Sorrento is great for visits to Pompei and Herculaneum on the train. Allow a day for each. Get an audio guide and ask at the tourist info office next to the ticket office for the FREE guide book and map. The stall holders will try to sell you a flashy guide on the way in.
Entrance to Pompei is 5 mins from the train at Pompei Scava. Herculaneum is a 15min walk from Ercolano station. Ignore talk of muggers from tour reps. Visitor guides are expensive for 2 hrs and not as good as audio guides.
For Vesuvius, get the train to Ercolano and catch the mini bus outside the station. More pleasant than the journey on the tour coach. Allow 1 hour for walk up and half for return. Loads of people on maintained cinder track. Take windproof and water.
Both are central for buses (sometimes crowded) trains (regular, cheap and efficient), and jet ferries (cheap and fast to Naples).
Sorrento is great for an evening wander or a cheap supermarket (beware siesta time). Both great for visits to Pompei and Herculaneum on the train.
The scooters looks wild at first site but they are MUCH better drivers than us in the UK. They expect you to walk out in front of them and rarely get irate.
Catch a train to Castel le Marre for cable car to mountain walk or a boat from Sorrento to the Amalfi Coast destinations and Capri.
Don't bother hiring a car - met two couples who had taken them back.
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