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Should we hire a guide for Pompeii?

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Hi guys,
We are staying in Sant'Agnello (outside Sorrento) as a base in mid August and plan a trip to Pompeii on one of the days.
I know it's approx half an hour on train from Sant'Agnello so I intended on getting there ourselves and downloading some guides beforehand to listen to as we go around, however I am now wondering should we hire a guide? If so how much would it be? Can I arrange to just meet one at the site (I don't want to be arranging and paying fro pick-up from hotel when the train is handy and cheap) I have read some people on here saying they regret not getting a guide?

Also are we best to go very early before it gets very hot or would late afternoon be better?
Is Vesuvius a must? Did many of you do it on the same day?

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