Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Looking for review of 1-day Pompeii/Naples Itinerary Please :)

Looking for review of 1-day Pompeii/Naples Itinerary Please :)

Jul 22nd, 2014, 12:32 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
Looking for review of 1-day Pompeii/Naples Itinerary Please :)

We are finalizing our Positano-Rome transit day plans with stops in Pompeii & Naples. I would be very appreciative of some feedback to know if my estimations are good & doable (and not misery causing) before buying train tickets.

7:45am Depart Positano via private driver

9:15am Drop off at Naploli Centrale (store luggage & get Circumvensia tix to Pompeii)

9:41am Train to Pompeii

10:15-1:00 Pompeii (take 1:07pm train back to Naples)

1:42pm Back at Napoli Central, Taxi to lunch along Via Partenope

2:05pm-3:30pm Pizza Break

3:30pm-4:15pm Castle of the Egg

4:30pm Taxi back to Napoli Centrale, retrieve bags

5:10pm Train to Rome

I am still not certain if it would be best to have driver drop us at Napoli Centrale or at Pompei Scavi. Napoli Centrale drop off saves us from having to lug our bags to Pompei & store/retrieve them twice. But Pompei Scavi drop off is more direct, saving us a transit change. Thoughts?

Thank you!
limmy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 12:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Most pizzerie in Naples do not open until after 4pm, especially in summer. Just make sure if you are targeting a specific pizzeria that it is open when you want it to be open. Also be aware that many of the pizzerie listed in guidebooks that are open midday have lines.

But more importantly:

If traveling in warm weather months, go directly to Pompeii and store your luggage there. It is better to get there early, before the heat sets in. Not only that, it gives you more time in Pompeii, which is a vast, huge site.

If you store your luggage at Pompeii, you will need to store it again at Napoli Centrale, but if summer heat is an issue, it is worth it to get to Pompeii early.

The most startling one-shot sight in Napoli is the Cappella Sansevero. After that, the archeological museum is terrific. But given that you need to be back at the train station by 4.30pm to collect your luggage, you might find it most fascinating to simply walk through the historic quarter of Naples, eating pizza and pastries. Most good guidebooks will show give you a map and self-guided tour. There is almost NOTHING LEFT IN EURIOPE like Naples (not even in Italy), so it is worth the gawk.

Your agenda is really very very tight. If you are enjoying Pompei, go with the flow.

I don't think the "egg castle" is worth the taxi ride. There are much more amazing sights within walking reach of the train station.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 01:23 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
Thanks Sandralist.

I was told that we will have at few choices of open establishments for pizza in the area of Via Partenope/Castle of the Egg at that time of day (and I have started researching some specifically). This is how the Egg Castle got thrown into the mix. Just a stop on way to the taxi station after lunch, for a quick view/photo. I don't have my heart set on it, we might not feel like stopping when the time comes. Do you have any knowledge if there would be pizzerie open at this time of day in this area?

I intend to get around to forming plan b, more like you described - a wander through the historical area and a bite to eat. Then we could decide what we want to do when the time comes. No matter where we go in Naples, I think we want to get on the 5:10 train to Rome, so the basic structure of day the would be the same.

"There is almost NOTHING LEFT IN EURIOPE like Naples (not even in Italy), so it is worth the gawk." I am super in to this. If I had my way we'd skip Pompeii and spend the whole day in Naples, ruins don't really blow my skirt up. Do you happen to know where we could find (good) pizza in the 2pm-3:30pm window in the historical area?

I am aware of the relentless summer heat in Pompei! We'll be there mid-october so I think we could still get unusually warm temps, the sun won't be as direct & hopefully we'll be comfortable.

Thank you - helpful as always.
limmy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 02:14 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Even if summer heat is not an issue, I don't think your 2 hour plan for Pompeii works. It is just a HUGE excavation site. It is an entire city that was buried in ash. Street after street. You might consider visiting Herculaneum instead. It is easier to grasp in 2 hours (and a bit closer to Naples). If others in your group insist on Naples, head here first, stow your luggage there, and hire a guide or use an audio guide to be efficient. That is my recommendation.

I think by mid October you have a higher chance of pleasant temps. No promises, and take water, but summer is over.

I am the wrong person to ask about Neapolitan pizza because I prefer Roman pizza. I think if you ask on Chowhound for a specific recommendation you can get help (or possibly here), but people need to know what day of the week you are traveling (Sundays are tricky). But I feel certain you do not need to go all the way to seaside to get credible Neapolitan pizza midday.

