travelers to these destinations and we really do value your detailed opinion and time you’re taking to answer us! 🙂

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Christinaa. 5 days is a bit quick for Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos, especially if you will need some of this time to travel to Italy. How about just visiting Athens and Santorini (2 days in Athens and 3 days in Santorini)? We will be doing something very similar in April (Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and Naxos but over 11 days). That also means that at the end of April I will start writing about Greece so make sure you keep checking back to our website. 😉 From Athens, you can fly or take a ferry to get to Santorini. Then, to get to Italy, you can either ferry back to Athens and fly, or just see if you can fly from Santorini to Rome (maybe via Athens).

      For your time in Italy, you want to visit all of the cities we list in our #2 itinerary of our 10 days in Italy post. I would plan your time in Italy how we have it laid out here. You don’t have enough time to see Venice and Florence, so substitute the Florence/Tuscany part of this itinerary with Venice. To get to Venice from Sorrento, you can either take a combination of trains or fly from Naples to Venice. For your budget, you might spend $150 USD (budget-mid range) to $300 (mid-range to upscale) per person per day Italy and Greece (not including flights). It will be starting to get cool at the beginning of October. We visited Italy at the end of September (I raced Ironman Italy) and water temps were cool but midday temps were in the 70’s.

      Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Khalid
    Khalid

    Excellent article, and very helpful! My wife and I are planning to visit Italy in June; Rome and Amalfi Coast. I am a very experienced driver and we were planning on driving down from Rome to Amalfi Coast and then driving up to Naples and catching a flight out of Naples back home.

    Do you see any issues with this plan? Do you know if we can rent a car in Rome and return it in Naples?

    Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Yes, you should be able to rent a car in Rome and drop it in Naples. In June, just expect traffic on the roads and maybe some difficulty finding parking in the small towns on the Amalfi Coast. If you are an experienced driver, you should be fine driving the along the Amalfi Coast. These roads are windy but not terribly narrow or difficult to drive (giant tour buses get down them just fine). Have fun! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Deb
    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      You can book seats ahead of time on the train from Rome to Naples, the ferry to Capri, and the boat tour to the Blue Grotto. Local trains and the Circumvesuviana cannot be booked ahead of time. Cheers, Julie

  7. Avatar for Eleanor
    Eleanor

    Hi Julie, we are considering Italy for the summer and I am curious if you’re fluent in Italian or if you were able to get by with just broken Italian? Or perhaps they have signs in English?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      We are not fluent in Italian. It’s very easy to get by just knowing English. There are signs in English and many Italians are fluent in Italian and English. However, it’s good to know some words in Italian before you go (hello, please, thank you, etc). Cheers, Julie

  8. Avatar for Toni
    Toni

    How difficulty is it to drive, really? We will be driving from Rome, and intend to remain park when we reach our hotel in Sorrento. We are very experienced drivers, but so many posts dissuade driving whatsover. Is it really that perilous? Are there any “back roads” available to avoid the dreaded coastal highway? Are the roads less crowed on week days? I understand this may be beyond your expertise, but your thoughts are appreciated.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      We didn’t drive the Amalfi Coast but we did see it from a bus and I don’t think the roads are bad. Perilous is not a word I would use to describe the drive. It’s windy but it’s a wide road (giant tour buses do fine on it). If you are an experienced driver and want to do it, go for it. We have driven on much worse in Europe (and other places) and we would have driven the Amalfi Coast if it weren’t for our budget. You should also know that parking in the towns can be very difficult in the summer months. I have heard stories of people spending most of their time searching for a parking space, so just be aware of this if you plan to do this drive from May to September. And no, I don’t know of any back roads. There is just the one main road along the coast. Cheers, Julie

  9. Avatar for Dana
    Dana

    I am going to he traveling with friends in March to alot of Italy. They do not want to go to Amalfi Coast. I am thinking of staying a week longer and going. I would be traveling from Rome. I would like to maybe stay in two different areas but do day trips to others. Can you please give me a suggested itinerary? Thank you.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      A week will give you lots of time on the Amalfi Coast. You could spend three leisurely days in Sorrento. On day one, travel to Sorrento and spend the rest of the day sightseeing in Sorrento, on day two day trip to Capri, and on day three day trip to Pompeii. On day four, take the ferry from Sorrento to either Positano or Amalfi and use this as your next home base. Spend one day driving the Amalfi Coast (best with a driver however it is probably not that crowded in March so you could rent a car and do it on your own if like that idea). Spend one day in Positano. You will probably end up with an extra day or two. Another day trip idea is to visit Naples from Sorrento and use the ferry to get back and forth between the two. Any extra time you have you can add to Rome. I don’t know how long you plan to spend here but another day is always a nice idea since there is so much to do here. Cheers, Julie

  10. Avatar for Alyssa
    Alyssa

    Hi! I’m looking to move to Amalfi Coast from the US. I would be bringing my 2 dogs. I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to take them on the train, taxi, etc. Any advice or knowledge you can shed on this would be very helpful! Thank you in advance!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Alyssa. I don’t know much about traveling with pets since we have not done this. However, I do not recall seeing dogs on the trains when we used them. You should check the railway website for more info. Good luck! Cheers, Julie

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