Sep 1st, 2006, 06:47 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 47

Is it best to hire a tour guide to visit Pompeii, or go it alone with a guide book? Also, how best to get to Pompeii from Naples if not renting a car?
PapaG is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 06:53 PM
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Take the local commuter train (Circumvesuviana) downstairs in the Naples train station to Pompeii Scavi stop. The entrance to the ruins is across the street. You can rent an audioguide or hire a tour guide. There will be many guides available at the entrance.
kybourbon is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 06:59 PM
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I will pass this along for you to think about...I have been twice...once with a guide and once without... Usually my husband and I travel alone and never use guides. I research ahead and we read as we go. I went the second time with a school group and we had a guide. He was good but I knew a lot of what he said from my own reading. There are definite pros and cons of both methods for sure , but the one thing I did not like about going alone in Pompeii was that I became the read aloud person and was constantly looking down as I read and then looking up. It was not relaxing at all! In fact, it got annoying because it is packed with things to see. Also when we left Pompeii and I was still reading more and I turned a page and found some valuable information we missed! ( Tipping the employees off season to open locked portions of the city! darn it all!) So IF you choose to go it alone, try to do your research ahead of time so you can really take it all in!
wondering is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 08:54 PM
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Is it Monday or Tuesday that Pompeii is closed?
del is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:17 AM
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Pompeii is closed Jan. 1, May 1, and Dec. 25.

The audio guides are easy to use. The sites are numbered and you just select the number of the site you want and listen.
kybourbon is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 04:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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We just visited Pompeii, without a guide, and think it would have been a more enjoyable experience had we had a tour guide.

We took the train from Naples, a short ride and simple train trip.
clz is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Hi PapaG,

My first visit to Pompeii was just using a brochure and walking around for 2 hours. (Boyfriend had seriously limited attention span.)

My second visit was solo, using the excellent audioguide and I spent 4 1/2 hours! Could have taken more time, but I was exhausted!

Be sure to ask for a "special ticket" at the ticket booth for the Suburban Baths, an area just excavated over the last 10 years. Very interesting!

I had a private guide solicit me at the entrance. He wanted 90E and when I asked how long his tour was, he answered 2 hours. When he heard I planned to spend at least 4 hours, he just shrugged! Perhaps most people who want a guide don't spend very long?

You'll love Pompeii. It's awesome.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 06:17 AM
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I second "wondering's" sentiments about reading and looking; invarieably the reader loses out on the experience. When you purchase your ticket for entrance to Pompeii, there are tour guides there speaking a variety of languages. After he gathers a group of like-speakers, you're off. Our group may have been 6 or 8, so you could stand close enough to hear him over the other guides and their groups. I would imagine each guide brings his own personality to the experience; ours was charming.
toni_g_b is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 09:12 AM
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We have done it both with guide and without. I have to say, go with the guide at least once. It is kind of pricey, but when you have a small group, it is less expensive. With the guide, you will see and hear things that otherwise slip by you. I have been there several times and the one time with the guide was worth the money.
kslanker is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 09:18 AM
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It's the MUSEUM that's closed on Mondays; not the site. (But confirm that it's still Mondays when it's closed -- that was a couple of years ago.)
Songdoc is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 09:59 AM
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Has anyone done the context tour of pompeii? Any thoughts if so?
papagena is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 10:50 AM
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We did a self-guided tour and wish we had hired a tour guide or joined a small group.
annw is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 12:56 PM
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Thanks for your thoughts.. and since it will be our first trip to Pompeii, I think we'll follow the tour guide recommendation. Can't wait to see the real thing, especially after visiting the Pompeii exhibit at a Chicago museum this past winter.
PapaG is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Great advice all around, my input is to be careful with tours - we saw so many that we too big and it was such a pain to crowd into the houses, baths, etc. We printed out a walking guide with a map that I found from, I think, someone here. http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/arti...080163,00.html
It was very helpful. We did think that maybe we would've liked an audio tour. Enjoy!!! Wear comfy shoes!!!!
sjm182222 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:26 PM
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There was an excellent show about Pompeii and Naples on the History Channel last week, did you happen to see it? Scroll to the bottom of the linked page for more info.


We're going in December--can't wait! Enjoy a great trip!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 01:28 PM
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Here's the website link for Pompeii. Click on services.
kybourbon is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 08:42 PM
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PapaG, don't discount the several comments here (and I'll add mine) about the handheld audio guides. I really liked the combination of listening to the information and having the freedom to wander and focus on what was interesting to me that the audio guides provided.

Ditto also on asking for the extra (included) ticket to the newly excavated baths near the entrance. Very interesting and some nice mosaics.

We took photocopies of information from two different guidebooks with us to supplement the audio guides.
annabelle2 is online now  
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