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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, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
The "wording" of these offerings is always interesting:

an "expert" guide...hmmm, now who would want any guide, anywhere who wasn't "expert" or at least more knowledgeable than the guidese?

"the highlights"...is there anything there which woulnd't be considered a "highlight" and how would you know?

"see what remains"...everything you'll see is "what remains"

"important families"...wopuld those remains be more interesting than the ones which belonged to unimportant families?

I agree you WOULD benefit from someone who understands the site and grounds but you could probably get that sort of knowledge from a well-designed audio cassett.

I suspect a LARGE part of the cost IS going to the luxury of the private pick-up.

I am not against private guides as I've engaged more than one over the years in various places but I wonder just how many details a guide can point out at a ruins that you couldn't find out about more cheaply.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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hilarious and helpful comments!

although i understand that what is "worth it" to some people is useless to others, i REALLY appreciate the advice and opinions of travelers with experience. i'm taking it all to heart!

i've never stayed in the grand hotel excelsior and vittoria before but i'm looking forward to it. we have a deluxe room overlooking the bay, with a terrace.

jifdc is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:12 PM
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I loved this: "There's not much to see since most of the "preserved bodies"." Not much to see? At Pompeii???? I think it you had a good guide, you would understand how much there is to see.
Mary_Fran is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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The not much to see comment certainly demonstrates that some sort of guide is useful at Pompei. We took a guide from the gate in December for 75euros for our family of five for 2 hours. If another couple of people had been available to join us we could have shared the cost. It seems like the audioguides are also good. We caught the train from Sorrento - easy.
aussiefive is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:32 PM
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Train from Sorrento to Pompeii Scavi 1.80E x 2 = 3.6E

Admission to Pompeii 11E x 2 = 22E

Audioguide 6.50E (you only need one).

Total 32.1E

Savings = $414.09
$500 - $41.41 (32.1 x current exchange rate of 1.29)
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:41 PM
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And I am sure Cuomo will give you a better rate. He charged us (although we didn't like our driver) 400 € to pick us up in Positano, drive us to Pompeii, pick us up, drive us to lunch, drive to of us to Naples airport, and two of us all the way to Rome!

Even if your hotel gets you a driver from Sorrento > Pompeii > Sorrento, you will still get a much cheaper trip. You may also want to ask the hotel for any recommended Pompeii guides. We were approached at the gate, and probably would have liked a guide, but it was too confusing and we didn't know how to choose.

On an earlier trip, I was along with my DD's school group, and the guide they had hired, through their tour company, gave an excellent tour. I still say ask the hotel.
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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Forgive my if I'm crossing a line, but...

I'd reconsider your choice of travel agent. I'm not sure he/she has your best interests at heart.
Worktowander is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 07:55 PM
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Worktowander is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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I agree with the other posters. It's an easy train trip from Sorrento, and we rented and liked the audio guide. One of the things that made both Pompeii and Herculaneum more interesting was going to the Archaeological Museum in Naples before hand. For centuries the most interesting and valuable finds at both sites were sent to the museum, and most are remarkably well preserved. If you can mentally furnish the ruins with all of the art and artifacts that you see at the museum, it makes them much more real. And choose to see the secret chamber when you get the tour, it's an eye opener on sexual mores in classical Rome.
Joe18 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 08:18 PM
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$500 to tour Pompeii??!! That is outrageous. The train from Sorrento to Pompeii is about $5.00 and takes approx. 20-30 min. to get there. And, you can check out tour guides at the gate or take the audio tour. With a good map of the area you can wander on your own. The guide maps show you what you're looking at. I do like guides occasionally as they can contribute to your experience.

$500 dollars!! Your travel agent does not know Italy. I feel like berating your agent What is his/her kickback??!!
nancy is offline  
Feb 7th, 2007, 11:27 PM
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$500 for a tour of Pompeii? Perhaps you would also like to include the Irish lady that gives the private tour of the Vatican Museum for 400/500 EUROS? Can we all say SUCKER?
dutyfree is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 04:39 AM
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Hello jifdc, you have received a lot of comments here including one from a FA who is often in Rome and Italy.

I would add my comment that your travel representative either does not know Italy or is "bleeding you to death" with the suggestion of this $500.00US Guided Tour of Pompeii.

I would strongly suggest that you go through your travel representative's travel plans and check and doublecheck what the prices are and check and doublecheck what the prices will be if you plan your honeymoon on your own. Or another thought, check with another travel agent to see what their quotes are as I strongly feel the person you are using is not taking your best interest at heart. Best wishes with your wedding, your honeymoon in beautiful Italy and your life together. May it be filled with joy and love.

