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  1. You must arrange this ahead of time. There are several car service companies that regulars here highly recommend, all of them can be booked on line.
  2. As a general rule, taxis are the better option for local (within a city) trips and car services are better for longer trips that go from one city or town to another (called extraurbano in Italian). The exception to this rule is when there are fixed fares in place for taxis, like those to/from the Rome airport, or in Naples where there is a robust fixed fare system. For example, if you wanted to go from the port at Civitavecchia to Santa Marinella, a beach town six miles away, a taxi would be a better option than a car service. On the other hand, for the long ride to Termini (60 miles), especially with a number of people and luggage, a car service will better suit your needs and probably be less expensive. (Note that while there is a fixed taxi fare from the airport to the port, there is no fixed fare between the port and the city so it would be all on the meter.)
  3. With only five days I would probably just stay in Rome the entire time, there is so much to see and do there that you can only scratch the surface in five days. Also, if that five days includes your arrival day, it's less time since you'll lose at least half of that first day to arriving, airport, transfers, etc. and likely be somewhat jet-lagged as well. Calabria is not a day trip from Rome but you could get there for an overnight, how easy or difficult that will be depends on exactly where in Calabria you are headed. Aquilonia is closer but you can't get all the way there by train. You could take a high speed train to Foggia (three hours from Rome) and drive about 50 miles from there to Aquilonia, or you could take a train to either Caserta (one hour train ride plus 90 mile drive) or Naples (one hour, ten minute train ride plus 90 mile drive). In an area like Aquilonia I think you'd want a car to explore, you could also drive the entire way from Rome, it's about 200 miles each way.
  4. Does your husband know where his ancestors lived in Italy? Maybe he'd be interested in seeing that area.
  5. There are two train companies that compete on this route with high speed trains, Trenitalia (the state railroad) and Italotreno. Check both web sites to see which has the best combination of time and price for you. You can save a significant amount on the price of the tickets by purchasing them in advance. However, note that discounted tickets cannot be changed or refunded so be sure you'll be able to travel on the date and time you select. I personally feel no need to spend the extra money for premium/business/executive seats. The basic seats are quite comfortable and the trip is only four hours long anyway. Buy directly from the train companies rather than through a third party. You'll get the same or better fares. Trenitalia: https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html Italotrento: https://www.italotreno.it/en
  6. No, you can't count on a taxi at the port willing to take you one mile to the station. From the shuttle bus drop off to the station is one mile, either on foot or by public bus (2 euro).
  7. An odd train schedule actually takes the decision out of your hands. There is a big gap in the schedule between Civitavecchia and Pisa, on weekdays as well as Sundays. There is a Frecce train at 7:46, and not another of any kind until an IC at 10:47. Unless you're in a big hurry to get to Pisa, I would wait for the 10:47. That will allow you to enjoy a leisurely last breakfast aboard ship and an unrushed trip to the train station. The crowds will have died down at the station by then, as all of the day trippers will be in Rome or well on their way.
  8. You can make the train trip from Civitavecchia to Pompei easier by paying for a car service from the ship to Rome Termini station (about 150 euro) and taking the train from there.
  9. You are not going to find scheduled service from Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) to Pompei, which is more than 300 km (about 200 miles) away. Your only realistic options are private transfer (car service), rental car, or train. A taxi would be prohibitively expensive as you'd pay double the metered fare for an out of town trip. The train would require the shuttle bus from the ship to the port exit, followed by either a one mile walk to the train station or a 2 euro bus ride, then a train to Naples (all but one train each morning will require a change of trains at Termini) and a change at Naples to the local Circumvesuviana train to Pompei. There is luggage storage at the Circumvesvuiana Pompei Scavi station.
  10. First, thanks for all the great information. I am so jealous, I'd love to be there. Regarding the map thing, as annoying as it is I'm kind of surprised that more sites aren't doing this to both save money and reduce paper waste and littering.
  11. (italics mine) This is an important point. Even if you pay for the expensive private car service you still have to buy your own tickets. This makes sense and is a necessary safety measure for the tour service operator, after all if you cancel your trip (for any reason, including those out of your control) they would be left with an unrecoverable expense. Therefore, the value of the private car service tour is the ease of transportation, which is considerable. You are paying to avoid several steps: free bus from ship to port exit, bus or walk to train station, train trip to Rome, bus, metro or walk from train station to your stops in Rome and back to the train station at the end of the day, bus or walk from Civitavecchia station to port entrance and shuttle bus to your ship. Only you can assess the monetary value of this.
  12. But in either case, the only way to get through both of these sites in one day is with pre-purchased, timed entries.
  13. As with many things, whether a question is polite conversation or a rude intrusion is often situational. If a crew member is engaging your child and playing with them it's quite natural to ask them if they have children of their own, but to ask your waiter out of the blue, apropos of nothing if they have children is intrusive.
  14. There's no real chance of the train being sold out. Between 8 - 11 AM on a Sunday morning there are nine Trenitalia Frecce trains and seven Italo trains, on average about one every twenty minutes.
  15. I wouldn't worry too much about it. First, there's nothing you can do, but more importantly these things never seem to happen on schedule. Anywhere, not just Italy. How many deadlines have there been for Brexit?
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