The Campania Arte Card is a great way to explore Campania's many attractions and archaeological sites. Here's what you need to know in order to take advantage of this deal:
Anyone can use the full-price Arte Card. The reduced-rate card for those 18-25 can only be purchased by people residing in EU countries or countries with a reciprocal agreement with Italy. This does not include American and Canadian citizens. For childen, it is less expensive to simply pay the reduced children's rate at the site entrance.
The three-day card includes free admission to the first two sites and half price admission to any others, plus transportation. You can travel on the local transportation system (Circumvesuviana train, local busses, one return trip on the Metro del Mare's Line 1 and one trip on the airport bus). The three-day card costs EUR 25 for adults or EUR 18 for those 18-25 (see above).
The seven-day card includes free admission to all the sites for a week, but no transportation. It costs EUR 28 for adults and EUR 21 for those 18-25 (see above). If you're moving to the area, a year-round card is also available.
The card is available for purchase at the entrance to the sites, usually in the bookstore or information center. Once you buy the card, write your name and the date on the back and go to the ticket window, where they will activate your card.
You can enter each site only once using the card. No repeat vists are allowed.
Popular sites include Pompeii, Herculaneum, Paestum and it's museum, and the Naples Archaeological Museum. Included are also a variety of discounts on local services and tourist attractions.
In Sorrento, the card gives you discounted admission to several museums.
I’d read in our guide book that you could get a useful free map of the town from the Tourist Information Office in Via L di Maio, which it described as being “just off” the Piazza Tasso. Indeed, this road does lead off the square, at its north west corner, and soon widens into another, smaller square, with what looked like a tourist office on our left. However when we asked in here we were directed further down the road and to our right, where we found the office, also known as the Circolo dei Forestieri. Here we got our free map, and very useful it proved too! We realised later that the first office we’d tried was intended for locals who wanted to be tourists elsewhere, i.e. a sort of travel agency. If you find yourself somewhere that looks like my second photo you too are in the wrong place!
As well as using the map to guide you around the town, there are signs in useful places and a couple of walking trails indicated, including one we followed for part of its length through the craftsmen and artists’ quarter. But really, this is a town best suited to simply strolling and seeing where your footsteps lead you, as there are no obvious sights – though I do recommend that you ensure that at some point they lead you to the water’s edge in the Marina Grande.
Fondest memory: When we did get to the right office I was so taken with this pretty cat sitting on a scooter outside that I forgot to take a photo of it. I hope he's there again when you visit, so you'll know you're in the right place ;)
One company runs all excursions in Sorrento, so there is no need to shop around.
We purchased ours from our tour operator, we felt it was safer to do it this way because we were paying by credit card and you hear so many stories about fraud these days.
The cruise along the Amalfi Coast was fantastic. You make two stops, inluding one at Amalfi and you get to see the whole of the coastline without getting travel sick from all the winding roads (providing the sea is calm!)
The island of Capri is beautiful, but see it independantly otherwise you are just hearded around with thousnands of other tourists. You rep will tell you that it is not easy to get around on Capri, however we saw planty of taxis as well as a tram that takes you from the port to the chic town of Capri.
Don't bother doing the day trip to Rome. It takes much longer by coach than they tell you and there is not much time to spare when you get there. Rome is so beautiful that you are better off doing a separate trip there. We managed to get EasyJet flights there for fifty pounds each.
The volcano and Pompeii excursion is fantastic, although toilet facitiies are not the best!
A full day at Pompeii is too much unless you are interested in history and ancient ruins in a big way. Half a day is ideal becuase there are many interesting things to see. It can also get very hot because the sun reflects off the stones on the floor.
We did not travel to Naples, but there is a train station in Sorrento where you can purchase tickets which are much cheaper than going by organised excursion, but watch out for pick pockets and people on the make at the train station in Naples.
I had expected Capri to be a tourist trap, but, while it is full of tourists, overcrowded and expensive, it also offers amazing scenery, lovely walks and many interesting things to see and visit. All in all it was one of the nicest places I visited in Italy. Have a look at my Capri page for more about this.
Capri is easy to reach from Sorrento. The hydrofoils leave very regularly (alomst every hour 19 Euros return) while the cheaper, but slower, ferry travels less often (14 Euros return).
Favorite thing: Explore the city centre and the coastline of Sorrento. In the narrow cobbled alleyways are plenty of little shops, cafes and restaurants. A few churches, monuments and the remains of the enclosure walls are the historic sights of the town.
Favorite thing: Make a stroll around the two harbours Marina Piccola and Marina Grande. The local fishing boats leave from Marina Grande. The wharf for the ferries to the islands of Capri and Ischia, to Naples and to Castellammare is located at Marina Piccola.
Sorrento is one of the best known resorts in Italy, situated on an incredible coastline of unrivalled beauty, on the northern slope of the Sorrentine Peninsula surrounded by luxuriant hills where olives and the best quality citrus fruits are grown. The site of was a favored retreat of the Romans, and here they built their fabulous villas. Sorrento has been nicknamed “La Gentile” because of the gentleness of its climate, the refinement of its streets and gardens and of the friendliness of its inhabitants.
Fondest memory: I found Sorrento to be captivating city, you can enjoy the scenery, take a boat ride to Capri, take a bus or car ride (if you're brave) down the Amalfi Coast, take a trip to Pompeii or roam the shops for inlaid wooden items and lovely cameo jewelry. A great destination to visit with much to do and see.
Fondest memory: We took a boat ride from Sorrento to Naples through the Tyrrhenian Sea (Bay of Naples), and the view was spectacular. The water was blue. The sky was blue. And you could get a clear view of the distant volcano. It was very enjoyable.
Favorite thing: Avoid the slightly tacky and over priced bars and cafes around the edges of Piazza Tasso and do as the locals do. While away an hour or two in Bar Erculano, bang in the centre of the square enclosed by low hedges. Some of the bets people watching in the world and half the price of anywhere else.
Because we had to travel via a certain route in order to reach the port, this was what I noticed en route:
I noticed that most of the houses near the port of NAPLES looked badly depilated; the roads here were dirty with litter strewn all over the place and the pedestrians were DASHING across from one street to another without a care for their safety. My heart really did skip a beat.