I was just wondering what the best and cheapest way to get around Italy is??
We are going from rome to Naples to the Amalfi coast , pompeii, capri, back to rome, florence, pisa and venice. would you reccommend getting some sort of pass or pay for individual train rides?
While a rail pass might be slightly more convenient, it is usually not worth it since Italian rail travel is extremely cheap. Most major stations have automatic ticket machines which offer their services in Italian, English, german and (I think) Spanish. Advance tickets usually cost the same as turning up at the station on the day - the only thing you need to remember is that some trains get very busy (so you might be standing) and some have compulsory reservations (although they too can be busy at peak periods such as Christmas, New Year and Ferragusto/mid-August).
I hope you are going to take some time to see all these places!
Pay for individual rides. Railpass is not worth it. Mix buses in, they are even cheaper than train but run less frequently. Choose regional trains when you can, they are slower but lots cheaper.
Cheap places to stay:
www.plusvillages.com and Camping Spartacus in Pompeii for Napels and the Amalfi coast. I took a tent and it was 5 EUR per night for me there compared to 100 EUR per night on the Amalfi coast. I took the bus and the train from there to get to Naples and the Amalfi coast. They also had trips to Capri, but I passed up because I was not all that interested.
Take regional trains (rather than eurostar etc) if you can cos theyre cheaper (but slower). You can also take the circumvesuviana, which is kinda like a metro which goes around the coast. I got from Pompeii to Sorrento on it and its really cheap. Its graffitied, rickety and hot but who really cares eh. Busses are also pretty much the only way to go when youre traveling around the coast.
Just a tip, don’t make Capri the be all n end all of ur island visits. Go to ischia, WICKED. Stay at the Ring hostel, its owned by some brothers who come n take u up to their parents hotel/restaurant and you eat mammas food and drink papas limoncello (gotta try it!!) and wine. Its affordable and yummy, the white bean soup was amazing! They take u out later on, sometimes to the hot springs! The food there is cheap and its easy to get around but make sure you have the right tickets in the busses or they sting u with fines!! Gorgeous beaches, relaxed place… I loved it. When you go to amalfi, don’t bother staying IN amalfi and you really don’t need long there… stay in atrani, the next town along, and walk up to the church on the cliff, stunning views.. you gotta bush bash a bit sometimes but the views are awesome. Take the little staircase that’s across from the 2 bars in the atrani square. Worth it! There are 2 bars in the atrani square, an American one and another one. Go to the other one and ask to use their internet, they let you use it for as long as you like if you buy something! You can take their laptop out to their set up on the piazza and use it there…. Chill! I have pics on my facebook/myspace account from the trip if u wanna see em!
Thanks guys for all the advice, thats really useful