Take in the sights of Italy’s coastline in the Campania region at your leisure by traveling by rail. The Circumvesuviana train offers stunning Mediterranean views as it runs between Naples’ central station (Napoli Centrale) and Sorrento, passing quaint coastal towns and major archeological sites along the way. Fares are inexpensive (a couple euros each), and the total ride only takes about an hour. Stay in cities along the way, or make your base in one locale and take day trips from there.
The route includes the following stops (from north to south):
Naples: Naples is renowned for its vibrant, bustling atmosphere and historical sites. Pizza originated here, and you’re unlikely to find a better slice anywhere else in the world. However, these draws have been overshadowed by a years-long trash crisis that has left piles of garbage in the streets. Although some side streets are nearly completely blocked by garbage, tourist attractions such as the Naples Cathedral (the Duomo) and the Royal Palace are relatively clear.
Portici: This sleepy fishing town is not a tourist destination, but it provides an inexpensive base from which to explore the surrounding towns and a glimpse into the relaxed pace of Italian day-to-day life.
Pompeii: Set aside a full day for wandering the excavated ruins of Pompeii, which was buried in ash and soot by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The city was preserved in remarkable detail, from its cobblestone streets to the outlines of human bodies.
Sorrento: Dine on fresh seafood while taking in the cliffside views at this beautiful resort town. From here, you can also hop on a ferry to the island of Capri for an excursion to the Blue Grotto sea cave. Bring along extra cash -- Sorrento packs in lots of extra charges, including fees to access some beaches and cover charges at many restaurants.
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