Mondo Guide tour of Naples

We were going to go Capri on our first day in Italy but have decided to go to Naples instead. We've been looking at a five hour walking tour of Naples by Mondo Guide tours and wondered if anyone else has taken it. What sites did you see? How strenuous is the tour? We'd appreciate any information.

Effie

Comments

  • You are going to walk for five hours on.your first day in Italy. Wow! I don't recall Naples being that interesting!
  • edited July 2016
    Good point. We've never been to Italy which means I have no idea what I'm doing. If we do everything I want, we'll be exhausted by day 3. I have to remember that down time is a good thing.
  • edited July 2016
    I lost my first attempt so here goes again-

    We returned from Classic Italy, Small Groups a few weeks ago. As I mentioned in an earlier post we went with Driver In Italy. As a follow-up to what British said, please consider these points-

    Unless you are staying in Naples before the tour, you will need to get there from Sorrento. When you include admin time (walking to/from the terminals/stations, arriving early/waiting, buying tickets, etc.) the transit time via train or ferry can be as long as 2 hours from Sorrento to Naples. The high-speed ferry (hydrofoil?) itself normally takes around 45 min.. The train, depending on the type of Circumvesuviana train, can take 1 hour (Diretissimo) or 1 hour, 15 min. (Diretto) Be careful of beggars, touts and pickpockets at the train stations in Naples. Here is a link to TripAdvisor train info

    Depending on your method, travel, along with a 5 hour walking tour can really make for a very long and tiring day. After our our big day in Herculaneum and Naples, it sure was nice to be able to relax in comfort in the Mercedes on the ride back to Sorrento- we even made some photo stops!

    A quick look at the Mondo site doesn't give a very good idea of what you will see. All that it says is "National Archaeological Museum, Historical centre, Monumental Area, the Panoramic Vistas of Naples and world famous pizza lunch." You can literally spend many hours in the museum, but I would suggest 2 hours is the absolute minimum. I don't know, but am not really too sure there is much to see in the historical centre or monumental area. Who decides what you will see and how long you will spend there, including the stop for lunch? I would run a Google Maps route between the few locations mentioned to check on walking times. Remember, Naples is a big metropolitan city with lots of crazy traffic - be careful crossing streets!

    I would ask Mondo for more details.

    If everything is close, like in Florence, then walking might be just fine, but you might want to consider their full day tour car and driver + a guide. Also, compare the difference in cost between pickup/drop-off in Naples vs Sorrento. It sure was nice to meet our driver in the lobby of our Sorrento hotel then step into a waiting Mercedes.

    Mondo's price for a guide is slightly higher than what we paid (for 6+ hours.) Mondo's quoted price for a car for a full day is less, but ours was for p/u and d/o in Sorrento.
  • edited July 2016
    Effie, since I saw your post and realized you have not been to Italy before, I would absolutely Agree with what Alan says. I am sorry I do not know how experienced you are at traveling in Europe, but if this is your first time, you might just want to Enjoy the hotel and get over some jet lag before you embark on going to Naples. I have been to the archeological museum with Tauck and had a pizza lunch with them there, that is all I remember because that tour was years ago, plus pretty much all of Naples was on strike that day and everything including the museum, was closed. Our tour director and locals guide had to bribe the museum to open just for us and then they closed again. If you feel up to it, I would chose Capri over Naples, or better still, do another Tauck tour another time that includes A stay on Capri like we did. I have taken three completely different Tauck Italy tours and there is still plenty more to see at less of a crazy busy pace, which is the whole point of the Italian way of life. Enjoy and go again!
  • A trip to Capri is a really fun day - it is a beautiful island. However, the Archaeological Museum in Naples is really worth a visit if you are interested in seeing some of the art removed from Pompeii and other interesting artifacts. (And there is a "secret room" you can ask to visit if you are interested in some of the more - shall we say, risqué - art pieces.) Also, if you take a tour of Naples, be sure to see the Cappella Sansevero that contains some of the most beautiful marble sculptures in all of Italy. The most famous piece is the "Veiled Christ" but the statues of virtues are also breathtaking. This is a tiny private chapel that most people overlook - I learned about it from watching a Rick Steves episode and I could not believe how beautiful but little known these works are. Anyway, the whole region is gorgeous and whatever you choose I bet you will have a memorable day. (Be careful of pickpockets, as in most tourist areas!)
  • edited July 2016
    We've never been to Europe. We visited 49 states, the Bahamas, Canada, Grand Cayman and a few other places first and are finally getting around to it.

