After checking earlier forums, I hoped for help/insight for my wife and I (early 60s), as we plan a short trip around the Christmas holidays this year, from the US to Malta (2 nights) and Rome (six nights). Art, culture, history, food are areas we're most drawn to in our travels, as well as people we encounter. Help here would specifically focus on a day-trip we're planning to take to Pompeii and the archeology museum in Naples. Ideally, we'd get a guided tour of both the old city of Pompeii and the archeology museum in one vigorous day, assuming we take the 7 am or 8 am train from Rome to Naples, and a return by train from Naples to Rome Termini, leaving at 7ish. So far, we've checked out agencies that offer tours with either a pick-up at the Naples train station or a meet-up at the archeology museum.
So, we're wondering what the best experiences of these tours might be. Or what to consider as we try to decide. Sometimes guided tour prices include the entry-costs of the sites, and we haven't come across any that are clear about that.
A) Has anybody had a terrific experience with a one-day, guided tour of Naples' Archeology Museum and Pompeii/Herculaneum?
B) Is it best to contract with commercial agencies, or are there private tour guides with whom we might pre-arrange a day to do such a day?
C) Comments on the best values, assuming we'd like the time to see, learn, walk, the sites themselves, etc., and we do NOT tend to enjoy the forced commercial visits for favored retail opportunity or lunch, etc. (Although we recognize the need of guides to stay close to their vendor partners as well).
Any help or enlightenment on this subject would be appreciated.
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