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Side trip to Campagna

Columbus, New Jersey
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23 posts
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Side trip to Campagna

I am planning my summer vacation with my husband and two children, ages 6 and 4. We will land in Rome and stay there for three days. We plan to rent a car the day we leave Rome and go south. We'd like to see Pompei and stay somewhere in the Cilento Coast for five nights.

Here are my questions: Should we go directly to Cilento and make Pompei a day trip during our five day stay in Cilento or should we stop at Pompei before we go to Cilento? If we stop at Pompei, is it okay to leave our luggages in the car?

Where should we stay in Cilento? Castellabate, Marina di Ascea (Agriturismo Iscairia looks nice), or Marina di Camerota? I prefer shallow water for the children which would indicate Castellabate as our choice. However, I'd like them to see the grotta in Palinuro or Porto degli Infreschi near Camerota.

I appreciate any advice. Grazie mille...

Capri, Italy
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for Sorrento, Capri
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1. Re: Side trip to Campagna

I think it's better stop at Pompei before to go to Cilento. From Pompei to Cilento is almost two hours by car and in summer on the road can be traffic. If you'll parking in a privat car park it's not a problem leave your luggages in teh car.

About you destination in Cilento. All beaches in Cilento that i know have shallow water. Palinuro has a beatiful beach but in summer time it's very very busy, like as Marina di Camerota. I don't know about Ascea. Anyway Santa Maria di Castellabate from Palinuro is almost one hour. A good idea is charter a boat and visit in this way the "Grotte di Palinuro" and Porto degli Infreschi.

Buon viaggio!

Salerno, Italia
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2. Re: Side trip to Campagna

Dear dlfr,

You might think about just staying in Pompei for one night. The drive from Roma to Pompei will take around 2.5+ hours or so depending on traffic and how you drive. If you stop in Pompei, you could check in, see the Pompei Scavi, drive up to Vesuvio, head back to Pompei, park the car, walk to downtown Pompei (15+ minute walk from the Pompei Scavi area) for gelato and coffee and maybe to see the Santuario, and then you could have dinner in Pompei or even drive out to some other restaurants. If you've never seen Sorrento or even the Pensiola Sorrentina, you could consider going there for dinner or for a stroll/gelato/coffee/etc. You could take a Circumvesuviana Train from especially the Pompei Scavi/Villa dei Misteri stop or just drive to Sorrento or anywhere along the Penisola Sorrentina. You could even take a Circumvesuviana Train into downtown Napoli (driving in downtown Napoli is insane).

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Pompei is extremely tourist-friendly with many hotels and parking lots right near the Pompei Scavi. From the A3 autostrada going south to Salerno/Reggio Calabria, you'd get off at the first exit for Pompei to reach the Scavi. The 2nd exit is for downtown Pompei and Scafati.

From the edge of Cilento maybe somewhere in Capaccio (Paestum is a frazione/mini suburb or townshop of Capaccio), it would take around 1.5 hours or so to reach Pompei and the major problem is that the SS18 road out of Paestum isn't like a freeway/autostrada as you'd hit one lane traffic stopping at many stoplights. If you were thinking about going to the Costiera Cilentana, it would take even longer to backtrack and reach Pompei.

Getting back to the A3 autostrada south is pretty easy from Pompei and I'm pretty sure there's an autostrada entrance right next to the Pompei Scavi Porta Marina Superiore entrance.

There are so many beaches on the Costiera Cilentana, however, each one differing from the other. In general, practically all the beaches on the Costiera Cilentana tend to have shallow water for wading and very gentle waves.

As a warning, Palinuro becomes completely packed in August and even toward the end of July. Also, around 8am-3pm the last weekend in July and during the first 3 weekends in August, traffic can be at a standstill from maybe Napoli all the way down to Agropoli. Then the traffic is bad the last weekend evenings of August going the other way. If you find yourself in the car during these periods, you could consider bringing water, renting a car with air-conditioning, and making a stops at any bars or Autogrills (food pit stops along the autostrada). That new 2nd galleria/tunnel supposedly eased southbound Summer traffic, however, I think it's for drivers heading toward the A3 to Calabria.

Buona Fortuna...

3. Re: Side trip to Campagna

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