I' writing this primary to learn how to collaborate on a document and also to benefit others from the things I learned prior to and during my recent vacation to Italy. I was honestly floored that all the transportation from flights, airport transfers, taxi's, trains, and ferries went smoothly. Not a single hiccup! Part of it was getting knowledgeable prior to leaving. That meant trolling MRI boards as well as Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor. Talking to those who had been before helped. So below is my list of things to do to ensure happy traveling in Italia!
1 - Do your homework. Research the options and companies in the areas you are going. Look for reviews and recommendations. Throw out the over the top and bottom feeding reviews. Usually the truth is in the middle.
2 - Email the car service providers in advance and ask for quotes. The quote request should include number of passengers and pieces of large luggage. (Note that ferries require that you pay extra for suitcases but trains do not).
3 - Book early! The car services do get fully booked during high season. If you find a better deal or your plans change you can always cancel.
4 - Determine if they only take cash or if credit card is acceptable. In one case where CC was agreed upon, the driver took a photo of the CC and emailed it to the office. Interesting approach.
5 - Trains. Commuter trains do not require ticket purchases in advance but intercity trains do. Rome to any other major outpost of vice versa should be purchased in advance. Those tickets do NOT need to be validated at the station. Tickets purchased for the local commuter trains at the station do need to be validated by scanning the UPC at the kiosk prior to boarding.
6 - Ferries. Great way to get around the bay of Naples and Amalfi coast. Tickets aren't necessary in advance but if you are traveling in July and August you may want to consider it. Remember to pay for you luggage when you purchase your ticket at the window on the pier. The signs are pretty obvious but if you are confused just ask and someone will direct you to the correct window. If you are going to the Naples ferry remember there are 2 piers - Molo Beverello for the fast ferry and Calata Porto di Massa for the slow ferry.
From FCO to Rome we used NCC car service and they had a sign with our name as we walked out of baggage claim. 70 euro for 6 people with luggage making 2 stops. 60 euro if only one stop.
Guermar Travel was used for a day trip from Positano to Pompeii then a winery followed by an alive oil factory. That was 320 euro.
Guermar was again used for 4 people from Positano to Naples airport. It was 170 euro.
Ferry's ran from 7 to 15 euro for Amalfi coast ports. It was 23 from Naples to Capri without luggage but roughly 2 euro a suitcase.