As a cruise enthusiast, I often plan my own excursions while in port. I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of making my own plans while also saving a considerable amount of money by not booking one of the many excursions offered by the cruise lines.
On a recent Mediterranean cruise aboard the Norwegian Epic, our itinerary included a stop in Naples, Italy, the birth place of the pizza! We docked at the Port of Naples, or Porto di Napoli, though our plan was to spend the day visiting Sorrento on the Amalfi Coast.
Porto di Napoli is a great port building to get you introduced to the city.The port building is clean and easy to navigate. There are some nice souvenir shops as well as some clothing stores, typical for European port facilities. One store in particular was a favorite of mine - Real Luxury. Real Luxury is located just near the main entrance, specializes in high-end clothing and is run by a designer named Marco. He has designed, among many other items, an array of men's ties with multiple folds in the actual fabric. The most intricate of which is a "12-fold tie" that I think is just amazing.
Once you're outside the main doors and ready to begin your day trip to Sorrento, prepare yourself to be accosted by dozens of pushy taxi drivers. They engage you immediately to find out where you want to go and get you to hire them. Some are extremely pushy and will not take no for an answer without pushing harder. Some will even follow you for a bit while trying to get your attention and continuing to ask you questions about where you'd like to go. I had one guy follow me all the way to the sidewalk trying to get my attention and my business.
Make sure you research all transportation options before your trip here. Hiring a taxi isn't always the most cost effective, or even the most scenic, option. Directly in front of Porto Di Napoli we took a street rail car to the main Naples Train Station - Stazione di Napoli Centrale. That ride cost us 4.50€ each.
Once we arrived to the train station you realize it's pretty large and bustling with activity for an early Tuesday morning. The station is easy to navigate, though. If you know where it is you'd like to go you can certainly find the right train. If your stop isn't the final stop on the route, you may need to know the final destination just as much as the actual stop you're looking to make it to. A roundtrip ticket to Sorrento will cost you 7€ per person.
The trains here aren't that clean, nor are they pretty. Ours left Naples from platform 7. The trains from Naples to Sorrento are commuter trains, so be ready for a packed train after a few stops, especially if you're riding in the morning or afternoon.
This is in my opinion the easiest and most scenic way to get to Sorrento from Naples for a day visit during your cruise. It's inexpensive and the views are outstanding.
Sorrento's relatively small station has just 4 platforms and is the starting point / ending point for its train routes. The farther pair of the four platforms are accessible via an underground pathway with stairs and an elevator. The train schedule board is easy to figure out too, if you don't know Italian very well, that is.
This nice little train station is located just a few small blocks from the main square, Piazza Torquato Tasso, where you can begin your exploration of Sorrento and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast.
Sorrento, Italy is one of my favorites and traveling there by train should be on top of your list the next time your Mediterranean cruise stops at Porto di Napoli.
Safe and happy travels ahead!
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