Any good tips for visiting Pompeii?

Jan 5th, 2001, 07:58 AM
  #1  
jparis
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Any good tips for visiting Pompeii?

I have read a number of postings but I'd love to know more - doing a day trip from Rome with my family and want to make sure it's as easy as possible. Also, does anyone know if Pompeii is "open on Sunday"? I read that the tourist office is closed there on Sunday and I wonder if there will be guides around. Thanks so much
 
Jan 5th, 2001, 09:51 AM
  #2  
Howard
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Pompeii is "open on Sunday". The easiest way to get there is to take a guided tour from Rome. Alternatives, if you want to go on your own, are to a)rent a car b)go by train - first to Naples, then switch to the Circumvesuviana train (a local train system int he Naples area). Eitehr way, it takes a few hours to get to, so if you go for the day, you are travelling more than youa re on site. However, you can still spend four hours or so at Pompeii, enough for most people.

Howard
 
Jan 5th, 2001, 03:53 PM
  #3  
howard
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The problem with taking a tour from Rome is that most (if not all) also stop in Sorrento, which makes for a very long day. Some of our traveling companions took a one-day tour, leaving around 7-7:30 in the morning and not getting back until close to 10 at night. They were very tired the next day. Going on your own via public transportation might be less tiring.
Either way, don't miss Pompeii!
 
Jan 5th, 2001, 04:07 PM
  #4  
Thyra
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Pompeii stands alone as one of my all time favorite places I have been! We took the train from Naples to Pompeii Scavi (excavation, be sure you don't end up at the city of Pompeii which is not nearly as interesting) It was very easy and a quick trip. We paid the admission and then were approached by one of the many guides who were waiting by the entrance. He offered his services to us and told us how much (it came to about $80..USD in 1999) we really wanted to use his service since we'd been so dissapointed in Rome, not having a guide and having difficulty with some of the historic spots and their significance. We asked another couple to go in on the guide fee with us to save money, but they declined... boy were they sorry!! Our guide Mario was beyond fantastic, he pointed out things that other tourists walked over and had funny anectdotes that kept us laughing the whole way as well as keeping us very informed. We spent about 4.5 hours there, I would have loved to have had 2 whole days there, and Mario offered to guide us some more after we had a coffee break, but we were just too tired and knew we had to catch a train to Milan that night! I would be sure I hired a guide, we learned more in 4 hours at Pompeii with Marios help then we learned in 4 days in Rome (next time we get a guide in Rome as well) have a wonderful time you will love Pompeii!
 
Jan 6th, 2001, 02:14 PM
  #5  
jparis
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Thanks for the insight - it definately seems "doable"in one day - and the guide seems the way to go as well.
 
Jan 6th, 2001, 04:06 PM
  #6  
M&J
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It rained while we visited Pompeii with our daughter and her husband. She was not wearing hiking foots, slipped and sprained her ankle. So, be careful walking on the slick pavement stones.
 
Jan 7th, 2001, 08:22 AM
  #7  
J
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Is Pompeii open on Mondays? Can somebody provide a winter time schedule for Pompeii? At what time does it starts getting dark?
 
Jan 8th, 2001, 01:00 PM
  #8  
Ken Slanker
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Ok! We just did this last week. Take train from Rome to Naples. Go thru main station and look for Circumvesuviana train....you will go down escalator. Tickets are $2/3 or something nominal. Make sure you get right train to Pompeii....there are two. One is the Red Train, the other Blue. Look on Map. One goes to Pompeii and the other branches off before getting there. We took train from Rome and ended up on siding somewhere in Italy...it was supposed to be a direct train, but we had to get off and catch another. We took Eurostar back from Naples to Rome. Take Eurostar, it costs $5/10 more but is worth it. Careful, from Naples to Rome the Eurostar is listed as Milano! That is the ending point, it stops in Rome.
Pompeii is incredible. We hired a guide for about $90. You need to hire a guide or you will miss much of the remains. Good luck. Any questions, email me.
 
