Pompeii Advice Needed

Apr 30th, 2008, 08:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 103
Pompeii Advice Needed

We (family of 4) will be going from Rome to Sorrento on June 25 via private driver. The plan was to stop in Pompeii for a couple of hours and then continue to Sorrento. I am concerned (1) that it will be hot getting to Pompeii around noon and (2) that a couple of hours is too short an amount of time.

I'm wondering now if it would be a better plan to go straight to Sorrento, and then take the Circumvensia the next morning to Pompeii. This way, we'll go when it's cooler earlier in the day, and we can spend as much time as we like.

Alternatively, we could have the driver take us to Naples so we can go to the Archaeology Museum for a couple of hours, and then continue on to Sorrento. That way we would see the Museum before we go to Pompeii (which we would do the next morning by train, as above). Otherwise, with our current plan, we will be going to the Museum after our three nights in Sorrento, because we fly out of Naples to go home.

Thoughts anyone?
pkdof is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 08:38 PM
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Why don't you just wing it depending on the weather that day? A couple of hours isn't very long for Pompeii, but if it isn't hot you could stay longer. You could have your driver drop you at Pompeii and train to Sorrento after you are finished touring. That way you wouldn't be paying a driver to hang around. Pompeii has a free luggage storage at the entrance and the train station is right across the street. The train to Sorrento to Pompeii only takes about 30 minutes.
kybourbon is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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2 hours will be too rushed to visit the ruins at Pompeii. I was there at 4:00 p.m. in July and it was hot, but bearable. Early morning would also be a good idea. any day in Pompeii in the summer will be hot unless it's raining, but who wants to be there in the rain!
Mirella is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 09:44 PM
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By the time you get up to Pompeii the next day via Circumvensia and tour for two hours, isn't it going to be noon anyway? So I guess I am wondering why you would want to take your time the next day, if you are concerned about the heat?

If you already have a driver, it sounds ideal to travel to Pompeii on your way to Sorrento at the beginning of the day and I think 2 hours is a sufficient amount of time there. I know others can spend all day, but it all starts looking the same to me.

Don't get me wrong, you must go to Pompeii if you are in the area...but can you ask the driver to extend your journey by another hour for a small amount more? I assume the extra cost is the deciding factor...

The alternate plan sounds good too though, since I cannot imagine being able to actually enjoy a museum visit when you are on your way to the airport to catch a flight.
wannagetaway is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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The price we were quoted includes an optional 2 hour stop at Pompeii. I suppose we could wait and see how the weather is, or at least what the forecast is and communicate with the driver. I don't see the point of having the driver leave us at Pompeii and then deal with the luggage and train ourselves (plus our hotel in Sorrento is down a long driveway, etc.), I wouldn't be getting what I'm paying for.

Wannagetaway, I should be clear that we wouldn't be going from the museum to the airport. We will spend the night in Naples before our noon flight the next day. The plan was to go to the museum when we arrive in Naples, spend a couple of hours, then have dinner.

pkdof is offline  
Apr 30th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Oh, I see. That sounds much more enjoyable that trying to fit it in on the way to the airport. Have a great trip and good luck!
wannagetaway is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 03:29 AM
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Pompeii requires several hours. It is a large place having been a city of 25,000 in its day. Give it a day an you'll be much more pleased with the experience.
Highly recommend Robert Harris' book on the eruption. Great read.
RJD is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 04:05 AM
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We've been to Pompeii twice with our kids. Maybe your kids are real archaeology buffs, but I can't imagine that they'd want to spend a whole day there. My kids thought a few hours viewing the highlights of Pompeii with a guide ( we found an excellent one at the entrance) was ideal. We did just what you are considering- stopped there on the way to Sorrento, and thought it worked out very well. Yes, it was very hot, but we took a few bottles of ice water with us and were fine for the tour.
Weadles is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 04:07 AM
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I forgot to add that a few summers ago, there were also evening tours available of Pompeii. These featured a guided tour plus video show, and appealed to our kids, although we found it all a bit too hokey. However, obviously it was much cooler, and there was something to be said for seeing Pompeii lit up in the evening, especially since our visit coincided with a full moon!
Weadles is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 04:21 AM
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Every time I've been in Campania in late June it has been very hot.

There's no reason why you shouldn't be able to get there for opening time the next day, even by train, so I'd advise going then. And take light-coloured umbrellas as sunshades.

But if you can afford a private driver all the way from Rome to Sorrento, why not also get one from Sorrento to Pompeii ?
caroline_edinburgh is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 06:05 AM
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Have to admit I've not read all posts but...

I'd go to Sorrento and take the Circum train personally. Do it early in the morning.

With kids, take some snacks and find a nice quiet place to the back of the site to take a break. Also, I'd buy (and did buy without kids) one of those Then and Now types of books outside the site...they have plastic overlays that show what various buildings and streets likely looked like before the eruption.
mdtravel is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 10:51 AM
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My girlfriend and I are going to Napoli and Sorrento around the same time, but we are flying into Napoli then taking the Circum to Sorrento. We are going to Pompeii the next day on the Circum then spending a few hours in Napoli, which we will catch the train back to Sorrento for the night.

But I was wondering if you can get advanced tickets into Pompeii? I have been looking and could not find any information. Any recommendations?
italarch is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 11:00 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. I am thinking we will kind of play it by ear, depending on weather. If it isn't too terribly hot, we can still stop for a couple of hours on the way to Sorrento, and then if we feel we really need to do more, we can go the next morning to Herculaneum and also stop back in Pompeii for another hour or so.

I do think that my kids' patience will wear thin, though. We will have spent 5 nights in Rome, having done as many sights as we can fit in, and will also have had an extremely busy couple of days in Florence. The kids (and DH and I) may well be ready to just relax by the pool at our hotel in Sorrento.

Hiring a driver to take 4 of us from Rome to Sorrento seems well worth it, saving a hundred euros but having to deal with the hassle of luggage and trains - it's not a close question. But it doesn't seem worth it to hire a driver to save a 30 minute train ride without luggage.
pkdof is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 11:03 AM
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We recently went to Pompeii and another day the Archeological Museum. I think that order is best as the "good bits" that have been removed to the museum are better appreciated after you see the context of the city of Pompeii itself. And when you are at the museum, be sure to take a few minutes and pop in the subway station just below. You don't need a ticket or anything, but they have a nice exhibit down there as to the archeological excavations undertaken in Naples and what they found from the ancient city there. We found it by accident thinking it was the entrance to the museum (LOL).
laurie_ann is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 11:46 AM
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In your circumstances, I'd plan to make the stop with the driver, since you have paid for it. If two hours is not enough, it is easy enough to return another day, either for late afternoon cooler hours or take a full day and include the Naples museum.
kayd is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 02:38 PM
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we stayed in Sorrento and took the Circumvesia to arrive at Pompei for opening time at 8.30am. It was quiet and we headed straight for the Villa of the Mysteries - which was a good move as everyone else headed for the Forum, so we had the villa to ourselves and you could really get the feeling of what the place was like. Take some water with you and possibly snacks for the kids as there is only one restaurant near the Forum. We spent almost all day there, but you could get a good feel of the place in half a day especially if you start early.
We went to Herculaneum the following day - half a day was fine as it is much smaller than Pompei, we then took the train to Naples, spent 1 -2 hours at the archeological museum, then walked down to the port and took a ferry back to Sorrento. I highly recommend the ferry, you get great views of Naples and Vesuvius and it will be refreshing if it is hot.
lindared is offline  

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