Pompeii - Unannounced closures.
Advertised opening hours at Pompeii are 08:30 to 19:30 April- October. We arrived at around 10:15 on a Tuesday to find notices on all gates saying closed until 11:30 for a "Staff Meeting". We interpreted this to mean industrial action by employees.
When the gates eventually opened a little after the time the notices advised many coaches had arrived all expecting the opening to be from 08:30. Combined with all the other visitors the result was quite simply chaos.
On returning to out Hotel we learned that this is not an unusual occurrence and announcements are never made in advance. We also learned from other travellers that Herculaneum and presumably other sites suffered the in the same way.
This did not spoil our day at one of the greatest historical sites in the world but I pass on this information as a warning.
Trip to the hills in a 50's style tram
We thought this trip into the country would make a change from the bustle of Sorrento. It was in a bus done up as a 50's style tram and the idea was that you went up to a village in the hills, enjoyed the panoramic view and came back ten minutes later or waited for the next bus to come along. We thought we would have a drink up there and enjoy the view and wait for the next bus. In reality it was a trip to a shop selling local produce (admittedly you could try a couple of things). The shop had a cafe so we said we would stop and have a drink but the guide said the next bus probably wasn't running so we would be stuck up there. It was a very short, pointless trip and definitely not worth the money.
Taxi's - Rip off
Taxis in Sorrento and the rest of Italy are a rip off, It cost's 12 to 15 euro for a short journey of about 1 mile. (a 10 minute walk ) my mother had to use them as she is disabled and if anything that put the price up because they could tell that she had no choice. She got a Taxi back from Piazza Tasso to Via Cocumela in St Agnello at 23:50 and it cost 19 euro, The driver said it was because it was Night. when it was mentioned that Taxi's were very expensive the driver said it was because he only works 6 month's of the year.
Unique Suggestions: You can Haggle a price for the journey before you get in and you will knock at least a third of the original price but it will still be expensive.
Fun Alternatives: Buses are the best form of transport at only 1 euro for 60 minutes travel.
The Train is fantastic for longer distances with prices starting at e1.80 for up o 100 minutes travel time.
- Family Travel
- Women's Travel
Walk or Ride - But What Should I Ride?
Okay, it's a given that you must have great legs if you are going to do some walking exploration, and walking exploration is just what I recommend for visiting Sorrento. Once you get to where the restaurants and shoppes are the streets are quite narrow, much like an alley really. So my tip is, Walk!
Here's the trap, it's not the taxi cab, or the bike rentals, it's a horse drawn carriege ride. I didn't personally take this ride myself because I'm sure I'd look quite ridiculous riding on these "romantic" transporation contraptions by myself. I travel alone so...NO; no horse drawn carriege for me. I did talk to some people who did get on it, and they said it was quite expensive. There was actually an argument beteween a couple because the new bride thought the ride to be romantic and well worth the Euros they shelled out but the new groom disagreed... you can imagine then that I just walked away (skulked away is more like it)...Thik of the horse drawn carrieges as the gondolas in Venezia. It's okay if you're on honeymoon or if you are very romantic, but if you're on a budget, alone (unless this is a deep rooted desire of yours), and interested in learning more of Sorrento by foot...walk.
Fun Alternatives: Walk, walk, walk, walk. You will find this tip a constant of mine in my travel pages. I love to explore cities by foot. Not only do you submerge yourself in daily life and get to know the streets and very interesting people, but you never know what you may discover and this may make the difference in having a good trip to having a wonderful trip loaded with experiences you will always cherish and remember often.
The trip out to the renowned...
The trip out to the renowned Blue Grotto by boat was pleasant enough and quite an adventure as you have to step from a motor launch to a small rowing boat to enter the caves. The actual cave itself though was disappointing - there are more interesting places on Capri to discover.