I think if you target the Cappella Sansevero you can get the flavor on the historic center of Naples right around there. You can probably find a self-guided walking tour online, or a touristic map. You don't need to enter any specific buildings. You can just tromp around for 90 minutes or so. Try more than one pizza! They are cheap. But if you wan to make that 5pm train, then you need to make sure you are back at the station in time to fetch your luggage. When you are through, you will either say "Thank god! Never again!" or you will start plotting your return to Naples ASAP.

If you have a chance before you go, watch "It Happened in Naples" with Sophis Loren & Clark Gable. Many of the philosophical and sociological underpinnings of the movie really haven't changed.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 02:15 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
I made a typo!

I meant to write:

"If others in your group insist on POMPEII, head here first, stow your luggage there, and hire a guide or use an audio guide to be efficient. That is my recommendation.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 02:41 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
And yet another typo!

The name of the movie is

It STARTED in Naples
sandralist is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 03:49 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,961
I agree with sandralist, for such a tight schedule, Herculaneum would be better. You have 2hrs 45 min from train to train, it takes 10 minutes to walk from the train station to the site, there is a line to buy tickets (there was one in May, I guess there will be one in Oct), this leaves you with maybe 2 hrs there. Not enough for even ½ the site.

According to google, the drive Positano – Naples train station is 1 hr 27 min. If you hit any traffic (likely), you will not make this time, and miss your train to Positano. Have a plan B.

Personally, I did not like Naples pizza, but I guess you need to decide that for yourself.

We spent almost 2 days in Naples: one full day in Pompeii and the other day (not full) we visited the archeological museum and Cappella Sansevero, and walked around the historical center. After doing that both, if I had only 1 day, I would skip Pompeii (especially that it seems you are not crazy about that idea, anyway). It would make the difference from a hectic day, running around to make sure you don’t miss your final train to Rome, to an enjoyable day in Naples. Think about it…
xyz99 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 03:58 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,520
I agree, you're trying to do way too much. Either spend that day in Naples or in Pompeii, but not both. You are going to be so stressed trying to fit it all in you won't be able to enjoy yourself. Especially with your hard stop of having to make that train.
MonicaRichards is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 05:35 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
Sandralist - I didn't make note of it in my reply but advice taken, to go directly to Pompeii & store luggage there. I am not acquainted with Chowhound, I'll see if I can find anything out there, thanks. And the movie - I'll check it out. We do plan on using a guide or audio guide for Pompeii.

XYZ - Thank you for your advice. From what I've already gathered, Herculaneum would be a better fit for us time-wise, agreed. My husband wants to go to POMPEII though, I think he'd sooner skip the ruins all together than go to Herculaneum instead. I know I did not allow for heavy traffic or any other hiccups in the itinerary. Our plan B would be to just roll with the punches, we'd have to take the time lost from somewhere else. If we don't want to leave Pompeii early then we'd have to shorten Naples. We don't want to check-in later than 7(ish) in Rome. Or I will turn into a pumpkin before dinner is over.

Monica - thank you for your reply, reiterating logic is helpful to me when I'm trying to make the different wants of 2 people fit into a bag too small to hold them both.

We do plan on a guide in Pompeii - either a breathing one or an audio one. I have done some light skimming on the subject and hear a lot of them are 2 hours, and people often spend one additional hour afterwards on their own. I do know that Pompeii is huge, but I don't think it's mandatory that we see the whole thing. I'm sure some people can't get enough - for others 2 hours is enough.

So if we go direct to Pompeii & arrive around 9:30 (best case scenario) then we can take the 1:07 train back to Naples. If we stick to the historical center that will give us a little bit shorter trek back to the train station for our 5:10 departure. Does this seem like a really horrible plan?

I'm also going to speak with my husband about his desire to go to Pompeii. I'm not sure how strong it is. It might be along the lines of wanting to get your photo taken in front of the tower of Pisa - kinda...superficial. I'm doing ALL the planning alone so I feel pressure to fit in the things that are important to him. I think I've done a good job of this so far. Maybe this one should go to me, and we spend the day in Naples. I'm really fascinated by it and I suspect that he would really like it, more than Pompeii in fact. Maybe that's naive of me to say without being there before, but this is my gut feeling. Maybe all of your urging will result in us agreeing to just spend our day in Naples

Thank you all so much!
limmy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 05:47 PM
  #10  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
WAY too rushed for my tastes! I would rather see any of these sites with at least a little time to savor them than to rush through them at breakneck speed. YMMV.
kja is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 06:46 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
It's too rushed for my taste too kja, agreed! I should have included a disclaimer that this is not proposed as ideal. More a question of if it's feasible, and not totally miserable. I had to look up YMMV and to that I say, my milage does not vary, haha. I'm working on keeping us in Naples only for the day. Thanks for replying!
limmy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 07:28 PM
  #12  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
Any chance of waiting for both Naples and Pompeii until you can do them justice? Maybe visit Ostia Antica instead?
kja is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 08:03 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
kja: I don't have a burning desire to go to Pompeii - or any dedicated ruins site to be honest. If we agree to skip Pompeii we would spend that time in Naples. I do have a burning desire to visit Naples

Is Ostia Antica similar to Naples? I was under a very different impression. Maybe I misunderstood?
limmy is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2014, 08:20 PM
  #14  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 20,785
Ostia Antica is a ruin, something like Pompeii or Hercolaneum.

