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Our stay in Vico Equense

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Our stay in Vico Equense

I realize this forum is not used often, yet I like to post an opinion about Vico Equense for the benefit of those searching for information about this lovely town. We stayed here for 8 nights in the historical center, about a couple of hundred meters away from the central piazza.

The reason we chose Vico as our base for exploring the surrounding area is that, although we are not particularly adventure travelers, we do not like places entirely overtaken by tourism. Vico is a town not much mentioned in travel guides. And since the main road from Naples to Sorrento runs through a tunnel underneath the town, many may not even be aware of its existence.

We experienced Vico as a safe, relatively clean and pretty town, perched on its own cliffs not unlike Sorrento. The Cento Storico, with a nice little piazza, a castle and a network of narrow streets and alleys, is very picturesque. About four or five evenings we chose to dine in Vico, mostly on one of the patios at Piazza Umberto. We would sit here for several hours among mostly locals, just absorbing the vibrant evening life of an Italian town. A police car would park in the center of the square near the fountain and the constable, who seemed to know everyone, would spend his time having friendly chats with those passing by. We dined two evenings in Sorrento, once at Piazza Tasso and once at Marina Piccola, but neither gave us the same sense of being in Italy like we experienced in Vico Equense.

Vico has two beaches. One at the west end and one on the east. Both are about a 10 to 15 minute steep walk down from the old town center. The west one is a bit more developed with a few restaurants and bus service. We spent a day on the pretty east beach, among the small fishing boats and pleasure crafts. At this beach we found communicating more challenging, since no one spoke English, until we found someone who spoke some German, a language we also speak with limitations. At the hotel and in the restaurants we got by quite well with our English.

From Vico we daily commuted with the Circumvesuviana train to the places we wanted to visit. Trains run about every half hour. 11 minutes at 1,30 Euro to Sorrento. We also trained to Naples for about 5 Euros. From Sorrento we took ferries to visit Positano, Amalfi, Ravello and Capri.

One warning about the trains though: Twice during our stay the train service halted for a few hours due to strikes. Once unannounced in the late afternoon and evening and once pre-announced for four hours in the morning. And other than the Naples airport bus, there is no bus service out of Vico. So if you are caught in a strike, a taxi is the only alternative (40 Euros to Sorrento). And the wait for a taxi may be long. But for us, that was the only negative for Vico Equense. After having visited Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Capri, we were certainly glad to have selected Vico as our base.

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33 replies to this topic
Melbourne
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21. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

Kuroneko_89 I think it was your reply to a different post that alerted me to Vico Equense, otherwise I wouldn't have known anything about it! So thank you for that!

Yes I found the Castello on Airbnb, there are a few different apartments for rent but they all look very old and run down. I assume we won't be spending much time in the actual apartment. Do you think we will need something with air conditioning at the end of May?

Also, I'm assuming we can get the circumvesuvia train from the main train station in Naples, is that right? We will be coming from Rome and prefer to travel by train as my daughter gets sick on buses.

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22. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

It would be very helpful if someone could describe the beaches in Vico. The only, crowded, microscopic, beside-the-marina (!) beach in Sorrento was not attractive to me. Is there an elevator to descend whatever cliff there is in Vico?

We certainly needed air conditioning in the last week of May, 2014. We stayed in a high-priced cliffside hotel in Sorrento, which had a private swimming boardwalk at the foot of the cliff, like the few similar places in Sorrento.

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23. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

@Jane B: Oh yes, I remember the post where I've talked about Vico! By the way, I've checked the pics of the apartment...yes, actually the place looks quite basic, but as you've said, you're on holiday and you'll spend the most of your time seeing around. For what concerns air conditioning: temperatures hardly get high in the month of May (in fact is considered by foreign tourists one of the best months to visit Italy), but there could be a possibility of high temperatures, like 30-40%. Consider that summer months in 2015 and 2016 have been outrageously hot, if this may help you.

And yes, you can get Circumvesuviana...this is the scheme of all the stops: sitabus.it/circumvesuviana-napoli-sorrento-o… There are two stops, Vico Equense proper and Seiano (Seiano is a suburb of Vico Equense). And in Vico Equense you're also closer to Pompeii and Herculaneum.

@obsoperator You've got six main beaches in Vico. The beach at Le Axidie resort (If I'm not wrong it's available also to people who are not lodging at the resort), which is tiny, a bit crowded, close to the Marina. Otherwise you have the beach at the Bikini (a beach club which has also a very good restaurant), quite decent in wideness. Then you have the beach at Seiano, the Turtle Beach (Spiaggia della Tartaruga, because of a rock similar in shape to a turtle) and Scrajo: these three beaches are all exetremely tiny and crowded. Last but not least you have Tordigliano, very isolated, reachable by sea, which is not so tiny and hardly gets crowded, because of its location.

Btw, there are nice spots between Sorrento and Punta Campanella: you have Marina di Puolo, Cala di Recommone, Crapolla Cove (famous for the to-die-for shrimps that you can find only near this cove) and Baia di Ieranto. But I realize these places are not easy to reach, and despite being extremely picturesque (I'd say 'outstanding' talking about Ieranto), are far from being proper beaches. Unfortunately Campania has views, smells, colours to die for, but when it comes to serious beaches they're pretty hard to find...you can find some just in Ischia, and some in Cilento too (southern part of the province of Salerno).

This actually is a problem all over continental Italy, with a few exceptions, because many places where long, wide beaches are located (Northern Tuscany, Lazio, Romagna, a part of the coast along Marche) are usually industrial areas with quite an ugly seascape, then you have Calabria which has gorgeous beaches but it's also one of the poorest regions (= nothing to do). There are just few exceptions inMarche, Southern Tuscany and Puglia: in fact in last 10 years Puglia has been considered the Italian seaside destination on the rise. It's not surprising that there many Italians who go to Balearic islands or Greece to find great, outstanding beaches.

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24. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

We stayed in Le Tre Caravelle in Vico. Little B and B on the bank, halfway between the town and the beach. It was fab with lots of little touches like, coming in on a night to find a bottle of wine, crusty roll aad walnuts left for us! Quite basic but very clean.

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25. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

Thanks for the tip Julie I'll look it up!

Boston...
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26. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

Thanks for the wonderful report. We stayed outside Sorrento for 12 days and often took the Circumvesuviana train. We would see the name and wonder about this little town, but never got off. Good to know about places we might like to visit next time. Good report.

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27. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

Thank you very much for this. I am travelling to Vico this summer and searching for as much information that I can!

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28. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

We, too, have chosen to stay in Vico because of this thread. We have booked an Air B&B for four nights. We have planned day trips to Capri and Pompeii but are unsure of what to do with our third full day. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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29. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

We just returned from a fabulous 16 days in Italy. The first 4 nights we stayed in an Air BnB just outside of Vico in Seiano. It was perfect! It was a small three bedroom/2 bath condo that had everything we needed. The star of the place was its outdoor spaces. There were 5 different terraces, all overlooking the Mediterranean. The largest one had an outdoor kitchen, with woodburning grill and gas burners plus a huge dining table. Within a five minute walk was a pastry shop, a grocery, a butcher and a nice little affordable restaurant. It would have been a bit of a hike to get to the Vico town center, but it was the perfect location for us! We took the train to Sorrento from the Seiano train stop without an issue.

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30. Re: Our stay in Vico Equense

Thanks a lot for your review, it's very informative. We're going to Vico Equense this Easter and hoping to have a great time there.

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