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Rome To Pompeii Daytrip Directions Also Herculaneum, Oplontis, Mt. Vesuvius, Villa Papyri

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I was just going to top these directions for someone but they are gone? I know I posted them in the past. In 2 parts. Walter
A Rome to Pompeii daytrip takes ~3hrs using the fast trains (ES-EuroStar or IC-InterCity) *to Naples*. The R/T in Eurostar 2nd Class plus R/T Circumvesuviana costs ~49 euro in 2004. The cheaper Rome-Naples 'D' train plus Circumvesuvanana is ~24 euro R/T and takes ~55min longer.    NOTE: A local commuter train (Circumvesuviana or CV) takes you *from
Naples* to Pompeii, Herculaneum or Sorrento, it's website & timetable directions are listed below. It is a completely seperate company, so railpasses are not valid on it nor can you buy tickets in Rome for it.   You can find the timetables & fares for the Rome-Naples leg at www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
  When you have brought-up the timetable and choose your train, you can get the Fare by clicking-on the 'Shopping Cart' icon under the BUY column. If you register with Trenitalia you can buy tickets online and pick them up at a 'Ticket Vending Machine'.      If not, buying your Rome-Naples tickets is still easy:). You can do it the old-fashioned way by waiting in a long line at Termini (Rome's main train station), tickets sellers speak English usually. Or you can buy them thru a Travel Agency in Rome or in Termini for a small fee. Also thru the American Express Office near the Spanish Steps.   But the easiest way is from the 'Ticket Vending Machines' located thru-out Termini. They accept CC or cash and have an English option and are *very easy* to use, they walk you right thru the process.   Like anywhere else on public transport weekend travel can be a busy time, if possible plan this daytrip on Mon-Thur.  
 
