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$500 Guided Tour of Pompeii--Is it worth it?

$500 Guided Tour of Pompeii--Is it worth it?

Feb 7th, 2007, 08:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
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$500 Guided Tour of Pompeii--Is it worth it?

Hi all:

We will be in Italy for our honeymoon in September/October 2007.

While we are in Sorrento/Amalfi, we'd like to visit Pompeii. Accordingly, our travel representative presented the following package for a Pompeii tour:

"Your driver will pick you up at your hotel (Grand Hotel Excelsior and Vittoria in Sorrento) at 9:00 a.m. for the drive to Pompeii. Meet your expert guide in Pompeii for a tour of the highlights of the hidden city that survived the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. See what remains of the villas of important families of that time and even their local bakery."

The tour is expected to take four hours long and costs $500. Although we don't consider ourselves to be "guided tour" travelers, we also think we could benefit from the knowledge of someone who truly understands the grounds. In addition, we understand that part of the cost goes to the luxury of having a private driver for pick up/drop off. We don't mind the expense if it's really worth it.

What do you think?

Thanks in advance for all responses!
jifdc is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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Absolutely ridiculous!! We had a car, but I'm sure a ride to Pompeii can be had for a lot less. I like renting the audio guide and wandering on our own, getting the feel of the place without constant talk. or there are guides at the entrance you can hire.
To give you an idea of transportation cost, we paid 80 euros to be driven from Positano to Naples airport. We used Renato Cuomo at www.comonet.it, as recommended at this site, and he was cheaper than our hotel quoted.
There are cheap ways to get there via a train, which are described in this site, but I'm sure a taxi or car can be hired for much less than 500 euro, since you can arrange for them to return to pick you up at the cafe across the street from the entrance and give yourself 3 hours or so.
Aleta is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Hi Aleta.

Thanks for the insight. I should clarify that the total for the driver/tour is $500 USD, not 500 Euros.

jifdc is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Is it worth it??? That is a value judgement. It would not be worth it to me and doesn't appear to be worth it to Aleta. I would support most of Aleta comments. We are a family of five that toured last summer. We took the train. Stop across the street. We used the audio but could have hired one of the many guides at the entrance. Our total cost less than $100. You are paying for a lot of convenience and it may be worth to you. You only concern is getting to the front door of your hotel and that may be worth it --- for you.
fmpden is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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OK, so that is a different of $135? Still not worth it to me.
fmpden is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:05 AM
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I don't think it's worth it either. We did Pompeii 2 summers ago with 2 families (9 people). We drove right to the lot, parked, and wandered around the ruins. There's not much to see since most of the "preserved bodies" that the kids were dying to see, had been moved to museums. Just take the self-guided map or audio tour and walk through the ruins.
mancinsa is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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That is outrageous!

You can easily hop on the metro to Napoli Centrale, take the Circumvesuviana and get off at Pompeii Scavi. Walk across the street and hire one of the tour guides right in front of the ticket office. I was quoted 90E for 2 hours, but since I was solo, visiting for the second time and planned to spend much longer (4 1/2 hours as it turned out), it didn't take him up on it.

Loved the audioguide and sought out all the buildings, etc. that I missed the first time.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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Oops, take the SITA bus to Sorrento Circumvesuviana station and go from there!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:22 AM
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no I definetly dont think its worth it.

Catch the train - very easy. (BTW -We are young couple who were there on our honeymoon in June).
Then when you get to Pompeii just get a tourguide at the gate. There are many guides who gather people up into groups for 1 hour tours.

We got the audio guide which we personally did not like AT ALL - and we were very sorry that we didnt get a tour guide (whose talks we sometimes overheard sounded very informative and interesting).

When you are done with your tour, wander around on your own for a bit. It is interesting to "Discover" pompeii on your own. Then you are also on your own schedule - which is really important. We went to Pompeii in June and it was very hot and pretty crowded! So we were exhausted and a bit cranky after a few hours. We had planned to go to Herculaneum after Pompeii, but literally just ran out of energy. So if you get tired of Pompeii - you can leave when you want.

This will be cheaper, just as easy, and more flexible.
steviegene is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the great advice. You've given me some good tips. I think we will probably take the train and either hire a guide or rent an audio guide when we arrive.
jifdc is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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The train is the way to go, and if you have time, you can easily stop at Herculaneum on the return.
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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I echo what everyone else has said. You may already know this, but there are two train stations in Pompeii. The "main" rail station takes you to modern Pompeii, about 1/2 mile from the back side of the ruins, while the Circumvesuvia takes you right to the main entrance. We took the "wrong" train in, which worked out as we were able to wander and explore on our own while we made our way to the front gate for a guided tour (E90 as stated earlier).
djman102 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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$500!!!??? You'll be taken for a ride, allright....
Viajero2 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Try and get a quote from a company called "Seeitalia" Sergio Gamba is the boss and is excellent

flybob is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Mention me Bob Seager
flybob is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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The only way I would pay $500 for this is if the guide were a real ancient Roman who had been resurrected.

Simply rent a car for the day (if you don;t have one already) and do the tour yourself. We just used a GOOD THOROUGH guide book - and learned more than some of the guides were saying. But there are also audioguides that are apparently very good.
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Great hotel by the way - we always use it.

Do you have one of the suites with terrace and roman stautuary overlooking the Bay of Naples?
nytraveler is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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We made arrangements with a guide before leaving US - his name is Gaetano Manfredi, gave us a 2 hour tour, charged 60 euro apiece for two of us. He met us at the gate. I noticed he is the guide in the latest Rick Steves Naples/Pompeii show. His # is (338)725-5620 (+ Int'l/Italy codes).
LAwoman is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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500 smackers for a guided tour of Pompeii!

Wow! For that kind of money Iíd demand a reenactment of that day in 79 A.D.

If you opt out, donít feel bad: Roman Polanski is set to make an epic on Pompeii/Vesuvius, and itís currently budgeted at $197 million, so you should see plenty action. And your movie ticket will be a lot cheaper than your guided tour.
wanderful is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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ripit is offline  

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