    My preference was Capri but my husband's maternal ancestors are from Naples and he wants to see the city. Since we'll probably never get back to Italy, this is his one and only chance.

    I appreciate the information but now I'm not sure what to do.
  • edited July 2016
    Ok Effie, so let me try to help or suggest this. Firstly, there will be some regulars on here who will disagree with me. But if you are arriving in Italy just one day early, the first thing that will hit you is jetlag, a few people here don't get jetlag, but I have been going across the Atlantic to Europe for many years and it never gets any easier. If jet lag was not a problem for the majority of people then there would not be so many remedies for it out there. I am flying to England in two weeks time. Are you flying from east or west coast? I fly from the east coast, so the first thing that happens is that you only get half a night's sleep on the plane, if that, because you gain 6 hours, from the west it is 9 hours. So say your plane arrives at 10am, your body thinks that is 4am. In addition, you have been woken up for breakfast at least one hour before landing. So you arrive tired and yet your body doesn't know what to do with itself. So you might stay up all day but still not be able to fall asleep at your new bedtime. Or you go to bed for a couple of hours when you arrive but still no guarantee you will feel much better. Hence my alarm that you would consider a five hour walking tour in the heat. Unless you regularly walk for five hours in those conditions. I walked for an hour in ninety degree heat this morning, I normally walk for longer, but I was pooped from heat. I suggest you do not book anything in advance but talk to the Concierge on your arrival and find out the possibilities for the next day to get you to Capri. Then if you have a good night's sleep, and get out of bed and all bright eyed and bushy tailed, you can then be ready to get on that ferry or hydrofoil, get to Capri and find a taxi to take you around the island. If you feel terrible, then you don't feel obliged to still go so you don't waste any money, instead you can use the hotel facilities and relax ready for a very busy Tauck tour. We always try to arrive at least two days early in a new place, to help with jetlag but also so we have time to see any great sites in the start city. We will have done research before we go and decide in order what we might wish to see without stressing about not getting to see it all. And we have built in some time in case we miss flights due to weather or any other unforeseen circumstances.
    Effie, I know you will adore Italy!
  • Effie, when (day/time) do you actually arrive in Naples? Will you be arriving one or two days before or the day of the welcome dinner?

    If you arrive in Naples/Sorrento the day of the welcome dinner just chill or walk around Sorrento for awhile because there won't be enough time to do anything else.

    If you arrive the day before the welcome dinner- chill the remainder of arrival day and visit Capri the next day in the morning/early afternoon so you are back in time for the welcome dinner. There won't be enough time to travel to/from and tour Naples- you will really need a full day to do that.

    You'll really need to arrive two full days early to be able to tour Naples.

    Our tour started on May 22nd, but we landed in Naples at noon and arrived in Sorrento at about 1330 on May 20th. We just chilled and wandered around Sorrento for the remainder of the day and had a good night's sleep (we flew business so got a little sleep on the flight over). We toured Herculaneum and Naples the next day- May 21st- it was a full day!!!! We toured Capri on the 22nd and were back at the hotel at 1630 in plenty of time to clean up and change for the welcome dinner.
  • edited July 2016
    We're flying business and will arrive in the morning on the 20th. The tour starts the evening of the 21st. We're on EST and I plan to begin altering my sleep pattern a week before we leave by getting up earlier each morning. I'm not sure if that will help but it probably won't hurt.

    If we hired a car and driver to take us to Naples and visited a couple sites, could that be done in five hours? As I said, this will probably be our only trip to Italy and I would hate to miss something that is that important to my husband.

    Since jet lag can be debilitating for some people, I think in the future I'll arrange to arrive at least three days in advance so we can become used to the new time zone. I wish I would have thought about that for this trip!
  • edited July 2016
    Effie, I still don't get how you would pay such a big amount of money to get to see such a big and busy city in such a short time. I can't remember what traffic is like, but it could be crazy! Isn't Naples the third largest city in Itlay, and don't you have to go inside most places to see the treasures, like the inside of a church. It would probably cost you almost as much as an extra night in a hotel. Is there any way you could change your Tauck booking to arrive a day earlier, if you booked your flight with them, they should be able to change it for you. As it is your first Tauck tour, I really think it is pretty essential you do not miss the Welcome dinner.
    You might also want to read this

    http://www.businessinsider.com/why-no-one-wants-to-travel-to-naples-2015-7
  • Changing flights and adding a night at the hotel is a little more than I want to get into. My husband will just have to be happy hanging around the hotel relaxing. If we feel like going to Capri, we might do that and if not, a nice glass of wine in the afternoon would be good. Next time we'll arrive much earlier if there's something we want to see.

