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DawnK Mar 5th, 2006 05:44 AM

Pompeii for two nights
My husband and I will fly into Rome, take the train to Naples, and then change to the local train for Pompeii. The first night I would like to see the evening show at the ruins, if it is available. The next day I would like to take the Circumvesuviana to visit Oplontis, Herculaneum, and the Archaelogical Museum. Last day in the area, I would like to spend about five hours at the Pompeii site and then catch the train to Florence. I have heard that Sorrento is lovely, but I'm really interested in the ruins and thought that staying in Pompeii would be a better use of my time. I just want a place to sleep. I have heard that Pompeii is seedy, dirty, etc. What advice do you have for me regarding this plan? Also, what hotels or B&B's would you recommend that would be close to the Circumvesuviana station and the ruins? Thanks

nessundorma Mar 5th, 2006 07:42 AM

My advice is to plan to spend much more time at the Pompeii site itself. I have very few regrets from any of my travels in Italy but topping the list is that I only spent a morning touring Ercolanum and an afternoon touring Pompeii. And you are right that the Naples archeological museum is a must.

Unfortunately, I don't know if Pompeii is seedy and dirty. Have you checked out hotel reviews on Tripadvisor and SlowTravel for Pompeii? If you don't like what you see, Sorrento is convenient and has charm.

Also, you don't say what time of year you are going. If it is summer, you must bring a parasol. There is no shade in any of these places and the temperatures soar.

My advice is to look for ways to add time to your experience of Pompeii and Naples. Is it possible to take a connecting flight from the Rome airport to Naples? How about trimming some days from Firenze or elsewhere, and adding them to Pompeii?

Pausanias Mar 5th, 2006 08:05 AM

You might consider staying in Naples. It's convenient to Herculaneum and Pompeii and hosts the museum. It also opens the way to visit the ruins north and west of the city -- Baia, Cumae, Avernus, Phlegrian fields etc.

thit_cho Mar 5th, 2006 08:08 AM

I would also recommend staying in Naples, which has better lodging, restaurants and nightlife, and its only an hour or so to the Pompeii ruins, and even less to Herculaneum. I visited last December and I used Naples as a base.

There is a "left luggage" in the Naples train station, so on your last day, you can check out of hotel, leave bags at station and pick them up when you return to Pompeii on your way to Florence.

nessundorma Mar 5th, 2006 09:45 AM

I wouldn't leave my luggage in the Naples train station. When I stayed in a hotel quite near the train station, I was really sorry. I really love Naples and look forward to returning, but I think it is probably easier to find safe affordable digs closer to the train station in Sorrento.

julia1 Mar 5th, 2006 10:37 AM

I would also recommend staying in Naples. When I was there last autumn, I stayed at the hotel Bella Capri and recommend it. Inexpensive, with a comfortabe room looking out over the Bay of Naples and Vesuvius itself. Watching the sky turn rosy pink and the sun rise behind Vesuvius was magic. The hotel is like the old 'pensiones' you used to find all over Italy 30 or more years ago, rather than the hotels you see now. It's on a high floor of an old office building. You enter through gates, cross an interior courtyard, take the elevator up, and there's the Bella Capri. The people are welcoming and helpful. You're just across the road from the main port of Naples, where there are bars to sit and have a drink and people-watch. Just around the corner from the hotel are a couple of good restaurants. The Piazza Municipio is just down the block, with buses to the airport, train station, Circumvesuviana, etc. The historical center and the Piazza Del Plebiscito with opera house San Carlo and the Royal Palace are just a few minutes walk.

You can request a room with a view of the water and air conditioning.

I booked the hotel through the website. I've used this website for bookings all over Italy for several years now. It's great! There are lots of reviews.

Another great little place to stay is the town of Vico Equense. It's on the Circumvesuviana line, two or three stops before Sorrento and about 40 minutes from Pompeii. I stayed at the very quirky Hotel Oriente. It's built down the side of cliffs, just above the sea, with beautiful views out over the Bay and Vesuvius. There are also other hotels in Vico.

Weadles Mar 5th, 2006 12:08 PM

I wouldn't advise staying in Pompeii. It is "seedy and dirty". Naples or Sorrento are not very far away ( Sorrento is 30 min by train) so I think either of these would be a better choice.

batraveler Mar 5th, 2006 12:13 PM

I would recommend staying in the "new" Pompei (ancient Pompeii spelled with two i's). We stayed there last year in a nice and friendly B&B. We had a lovely view of Mt. Vesuvius in the background from our window.

DawnK Mar 5th, 2006 01:03 PM

batraveler--what was the name of your B&B in Pompei and how far was it from the ruins and the Circumvesuviana? Thanks

spiral Mar 5th, 2006 02:26 PM

We stopped overnight in Pompei last August at the hotel Santa Caterina. It is close (2 mins walk) to the "back gate" of the site and 5 mins from the station of new Pompei. The hotel was great for one night, staff very friendly and helpful although breakfast was poor. Pompei town itself is indeed rather seedy but no dirtier than other towns. We found it easy to visit Herculaneum from here leaving our car at the hotel. We were driving up from the Cilento to Latina and so found this easier than trying to drive along the Amalfi coast or into Naples. You may find it better to follow other people's advice and stay in Sorrento as you don't have a car to worry about.

DejaVu Mar 5th, 2006 03:04 PM

here's a vote for staying in Sorrento. Then you have a lovely town to walk around and be in after the day's touring is done. It's only 30 mins from Sorrento to Pompeii by Circumvesuviana; 1 hr from Sorrento to Naples. That's what I did, and it worked out great.

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