 You can go to either the Naples Centrale Train Station or the Piazza Garibaldi Train Station (which is basically just an underground metro stop [4 tracks] rather than a full-fledged train station) and just follow the signs to the Circumvesuviana (CV) train.   The Garibaldi & Centrale Train Station are really the same station, with Garibaldi located 2 levels underground and in front of the Centrale station.   If you arrive at CENTRALE: In front of Track 13 near the front doors is a wide staircase/escalator which goes down one level. At the bottom of the stairs bear left, you'll enter a hallway with the CV ticket windows on the left (Metro ticket booth & turnstiles on the right).
 If you arrive at GARIBALDI: You will go up 1 level and just before you get to the the bottom of that staircase/escalator mentioned above you'll turn right instead.
 After you purchase your CV tickets (tickets can also be purchased at newstands/tabacchi) continue down that (short) hallway and then on the left is a wide hallway with moving walkways to the CV ticket turnstiles.   There on the wall in front of you is the Departure Board that will post the *next* 8 arriving trains, you'll want the *Sorrento* train. There are 4 tracks, you'll *probably* want Track (Binario) 3 (I've stayed in Naples 4x and it has always left from BIN 3).   Half-way down each platform is another Departure Board and it will list the next arriving train's destination & time. It will flash a red 'In Partenza' just before it arrives and during boarding. The train's destination for you will be "Sorrento", this train runs ~every half-hour.    The train stops at Ercolano (Herculaneum) in ~17min and Pompeii in ~36min and Sorrento in ~66min.
 [Also between the CV ticket turnstiles and the platforms is a small Tourist Info Office. Pop-in if you are staying in the area for a few days. Perhaps look into the ArteCard and/or the Archeobus Tours (best way to get to Boscoreale and Stabia and other sites). Or if you have any transportation or ancient site questions.]  The stop you want is "Pompeii Scavi-Villa dei Misteri" or "Ercolano" for Herculaneum. Be aware that there are a few "Direttissimo" (fast CV trains) which skip alot of the smaller stops but will hit Ercolano, Pompeii and Sorrento in less time.
  [POMPEII] Exit the Pompeii Scavi CV Station turn right and walk 50m (I would buy water & snacks from the stalls along there if need be, there's also a restaurant) to the entrance which is set back alittle on the left.   [This is based on info that I have read from other posters, I've never used these guides. There are licensed guides with ID's outside the entrance that charge 35-40euro hour per tour, *not* per person, same price as for 1 person or for a small group of 5 max.]  The entrance is a small outdoor complex of bldgs containing the ticket windows (10e), ATM, gift & guidebook/map shop and an info booth. You might want to check at the info booth and see if they have any special sites open, there will be limited entry requiring a free ticket for a certain time (in '02 & '04 there were 3 limited access sites opened).   In the middle of this outdoor complex is a small round bldg that rents the audioguide tours. A CC or any type of photo ID is required for security.   It was my 4th visit to Pompeii and I'm a bit of a history buff, I thought the audioguide was very good. But you might want to have a guidebook with decent map though. I've read a few posts where people couldn't find some of the audioguide sites and I believe I might have had to check my other map also for 1 or 2 sites.  
 Also at the ticket turnstiles (not the ticket sales window) there is a secured "Luggage Storage" room on the right.  After you enter the site you come across the Forum, look to the left at the far end, that is the Temple of Jupiter and behind that temple is a building with a restaurant, snack bar, giftshop, and w.c.   If you wish [I highly recommend it] to visit the Villa dei Misteri in the NW corner of Pompeii, do so at the end of your visit. It's ~300 meters outside Pompeii's Walls and you would be just be backtracking along the same route if you returned to the main site.
  There is an 'exit only, not an entrance' at the Villa and it's ~500m to the same CV station you arrived at (there are also a few restaurants just outside the Villa and a w.c. on the right just before you exit).   HERCULANEUM: To visit Herculaneum (Ercolano CV station is halfway between Naples and Pompeii on the *same* CV train line-The stop will say "Ercolano" (NOT 'Ercolano Miglio d'oro') also some signs will read 'Ercolano-Scavi' on the platform), exit the station (only one-way out) into the *small* parking lot and the *only* street there (45deg to your right), takes you *right* to the Herculaneum entrance after a 5 min downhill walk towards the Bay of Naples. Impossible to get lost or miss you can see the entrance at the end of the street from just outside the parking lot. There is a unmanned 'Left Luggage' room directly across from the ticket window.
  Walk ~300m down the ramp. At the end is an audioguide rental booth (takes ~2hrs at a slow pace), w.c./bathrooms, a snackbar/cafe and a bookstore/giftshop.
  Just before you get to these bldgs on the left is a newer and better entrance. It is a tunnel-ramp cut thru the stone, you then enter the site from where Herculaneum's seashore once was.   The other entrance is a bridge to the right of those bldgs.  BUS TO MT. VESUVIUS: This is the same Circumvesuviana station as in the Herculaneum directions above.
  I've never taken this bus, I have a phobia about mountain roads esp with someone else driving:).
  Exit the Ercolano Station into the small parking lot and walk over towards the right corner of the lot.
You will see a small white sign 'riservato bus-BUS VESUVIO' and a yellow outlined parking space for it. You buy the tickets from the bus driver [That is what the schedule at the Tourist Info Office said in Mar'04]. The only street out of the parking lot leads straight downhill to the Herculaneum entrance (~400m).
And ~50m down that street is a round-about intersection and 20m after that on the right is the tourist info office (green sign/gold letters 'UFFICIO TURISTICO'.
They will have the schedule printed-out on their desk. The bus schedule is on the official City of Ercolano website www.comune.ercolano.na.it/cme/deliveryweb.asp?dwid=1133   Also you can walk the 70m to the 'Tourist Info Office' and look at their schedule on the desk.    Or call 081-5592582 that is the number listed on the *Italian* page of this official Mt. Vesuvius website www.guidevesuvio.it/information.html 
 Or if you are pressed for time the taxi drivers outside the station are always pitching this trip as tourists walk by. I assume negotiate and agree on a price.     Also I've heard that the taxi drivers sometimes claim that this bus doesn't run anymore to tourists waiting for the bus:).
  A bus also leaves from Pompeii to Mt. Vesuvius but I don't know from where. If interested ask at either the Info Booth in the Naples Train Station or at Pompeii. 
 
  TO VISIT THE NAPLES MUSEO ARCHEOLOGICO NAZIONALE www.cib.na.cnr.it/mann/museum/mann.html closed Tuesdays <<<Directly across from the CV ticket windows (mentioned above in the Naples train station) is the Metro ticketbooth and turnstiles. Go down to track 4, hop on the train and get off at the 1st stop (Piazza Cavour). When you exit the metro turn right on the *busy* street in front and walk (uphill) ~150m, you'll see a large 3 story building with pinkish bricks on the same side of the street, thats the museum.   With the new metro line recently opened, there is an exit/entrance right next to the museum but it is easier just to use the sidewalk rather than trying to find your way underground.  Also outside this metro stop (P. Cavour) is the bus stop for the 110 bus to Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte.
 A WARNING: In the Naples Train Station *Ignore* anyone who approaches. Do not accept help from *Anyone* even if they look (blue smock) or act like a train station employee. They will sometimes strongly intimidate you for money for something as simple as pointing to a ticket booth, etc.
Don't let anyone help you with your bags or find your train car and seat, those men are not train employees.
 It's best just not to acknowledge anyone when approached or even that you understand English, so no "No, Thank You's" :).   And of course watch your bags and wallet in the station but also on the Circumvesuviana Platform and trains.
ALSO while waiting for your train in the Naples Centrale Station, in front of ~track 18 there is a glassed-in sitting room (quiet & secure) for ticketed passengers *only*.

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