Jan 9th, 2001, 04:35 AM
  #9  
leo
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I agree. Pay for the guide you will "see" so much more. Pompeii is huge. Buy a book at the entrance, make sure the map is included, they tend to fall out. Make sure to see the Garden of the fugitives. it is incrediably moving.
In 1997 my hubby and I spent a few minutes (10 or so) staring at and photographing the objects inside the large barred garage that included various oddities like a tree trunk and a human cast etc. After a few minutes the guard open it up and let us walk around, but turned away other as they tried to enter. After more photographs, we thanked him profusely, and of course tipped him as well. Then he took us around to the back of the garage for more... chariot wheels, a complete dog skeleton, fish bones from the market, racks and racks of artifacts. Another tip and then the finale. We followed him to the administration center where I gathered that I should wait, after a few minutes we entered the office and he showed us into the back room where there were many treasures: pottery, glass perfume jars etc. etc. Incredible! I love the Italians!
Hurculaneum is also great.
 
Jan 9th, 2001, 09:28 AM
  #10  
Diane
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We plan to visit Pompeii on our way back to Rome from Maiori on a Saturday...about how long is the drive from Pompeii to, say the airport (FCO)in Rome? (We would turn in our car there and train into the city.) Am I too optimistic in guessing the same 3 hrs to drive as a train?
 
Jan 9th, 2001, 01:53 PM
  #11  
Susan
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You guys,
How do you hire a guide? Are they all just standing around? How do you know you get a good one and is that the going price $80-$90? sounds great!
 
Jan 9th, 2001, 02:18 PM
  #12  
Thyra
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The day we went there were about 10 guides just standing around the entrance. Of course we went in March, I don't know if it's more difficult to get one during the peak (summer) season or not. All of the official guides were wearing guide badges.
 
Jan 10th, 2001, 05:38 AM
  #13  
leo
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There are usually guides available at the entrance to all tourist attractions in Europe. If you hang around and look around at the entrace you will be approached by someone (official or nonofficial) wanting to serve as a guide. This is also true of museums. In Athens we knew we only had two hours (or nothing) to see the national museum. The guide took us where we wanted to go within our time limit and we learned so much more than wandering by ourselves.
As to seasonal avaiability, the first time (May-97) we visited Herculaneum there were tons of "official guides", but the second time (July-99) there were none in site (maybe they were all at the more popular Pompeii). However, a groundkeeper gave my family (10 people) a wonderful tour because it was clear he had such a great affection for the ruins.
 
Jan 10th, 2001, 03:45 PM
  #14  
Maira
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Our guide in Pompeii knew all the guards and took us to a site still undergoing inventory and not allowing in tourists yet. It was clearly a kitchen, and I was amazed to see very, very well preserved frescoes (the Pompeian red is unlike any other red....), some pottery, and utensils. On our way out, we tipped the guard, and this is the first time that I learned about a similar experience, which makes me think there is an "underground economy" at work in Pompeii.
 
Jan 10th, 2001, 06:25 PM
  #15  
gluck
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I'm glad the others enjoyed their guides but must disagree. We bought a guidebook for about $12 (available at the site or in Sorrento stores) which was very helpful and enabled us to cruise around at our own pace. I overheard some of what those guides were saying and frankly, entertaining they might be but accurate they weren't.
 
Jan 10th, 2001, 08:28 PM
  #16  
wendy
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2 recommendations- buy the book at home before you go. There is much to read/many pictures to go through before you go to get the best out of walking around. We weren't ended up hooking up with a group the tour guide was taking out of 10 people, and it was perfectly fine. No need to spend the $90- the ennglish speaking group is more than sufficient/.
 
Mar 15th, 2001, 08:49 AM
  #17  
top
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ttt
 
May 2nd, 2001, 09:00 AM
  #18  
Tracy
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Wendy - what guide book for Pompeii do you recommend? Where is it available in the US? Thanks!!!
 
May 2nd, 2001, 04:06 PM
  #19  
Topper
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TTT
 
May 2nd, 2001, 11:33 PM
  #20  
brownie
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I agree with gluck above.

We bought a book when we were there and had a great time floating around .. you can easily spend a whole day there.

We didn't think much of some of the guides there.. .some were even scalping tickets!

The people who work there went on strike when we got there and they were on strike until about 2pm. The place closed at 5 so it didn't leave us as much as time as we wanted to and consequently led us to think that ercolano was better. Though I think that was only because it was more manageable.

Pompeii was still memorable though.
 

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