    I'm glad I asked before I made reservations. All of you have been a big help. Thanks!
  • Please let us know how you enjoy Italy!
  • edited July 2016
    Effie wrote:
    We're flying business and will arrive in the morning on the 20th. The tour starts the evening of the 21st. We're on EST and I plan to begin altering my sleep pattern a week before we leave by getting up earlier each morning. I'm not sure if that will help but it probably won't hurt.

    If we hired a car and driver to take us to Naples and visited a couple sites, could that be done in five hours? As I said, this will probably be our only trip to Italy and I would hate to miss something that is that important to my husband.

    Since jet lag can be debilitating for some people, I think in the future I'll arrange to arrive at least three days in advance so we can become used to the new time zone. I wish I would have thought about that for this trip!

    The big factors are sleep/jet lag and time/distance from Sorrento to Naples. If you are arriving in the morning and your hubby is really intent on seeing the area where his grandparents lived (is there something there to see or people to meet, or will it just be a drive-by of some neighborhood?) there is no reason (nor enough time) to go to Sorrento first then come all the way back to Naples, especially if your flight is delayed, there is an issue with your bags, heavy traffic, etc. If you want to visit the neighborhood and possibly take in a few additional sites around Naples (with or without a guide), and, (a BIG AND), you think you can function and enjoy what you will be doing, with just the amount of sleep you'll get on the plane, then how about this approach:

    • forego Tauck's (free) ride from the airport to Sorrento (you may be able to arrange with Tauck to be picked at the end of the day at the airport or train station for the ride to Sorrento. It is worth giving them a call)

    • hire a car and driver (with or without guide) to take you from the airport to where you want to go in Naples (leave your bags in the trunk. Remember, your driver will likely be unable to park near places you may want to see).

    • then, after you have seen what you want, have the hired driver take you back to Naples airport (or the train station) if Tauck will permit this, for the Tauck ride to Sorrento. If Tauck pickup isn't feasible, to possibly save a little money IF you don't mind schlepping your bags, have the hired driver drop you off at the Naples ferry terminal and ride the hydrofoil or high-speed ferry to Sorrento. It is a very short walk from the marina ferry terminal in Sorrento to the elevator that takes you up to your cliff-side hotel (see my photo).

    • Spend the next day recovering or go to Capri before the welcome dinner.

    Again, you'll probably want to do some research, planning, and make arrangements well before you go- book car/driver (and guide?), and if needed figure out the ferry schedules, etc. (the car/driver company should be able to help with that)

    Here is a photo I took right after we got off the ferry from Capri- the Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is where you will be staying (on Classic Italy. Classic Italy, Small Groups stays at the Grand Hotel La Favorita a few blocks further south)

    2481.jpg
  • Alan,

    All of you good folks have brought me back to reality and I think a quiet day at the hotel is the best choice for us. We knew there was no way we could see everything in one trip so we'll see what we can but I don't want to be exhausted before the tour even starts.

    Effie

  • Effie wrote:
    Alan,

    All of you good folks have brought me back to reality and I think a quiet day at the hotel is the best choice for us. We knew there was no way we could see everything in one trip so we'll see what we can but I don't want to be exhausted before the tour even starts.

    Effie

    That works too, but don't let anyone discourage you- we don't know your physical condition or how you handle jet lag.

    One last suggestion. As you go from Naples airport to Sorrento, pay attention to the roads and traffic in Naples and the time/distances involved. Evaluate this to determine how much time it might take to go to and return from Naples on the following day, plus how much time you would have in Naples and still be back in enough time to attend the welcome reception and dinner. If you think you'll be rested enough, and it looks you will have enough time in Naples to make it worthwhile, check with the concierge after you check in and see what he can arrange for you in the way of a car and driver (and guide?) for the following day. That would give you most of the first day to rest.

    On the other hand- the day after the welcome dinner you will be off on the bus the first thing and spending a fair amount of time on your feet visiting churches and walking around the small coastal towns of Amalfi and Ravello.
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