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My 12 yr old son wants to see Caserta (Star Wars Palace) and Pompeii - any tours that do both in one day from Rome?

My 12 yr old son wants to see Caserta (Star Wars Palace) and Pompeii - any tours that do both in one day from Rome?

Nov 30th, 1999, 06:06 PM
  #1  
brogan
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My 12 yr old son wants to see Caserta (Star Wars Palace) and Pompeii - any tours that do both in one day from Rome?

If there are no tours, does anyone have any idea how long it will take to drive to Caserta from Rome and then from Caserta to Pompeii and then from Pompeii back to Rome? How are the roads? Any suggestions on how best to do this? What car agencies available?
 
Nov 30th, 1999, 07:30 PM
  #2  
Rex
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I wouldn't personally do both in one day, starting from Rome - - and I am NOTORIOUS for trying to do 18 hour days like this.

It's not that it can't be done.

One of the hardest parts is to get OUT of Rome. It can easily take an hour to get from the center out to the "beltway" (the GRA). From the GRA, you actually CAN drive to Caserta in about 1 hr 15 minutes (if you are willing to drive 170 km/hr - - keep in mind that some Europeans do - - not that I ever would (wink!) The road from Rome to Naples area is as good as any Autobahn, as good as any new American freeway.

From Caserta to Pompeii is not very far, of course - - but the point is that this isn't a "tag, you're it" game. Figure out how you can do this when you are ready to leave Rome or the day before settling in there. Otherwise, I would say you ought to have the strength to leave Rome before 7 am and get back late. And don't forget - - coming back into the city is just as bad as leaving.

As for car rentals, keep in mind that you can usually get a better deal when renting before you leave the US. And there are no good deals if you rent for less than 3 days (another reason to be outside of Rome as your base to go to Campania - - do you want to garage a car for three nights to be able to this trip from your hotel in Rome? At least $30 USD/day).

Travelocity.com seems to work well for the majors; www.autoeurope.com and www.its-cars-hotels.com are "secondary" sources (consolidators) for rentals from the majors. No matter who you get the car from, you will be asked if you are headed south, and even if it is for a day trip, you will be admonished to ONLY park in a secured, enclosed, private garage - - due to the higher risk of car theft in the south. I have parked in "public" unsecured lots (tried to stay in direct vision of the lot though), and I find it hard to believe that there is much risk in a crowded lot in broad daylight.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Nov 30th, 1999, 08:19 PM
  #3  
Brogan
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Thank you Rex. Your info was very helpful. What do you think if we tried to do it by train. The chat in this forum seems to paint the train system as unreliable...what do you think?
 
Dec 1st, 1999, 02:00 AM
  #4  
Paulo
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It's still a looooong day ... You'd have to pick the 7:40am EuroStar, arriving in Caserta at 9:23am. After visiting the La Reggia, unless there's a direct bus or such, you'd have to go back to Naples. There are trains departing at 11:38am, 12:02pm, 12:10pm, 12:24pm arriving some 40 minutes later. Down the stairs to pick a Circumvesuviana train (direction Sorrento) departing at 12:39pm, 1:09pm arriving, once again, some 40 minutes later. You'd be in position to start visiting Pompeii around 1:30-2:00pm. After a 4 hour visit you'd start your approx. 3-hour journey back to Rome via Naples.
You don't say when you're planning to go. The Pompeii scavi close about 1 hour before sunset ... meaning that in winter your visit would be very short (not more than hours or so).
Paulo
 
Dec 1st, 1999, 03:48 AM
  #5  
Rex
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You sound intent on trying it - - I didn't say you can't - - just eat your Wheaties! How accustomed are you to driving in Italy? For myself, I would rely on my own lead foot and an able car over the train. Remember what I said about fast driving - - if you feel comfortable doing it, the roads WILL reward you.

I can not offer the personal experience provided her by Paulo, but it would seem to support the notion that using the train will just make the day longer (though admittedly, no risk of falling asleep on the train, like there is at the wheel of a car).

Is this a two-parent trip or one? with two drivers, you wil be OK - - I just wanted to warn you, that when fatigue starts to set in (say at hour 13 or 14 after a 7 am start) - - you may be facing the frustration of getting back through Rome traffic into your hotel!

Would I do it personally? If my kid(s) begged me, yes - - but then my kids are the three best kids in the world! (It wouldn't hurt to remind your son that this rather demanding day trip requires nice behavior from everyone!)

Do I recommend it to someone else? only with these huge caveats.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Dec 1st, 1999, 05:10 AM
  #6  
Paulo
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The last 15 years or so, when in Rome, I always had a car (usually a 1-month rental/lease). I agree with you, Rex, that the way to go is by car if you already have one. But you pointed out the main nuisance if one doens't:
a) one has to loose precious time in Rome renting one (the afternoon before the trip)
b) one has to provide for expensive garage
c) when one returns to Rome, the rental offices will be closed ... that's one more night in a garage
d) one has to turn the car in ... some more precious time lost

It's not worth it (I'd say more because of the time lost in Rome than the $).

But I don't agree with you, Rex, that leaving Rome by car is a nightmare ... specially around 7:00/7:30am. All one has to do is to follow the green Autostrada signs (A1 south) and one will be in the Circumvalazione in no time (10 minutes from Via Veneto, where the rental offices are, is way enough). Now getting back in the evening is a completely different story ... though I know Rome pretty well, I do whatever I can to avoid it
Paulo

PS. from Via Veneto in Rome to Caserta, driving at the maximum allowed speeds (130km/h on the Autostrada) one should take approx. 2:15 hours ... from Caserta to Pompeii 30 minutes and from Pompeii back to central Rome (if one knows the way ... big if) 2:40 hours.
 
Dec 1st, 1999, 11:41 AM
  #7  
howard
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We did both Pompeii and Caserta by car two weeks ago. (Italian friends tooks us, so we didn't have to be concerned about car rentals.) We visited the two cities on consecutive days, with a stay on the Amalfi coast inbetween (highly recommended). We planned to visit Victor Emmanuel's palace in Caserta. Unfortunately, it closes at 2 p.m. off season, so we never got in. I add that information about the the hours of operation as a caution if you are going anywhere off season. Incidentally, the Pompeii visit was one of the high points of our trip. We definitely recommend getting a guide for the tour.
 

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