OPTION 1 Rome to Sorrento then on to Amalfi Coast (most popular, fastest, and greatest frequency):
1. Take the high speed Frecciarossa or Italo trains from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale (fastest travel time between Rome and Naples is about 1 hours 10 minutes).
2. Walk downstairs to the underground Circumvesuviana station
3. Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento (65 minutes; 4 Euros, frequency every 30 minutes; unreserved train)
4. SITA bus to Positano (50 minutes; 3.60 Euros; hourly frequency)
OPTION 2 (limited schedules, but particularly useful for the physically challenged, plus (nearly) cheapest option):
1. Marozzi bus from Roma Tiburtina (not Termini) to Sorrento (4 hours and 17.50 Euros on Marozzi). Marozzi operates year-round. Check website for precise departure times.
From June through September, the 7:00 a.m. Marozzi bus from Rome goes to Sorrento and beyond to Positano, Praiano and Amalfi (20.50 Euros).
2. SITA bus to Positano as above (or Marozzi direct to Positano/Praiano/Amalfi from June through September only).
Rome to Amalfi Coast Travel Notes:
1. There are frequent Trenitalia connections to/from both Roma Termini (32 minutes; 14 Euros) and Roma Tiburtina (45 minutes; 8 Euros) and Fiumicino (FCO) Airport. If taking Marozzi bus, connect at Roma Tiburtina. If taking Trenitalia, connect at Roma Termini. There is also a cheaper airport bus (8 Euros) from Fiumicino Airport to the square in front of Roma Termini Station, which is not quite as fast, nor as frequent, as the train to Termini.
2. The Cooperativa Sant’Andrea ferry boats between Salerno-Concordia Dock and Amalfi/Positano operate from April through October. Concordia Dock is approx. 400 meters from the Salerno train station. Depending on the season, weather conditions, schedules and connections, sometimes routing through Salerno (instead of Naples) and proceeding to Amalfi or Positano by ferry boat is the optimal solution when coming from Rome.
3. From April through October, there are additional ferry boats and hydrofoils operated by Alicost from Salerno-Manfredi Dock (two kilometers west of the train station, near the old Jolly Hotel) to Amalfi and Positano, but these are less convenient than the Cooperativa Sant’Andrea boats from the Concordia Dock.
4. DISCOUNT BUS TICKETS FOR TRAVEL ALONG AMALFI COAST (Salerno to Sorrento including Ravello):
UNICO COSTIERA 24-hr. ticket: 7.20 Euros
UNICO COSTIERA 3-day ticket: 18 Euros
5. DISCOUNT TICKET FOR BUS/TRAIN TRAVEL THROUGHOUT CAMPANIA REGION (including Amalfi Coast): UNICO CAMPANIA 3-day tourist ticket: 20 Euros (also covers everything covered by the UNICO COSTIERA tickets described above). Covers a multitude of routes, including all Naples/Sorrento/Salerno city buses, Naples subway and funiculars, Trenitalia unreserved REGIONALE trains (not the faster reserved trains) throughout Campania, Circumvesuviana trains, Mt. Vesuvius buses, SITA buses throughout Campania (including along the Amalfi Coast), CSTP buses between Salerno and Paestum, buses on Ischia and Procida, SEPSA buses and trains, ALIBUS between central Naples and NAP Airport. Does NOT cover any ferries or hydrofoils, or buses/funicular on Capri. Usually a better value than the 3-day UNICO COSTIERA ticket described above.
6. ARTECARD: If planning to visit museums or archeological sites within the Campania Region, consider purchasing one of the Campania Arte Cards, some of which include free transportation by bus/train. In particular, consider the 3-day “tutta la regione” artecard (27 Euros) which includes all the transportation benefits of the UNICO CAMPANIA 3-day ticket described above, plus free entrance to TWO museums or archeological sites in the circuit, plus a 50% reduction in the entrance fees to additional museums or archeological sites.
7. Going to Praiano? Stay on the SITA bus from Sorrento for another 25 minutes to reach Praiano. If you prefer to avoid the connection in Naples to the Circumvesuviana rail, you could also connect through Salerno, as described below. The difference in travel time depends largely on the train taken to Naples or Salerno, plus connection times and travel conditions. Taking the AV train and connecting in Naples will be fastest (and most expensive).
8. Going to Amalfi or Ravello? Take a Trenitalia train to Salerno (not Naples), then the hourly SITA bus to Amalfi (75 minutes; 3.60 Euros), then the connecting hourly SITA bus up the hill to Ravello (25 minutes; 2.40 Euros). The SITA bus departs directly in front of the Salerno train station. Buy the bus ticket at the newsstand inside the station. There are AV, ES and IC trains from Rome to Salerno, but the morning trains are either the ES (150 minutes; 39 Euros) or the IC (180 minutes; 25 Euros). The AV trains (120 minutes; 48 Euros) are in the afternoon/early evening.
9. Going to Cetara, Maiori, Minori or Atrani? Follow the routing to Amalfi via Salerno, per note 9 above. The bus fare to Cetara is 2.40 Euros; to the other towns, 3.60 Euros.