Naples is a huge city, well worth more than a day trip IMO.

Your call! Just remember that you will give up a LOT of time getting to/from Naples, and then getting to/from whatever you decide to see in Naples -- all time that you COULD be spending seeing other incredibly worthy sites closer to your point of origin.
kja is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2014, 12:19 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Since pizzerie open at 4pm, and many serve more than just pizza, any chance you would be willing to eat substantially around 5 or 6 and take a later train to Rome? Then you wouldn't be fixated on that 1.07 train or 5pm train, and just leave Pompei when you've seen Pompei, and spend whatever time you like in the historic center.

I think if your husband is willing to map out a clear plan of what he wants to see in Pompeii, plus you have a guide, he deserves to go! It is a tremendous sight. I love Naples (and I would want to go to the archeological museum there as part of a day in Pompei, but up to your husband), but you can get a feeling for what Naples is in 2 hours or so. It is very IN YOUR FACE. Immediately.

So consider eating too much pizza and pasta, buy some sfogliatelle and baba for the road and leave for Naples on a slightly later train, say 7pm or 7.30. You'll be in Rome in an hour. Take a taxi to the hotel and have a nightcap.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2014, 03:09 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 32,566
>>>5:10pm Train to Rome<<<

Take a later train. It doesn't make sense to have such a tight schedule when you have choices for later trains.
kybourbon is offline  
Jul 25th, 2014, 02:03 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
Thanks everyone. A later train did occur to me as a remedy but I really would prefer to be in Rome for dinner.

My husband and I talked about it and my suspicion was correct - he doesn't have a deep interest in Pompeii, it was really more about being able to say he's been to Pompeii. He has more real interest in Naples and knowing the difficulty in doing both he easily agrees that we should focus on Naples only. I'd like to see Pompeii IF we had 2 or more nights in Naples, but we don't. So for just a stop-by en route to Rome, we'll spend our time in Naples. And pizza in Naples isn't super important, we can have a panini lunch or whatever. If the opportunity presents itself for pizza then great, if not then no biggie.

I do have one more question regarding train tickets. The "economy" option on Trenitalia says "reservation change allowed before departure" - does this mean that if we pre-purchased economy tickets for 17:10 that we could show up earlier and take an earlier train without penalty so long as the earlier train had seats available?

Thank you all for helping me work through this!
limmy is offline  
Jul 25th, 2014, 03:35 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Please don't have a panini lunch. If pizza is not important to you, Naples has one of the great cuisines of Italy. Even if you are not going to sit down for a full blown 4 course splendid seafood lunch, please at least have one of its many great pasta dishes and vegetable dishes. Naples is also one of the very finest cities in Europe for coffee. Caffe Mexico is outstanding and there is more than one location around town.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 25th, 2014, 04:07 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 371
We will! My husband is a huge eater, I mean huge. We will probably grab a sandwich/snack at some point and sit down for a full meal - i will do some research. Thanks for the coffee tip. I love good coffee. I drink espresso at home & think I make it pretty well until I have a really good one somewhere and I'm reminded how special a really excellent coffee is.
limmy is offline  
Jul 26th, 2014, 03:04 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
If you go to Caffe Mexico (there is one in piazza Dante and another right opposite the train station, across the piazza Garibaldi), they will make your espresso with sugar unless you ask them not to. Just tell the barista "senza zucchero" if you don't want sugar -- but it is quite delicious with sugar the way they prepare it.

Also near the train station, the bakery Attanasio reliably serves their pastries hot, and does a whopping business in the alternate version of sflogliatelle, which has a shortcrust pastry shell rather than thin crunchy leaves of pastry.

http://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/foo...-train-station

http://www.faithwillinger.com/travel...an-dream-puffs

Also, beyond pizza, Naples also has a strong tradition in fried foods to go. Do some research about "friggitorie" in Napoli and also check out the Leopoldo bakeries for taralli

http://www.leopoldo.it/

http://realfoodie.hubpages.com/hub/N...-a-Cheap-Price

http://www.agrodolce.it/2013/12/19/m...rie-di-napoli/
sandralist is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:25 PM.