I'm planning a trip to Italy in May 2017. I have 10 days and here's what I want to do.
Not in that order.. I know the distance between these regions are long but I don't have much time and would like to see and do as much as possible.
Please let me know how to get to each area by train and how long you think I need to spend in each...
Cinque Terre 3 days, Amalfi and Positano 1/2 day each, but perhaps one more for the amalfi coast. Florence 2 days. We hired a driver to pick us up in Naples and take us down the coast sightseeing, stopping in Positano for lunch and Ravella before taking us to our hotel in Amalfi. Spent about 8 hours. Well worth it!! Beware of pickpockets on the train from Naples to the coast. We experienced seeing this the first time we went to the coast. Hiring the driver was much better.
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Visiting all these places in just 10 days will inevitably mean you see very little of them, so do be prepared for that. You could very easily spend all 10 days in Florence or Naples alone.
The five villages of the Cinque Terre each have their own railway station and, if you wish, it is easy to see them all in just one full day using the train from e.g. a base in La Spezia. Trains are frequent.
Florence deserves a minimum of two full days.
Naples deserves an absolute minimum of one full day, just to see just its historical centre. Seeing any more needs more than one day.
See below for transport details and info:
Other than a very few private and commuter lines, you can find almost all Italy train times, details and fares in English on the official Italian railway website:
Some high-speed routes are also run by the Italo company. Their stations, times and fares (in English on the official site below) are much the same as Trenitalia:
Italian train fares are very reasonable and there are good advance online discount fares for the faster trains. These fares tie you to a specific date and departure time but can offer very considerable savings.
Buying any sort of Eurail pass is very unlikely to be financially worthwhile in Italy....and even with a pass you will have to pay reservation fees for reservation-only trains (the high-speed ones).
Neither Positano nor Amalfi has a railway service. You will need to take the Sita bus which runs from Sorrento to Amalfi, serving Positano on the way. Bus timetable here:
Sorrento is served by the Circumvesuviana commuter railway which runs to and from Naples (Pompeii and Herculaneum are stations on the same line). Circumvesuviana fares are fairly cheap and services pretty frequent. Timetables for the Napoli>Sorrento line on the official site:
If you visit in the warmer months, the Cinque Terre and Sorrento + Amalfi Coast are extremely busy with visitors, with accommodation rates at their highest. Outside low season the Sorrento>Amalfi buses can and do get full-up, with long queues at bus stops.
Hope that helps. Feel free to ask more questions if you need to do so. :-)
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Thank you very much for all the responses. Much appreciated.