Travelling in Italy: practical advice
Genoa and the 5 Terre
The easiest way to get around the Liguria is by train. It is a “tight” region hugging the mountain and framing it is the railway which sweeps the entire coastline. Many stations are located just a few feet from the beaches and the train remains the most comfortable even if you are wanting a day excursion from Milan or Torino.
This is particularly valid if one wants to visit the 5 villages which make up the 5 Terre. The stretch of railway which connects Levanto to La Spezia stops at each one of the 5 villages with just a few minutes between each. The frequency in each sense of direction is usually 30/45 minutes depending on the hour of the day.
(http://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/cinque-terre-timetable). It is possible to reach a large part of the 5 Terre by foot, but be sure to check if all pathways are open via the following websites: https://www.incinqueterre.com/it/cinque-terre-in-one-day e
Naples and Pompeii
The best way to reach Naples is by train or aeroplane. If you arrive by plane, just outside the airport there are various bus companies that go to the centre of Naples
(http://www.sitabus.it/alibus/) stopping at the central station and at the Molo Beverello (in front of the hydrofoils for Capri and the other islands) as well as a bus heading to Sorrento, Caserta, Salerno, Avellino and other cities nearby. (http://www.aeroportodinapoli.it/in-arrivo/in-autobus). If you arrive by train, from the central station there are various metro lines and urban trains that reach most parts of the city. To get around the city the metro is by far the most comfortable, together with the cableway that goes up to Vomero and Mergellina.
To reach Ercolano, Pompeii and Sorrento (where the Amalfi Coast starts) take the Vesuvius Railway from Central Station; this urban train leaves every 20 minutes and stops at all 3 touristic locations (40 minutes to reach Pompeii) To reach the Caserta Mansion the most comfortable mode of transport is by train: there are regional trains from Naples Centre or Naples Gianturco every 15-20 minutes which take 40 minutes. Unlike the rest of Italy, taxi’s cost less in Naples. Don’t hesitate to catch a cab especially during the night hours when there is no traffic.
1) Always ensure you get the waiter to bring you a menu with prices and order from this. Waiters are trained to say the typical phrase: “for the antipasti (starters) should I just select for you?” or alternatively “ let me just choose for you” and you can be guaranteed a high bill! The same goes for the wine, ensure you choose according to the prices indicated on the wine list.
2) Always try and select a restaurant where you clearly see locals eating: it’s a lot easier to avoid being taken for a ride.
3) Always check the bill meticulously and ask for a fiscal receipt.
1) Taxi’s in general in Italy are decidedly expensive; always check that the meter starts clicking and take it for granted that you pay the amount specified on the meter and not the amount that gets given to you as an estimate. Do not accept lifts from illegal taxi drivers that intercept you outside stations and airports: always go to an official taxi point.
2) If you want to avoid scams download the app “it Taxi” (it works in all of Italy), insert your credit card details and you can call a taxi directly via the app. At the end of the trip you will receive an email with the route taken and the price paid and you can rest assured that the correct amount was applied.