LoveItaly is offline  
Feb 8th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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I suspect there is a least on TA out there who might disagree with what constitutes your "best interests" since there actually are times when paying more actually does GET you more and it is worth it.

I know this isn't always true just as I also know there are some unscrupulous people out there.

But my experience has been that some TA's definitely get a "vibe" from customers as to what they like, what they might be willing to spend, what they know and don't know, etc., etc.

Actually, you've probably come to one of the world's largest FREE travel agencies when you posted your message here. And as in the real world there is factual as well as out of date and personal agenda-driven information available here, too.
Dukey is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 08:24 AM
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hi all:

in full disclosure, the travel company that we are using markets itself as one of those dream-trip-luxury-is-key-your-wish-is-our-command service companies that probably caters to super wealthy travelers who wouldn't think twice about dropping unholy sums of money on a whim.

for those of us for whom $500 is still a big deal (me!), when presented with the choice of spending that type of cash, we ask questions...lots of them.

although my fiance and i want to have a great time and appreciate the company's creativity, we insist on planning our wedding/honeymoon with a cool, rational head. as we all know, trip planning can be a frenzied, emotional process and falling prey to unnecessary extras can quickly bust a budget.

you've been so helpful. i can't wait to post our anticipated itinerary. stay tuned!
jifdc is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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loveitaly, thank you for the generous, sweet comments.
jifdc is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:10 PM
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there the cost is to much we took a guide for 2 hours enzio and charged us 100,00 euros for 2 hours we had a driver rino collect us from the hotel at 09,00am and drove us to pompeii and then he drove us back stopping along the way to take pictures,
all come to euros 150,00 the car for 4 hours and 100,00 for the guide
we aldo did a full day the next day ravello and positano and he charged useuros 200,00 for 6 hour for 500,00 we got to do two great days you should call them there office is 081 8080457
the site is italycarservice.it
we called them and they where quick and really your travel agent is asking to much

rwill is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 137
Jifdc -

I have pulled together what's going to be an amazing honeymoon (going in 3 weeks) from this very message board. Hotels, restaurants, how to get to places, what to see, what not to see, and all the little things you may need to know while traveling through Italy, amazing! We are taking the Eurostar from Rome to Naples, then the Cicumvesuviana from Naples to Pompeii for the day.

While it is time consuming to go through, I highly recommend taking the time to read through all the message threads that may apply to you. You will save yourself a lot of money and do just as good as a job as a TV could do. So many knowledgeable people on this website!

I also agree with what someone else said, I think you should look very closely at some of the costs of your trip if your TA was offering up a $500 trip from Sorrento to Pompeii. To hear that is disappointing...

rmeyer is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 01:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Meyer, we are doing the same trip next week--Eurostar from Rome to Naples, Circumvesuviana to Pompeii. We will spend the night in Pompei, and tour the ruins the next day, then take the Cirumvesuviana back to Naples and the Eurostar back to Rome. The hotel is arranging for an English speaking guide for a private two hour tour for 90 Euros. Have you already purchased your train tickets, or are you going to do that when you get there? We have had trouble using Trenitalia's website, and have decided to wait until we arrive in Rome, since it is a little tricky to figure how much time it will take us to clear customs, get to Termini, etc., and of course we have no control over what time our flight will actually arrive in Rome. We hear that Alitalia is known for late arrivals.
HAR32JU34 is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Posts: 6,008
I would have to agree with everyone else. I think that Pompeii is a place that certainly could benefit from a tour guide, but you definitely don't have to spend that kind of money. DH and I are history lovers and would have loved a private tour, but we were also quite satisfied touring Pompeii on our own with a guidebook.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and Italian honeymoon! I hope you both have a delightful experience and wonderful memories to bring hom and cherish.

tcreath is offline  
Apr 6th, 2007, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 137
Har -

Luckily for us, when we get into Rome, the first portion of our trip we are renting a car for 8 days in Tuscany, so we don't have to worry about customs time, etc.

But...we are dropping our car off in Florence, and from there taking Eurostar from Florence to Venice, then Venice back to Rome for the last portion of our trip.

We were able to get tickets through Trenitalia's website after many unsuccessful tries. Keep trying, it seems to work when it wants to! For our Rome to Naples day trip, we are trying to buy online if possible since we want to get on that train that makes it there in 1 1/2 hours and not 2 1/2! If not, we will just purchase when there.

From what I've read, you shouldn't have too many problems getting tickets while there. But...if you can get Trenitalia's website to work, it can't hurt to reserve them now! Good luck!
rmeyer is offline  

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