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Review: Sorrento with HF Holidays

Specialist Holiday - Sightseeing

Sorrento, Italy

Excursion to Herculaneum and Monte Faito by train

  • By SilverTraveller Hardyplant

    54 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • September 2011
  • Husband
  • Culture / Sightseeing

183 people found this review helpful

As I mentioned in my previous review about Pompei and travelling on the Circumvesuviana railway we decided that for our visit to Herculaneum we would board the train at the Sorrento station (and not Sant’Agnelo) to maximise our chances of getting a seat. We got the the station in plenty of time and waited on the platform, which filled up quickly with other passengers, so we were worried that even this plan for getting a seat might not work. However,my experience of commuting to London in the 1960’s was invaluable on this occasion and I managed to get a seat for us at the front lefthand side of the train so we had a best views possible for the outward journey. Herculaneum is quite a bit further along the line than Pompei so takes about an hour on the train.

The station for Herculaneum archaelogical site is Ercolano Scavi and it’s an easy (less than 10 minutes) walk down the main street and there are many sign posts along the way. We had a very good official guide at Herculaneum, a young American who was training to be an archaeologist, and he pointed out the most interesting parts and told us about the tribulations involved with the excavations over the years. It was good to be abe to stand on the present day ground level and have a good view of the excavated buildings and streets below us .

I preferred Herculaneum to Pompei, possibly because Pompei is very large and busy, whereas Herculaneum covers a smaller area and is well preserved, also there are fewer visitors. It’s also interesting to see the modern town of Herculaneum looking as though it’s on top of a cliff with the houses overlooking the archaeological site (see my photos).

As the visit to Herculaneum did not take as long as the one to Pompei we were able to fit in a cable car ride and walk on Monte Faito. We caught the Circumvesuviana train heading back to Sorrento but got off at Castellammare station. The cable car station was adjacent to the railway station and we were soon soaring up to the Monte Faito ridge, 3,600 feet up in the Lattari Mountains with wonderful views of Naples and the Bay of Naples Bay below. We’d been advised to wear sensible shows or walking boots so we could have a guided walk along the ridge, stopping to take photos of the panoramic views along the way. After our circular walk we bought drinks and snacks at a cafe near the cable car station and as it was a bit colder on the mountain a hot drink was appreciated before we began our journey back to the station and train ride back to Sant’Agnelo. We had to stand all the way but we were entertained by a group of musicians, no doubt illegally busking. Another very full but informative day.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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