10. There is also a direct bus from Fiumicino Airport (departs 15:20) to Salerno-SITA bus terminal (ar. 19:10) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, for 15 Euros. First piece of luggage is free; additional pieces are 5 Euros each. The service increases to daily except Sundays from June 15 through September 15. While this is a late afternoon departure, it represents the easiest and cheapest way to travel between Fiumicino Airport and Salerno (with connections to Amalfi and surrounding towns).
11. Travellers electing to use public transportation should note: (i) the fact that the Circumvesuviana trains and the SITA buses along the Amalfi Coast can get very crowded at times; (ii) the absence of elevators in the Salerno station (unless this has changed recently?) and the need to haul luggage up steps to reach the main vestibule of the station and exit doors; (iii) the lack of dedicated space on the Circumvesuviana train (a commuter train) for stowing large luggage; (iv) the lift doors to the underfloor luggage compartment of the SITA buses, which a few travellers may find burdensome to lift (ask for assistance); and (v) the number of steps needed to reach your hotel from the bus stop or ferry landing (particularly the case in Positano and Ravello). Some tourists have reported that the easiest mode of transportation is to arrange for a private transfer from the Naples train station to your hotel.
Traveling from Amalfi Coast to Rome:
Praiano to Rome from June through September:
1. DIRECT Marozzi bus to Roma Tiburtina; or
2. Route through Naples: SITA bus to Sorrento; Circumvesuviana train to Naples; Trenitalia train to Roma Termini; or
3. Route through Salerno: SITA bus to Amalfi; ferry boat to Salerno-Concordia Dock; Trenitalia train to Roma Termini.
1. The SITA bus fare between Naples/Sorrento as well as the Trenitalia train fare between Naples/Salerno is now 4.00 Euros. This trip requires the Unicocampania U5 ticket (or the equivalent Trenitalia train ticket). These tickets must be stamped when boarding the bus, or before boarding the train.
2. The distance between the Salerno train station and the departure dock of the Cooperative Sant’Andrea/Travelmar ferry boat to Amalfi/Positano is approx. 800 meters. Allow 10 minutes to walk between the station and the dock. The CSTP buses to Paestum stop directly in front of the long pier leading to the ferry dock, on the main coastal road leading out of Salerno towards Battipaglia. The modern Grand Hotel Salerno is visible less than one kilometer east of the bus stop.
3. The Salerno train station has an elevator for track one, and a separate elevator for tracks two and three. There is no elevator for track four, where many southbound trains (arriving from Rome and Naples) depart for Paestum, Agropoli and points south (including Sicily). This means that you must negotiate approx. 35 steps if departing from or arriving at track 4, whereas you can use the elevator if departing from or arriving at tracks 1, 2 or 3. The location of the elevators is NOT immediately apparent. They are not visible from the main foyer of the station (where the manned tickets windows and automated ticket kiosks are located). Instead, you must walk some 10 meters further to your right facing the station entrance (past the small Chef Express cafe/bar on the ground level), to the second underground tunnel at the east end, where the two elevators (and more stairways) are located. When getting off the train in Salerno, look for the Chef Express cafe/bar and/or the restrooms at the track level (by track 1). The elevators are located roughly perpendicular to the Chef Express and the restrooms. Remember that there is no elevator servicing track 4. Approx. 35 steps separate the track level from the street level.
4. You buy the SITA bus UNICOCOSTIERA bus tickets for the Amalfi Coast from the ticket agency adjacent to the newsstand inside the foyer of the Salerno train station. This ticket agency is NOT open on Sundays, nor before 9:00 a.m. or after 19:55. As of May 2011, the newsstand no longer sells UNICOCOSTIERA tickets (but only the regular UNICO CAMPANIA zone tickets for Campania residents). The ticket agency sells the 24-hr and 3-day UNICOCOSTIERA tickets, but NOT the 3-day UNICOCAMPANIA 3T Tourist Ticket, nor the CAMPANIA ARTECARDs (buy these at the Napoli Centrale train station). If you arrive or depart on a Sunday, or after opening hours of the ticket agency, you’ll need to find another sales outlet to purchase the bus ticket (or see whether the newsstand will sell you a regular zone ticket which is supposed to be used by Campania residents and not tourists). Don’t board the bus without a ticket, or you risk being fined. not surprisingly, anyone found fraudulently travelling without a valid ticket is liable to be fined.
5. The Roma Tiburtina bus depot (Marozzi buses to Sorrento) is located 300 meters from the Tibutina train station and metro station. Exiting the Tiburtina station, walk under the road overpass towards the area teeming with buses. You’ll soon see the ticket office and intercity buses lined up in the bus stalls.
6. Sometimes SITA buses between Sorrento and Amalfi had standing room only, and seats were difficult to find if boarding in Positano or Praiano. Sometimes, the overcrowded bus could not accept all passengers wishing to board at all stops. The SITA buses between Salerno and Amalfi were considerably less crowded. The smaller SITA buses between Amalfi and Ravello have overhead racks where you can stow medium-sized suitcases and large backpacks. The larger SITA buses between Sorrento/Amalfi and Salerno/Amalfi have large underfloor luggage compartments.
7. Taxis out of Amalfi are very expensive and many will want to avoid them when there is SITA bus service available. Beginning June 10 through mid-September, the SITA buses will run to or past midnight on most tourist routes. Currently, the SITA buses run to 21:00, although the bus between Amalfi and Ravello runs past midnight.