Amalfi Coast- Getting There

Train from Naples to Sorrento

There are many ways to get to the Amalfi Coast. You will not find all of your options here only the way we took to get there. If you would like a great outline of all of your options I would suggest purchasing this book. Rick Steve’s will tell you everything you need to know.

We visited the Amalfi Coast during the peak summer season. Since we’re New Yorkers, congestion, crowds and the like are not foreign to us however, we try to avoid all of that on vacation as much as we possibly can. Now on the other hand we also like to be practical as well so renting a private driver to take us everywhere we want to go is not an option.

Our journey to the Amalfi Coast started in Rome, from there we took a train to Naples. Since we wanted to get to our destination seamlessly with as little sweat as possible, our initial plan was to get a taxi from Naples Centrale Train Station to the Ferry port. This is what Rick Steve’s had recommended and we always trust his advice.

After arriving in Naples Centrale station though it was a lot easier to navigate than I had anticipated. Upon our arrival we immediately saw signs that directed us to the Circumvesuviana train which is a commuter train that goes to Sorrento, where we would be able to catch a ferry to our ultimate destination, Positano.

We figured, instead of getting a taxi to a ferry why not just hop on a train from here? It seemed so easy. After purchasing tickets for the Circumvesuviana and finding the right track we approached the train with less than 20 seconds to spare. The train was about to leave as we walked up so we had no time to waste.

We ran as fast we could with our luggage and luckily we were able to get into the car just as the doors were closing. Right after the doors closed and I was able to wipe the sweat off of my face and gather my bearings that was when I realized I wish we would have taken the boat.

The Circumvesuviana is an adventure, but not one that will leave you immediate satisfaction. You’ll be able to laugh about it afterwards and thank god that you were able to survive without getting ripped off. While you are on it though you will question if you just stepped on a one way train going to hell. Remember, we live in NYC  so we are not strangers to public transit of any kind. I ride the NYC subway every single day but the Circumvesuviana is not the NYC subway by any means.

First the train is not air conditioned, so since we were traveling in July we sweated like whores in a church on Sunday. In addition, the train was extremely crowded with little room to move around and of course since it was crowded we had to stand. The train also was very old and rickety. It made me appreciate how cool, clean and comfortable our NYC subway is (I can’t believe I just said that).

Plus it was a little shadycakes. I didn’t feel stared at or singled out in any way but I definitely didn’t feel like I could just relax. Part of the reason why I think I was nervous was in our Rick Steve’s book he warned that pickpockets are prevalent on this train. This left me a little paranoid. I personally felt like I needed to watch my bag closely and make eye contact with people. I definitely got the impression that if I did relax a bit and was not aware of my surroundings I could get ripped off. When Q and I discussed this later he said he didn’t feel that way at all so I think since he hadn’t read that section of the book, he didn’t go in jaded as I had. It could have just been me.

The train ride from Naples to Sorrento took a little over an hour. About 20-30 minutes after leaving Naples the train did start to empty out and luckily, we were able to get seats together.

I have to say that had we done this any other time of year other than July it would definitely had been a better experience. Totally our fault for going in peak season.

I didn’t take any pictures of this adventure but this route did allow us to see towns outside of Naples which I really liked as it allowed a glimpse into the everyday lives of the residents of Naples, see where they lived, how they get there etc. Ultimately, I am glad we took the train even though it wasn’t the most comfortable way to travel. Next time, if we visit in the summer, we’re taking the ferry from Naples. Some adventures you don’t need to repeat.

Once we arrived in Sorrento we had a 20 minute walk to the ferry port. There are taxis but since we pack light it was no big deal to just walk. Once at the ferry port you can purchase tickets to anywhere along the coast as well as Capri. We purchased our tickets to Positano and boarded our ferry right away. If you have to wait there are several cafes in the port where you can sit in the shade and enjoy a refreshment.

Upon boarding the ferry there is an area for you to put your suitcase. Leave it there and go find a good seat. The ferry ride is gorgeous with stunning views of Capri and of course if you are headed to Positano you will not want to miss what it looks like from the water. I will never forget it. I recommend sitting at the very top of the ferry in the open air for the best views. If you can’t grab a seat there and don’t mind standing, wait near the luggage. You will have to stand but it’s worth it. You will see beauty you never knew existed.

View of Positano from Boat


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