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Serica Jun 20th, 2017 02:05 PM

Pompeii from Naples

Does anyone have any tips regarding what is the best way to see Pompeii from Naples?
Is it best to book a tour or go ourselves? If anyone has any tips on Pompeii or Naples in General it would be greatly appreciated, we are only there for two nights so want to make the most of it!

Thanks so much to anyone who responds!

Many thanks,


rs899 Jun 20th, 2017 02:15 PM

I can't say which way is better. We took the train from Naples on our own. Not hard to do. I prefer to read up on where we go beforehand. Wife likes the lecture.

massimop Jun 20th, 2017 02:21 PM

You just take a commuter train from Naples station to the entrance to Pompeii. You don't need to book a tour. If you are going in summer try to get there early before it gets very hot, and bring water, sun protection and, if possible, food. (There is a cafeteria at Pompeii but if you can bring food from Naples, great).

If you only have one other day to see Naples then it might be an excellent idea to book a half-day walking tour with a local. There is lots of information online about the "10 best things to see in Naples" and you can pick what sounds most interesting to you. Almost everybody who goes to Naples is most impressed by the Capella Sansevero. If Pompeii interests you than many of its treasures are kept in the archeological museum in Naples, and it is a very impressive place to go.

People make a lot of noise about eating piazza in Naples and while you almost can't avoid it, and it is fun to sample, there are many beautiful unique things to do in Naples (my favorite is the cloisters of Santa Chiara) so a walking tour and some good info online can help you find some very memorable things to see. It's an unforgettable city. Have fun.

rs899 Jun 20th, 2017 02:29 PM


rs899 Jun 20th, 2017 02:31 PM

Sorry, hit the botton too fast...

Think about Herculaneum as well. If we ever get back we will likely go there.

Serica Jun 20th, 2017 02:45 PM

Thanks so much everyone! They are all really helpful tips!! It is greatly appreciated, I'm so excited to go!!

kja Jun 20th, 2017 06:36 PM

Another wholehearted recommendation for the archeology museum in Naples!

Naples holds a wealth of treasures, and 2 days is very little, particularly as your trip to Pompeii can take most of a day and your visit to the archeology museum a half day. That means you will need to be very selective, and none of us can tell you what YOU will most want to see / experience in that time. I'd make roaming Spaccanapoli and visiting the Duomo a priority, but that's just me. So you might find it useful to think through your options in advance.

Hope that helps!

greg Jun 20th, 2017 08:11 PM

>>> Is it best to book a tour or go ourselves?

What do you want to make "best"? The strategy is different depending on what is that you are after. If you just want to see a ruin, you can go yourselves. If you want someone to tell you what you are looking at without you spending any time preparing for a visit, you might need a tour. If have actually studied about the key features of Pompeii, an ordinary tourist guide would leave you unsatisfied.

>>> want to make the most of it.

If you want to make "most" of visit, you would have to prepare for your visit. Is this what you want to do? Before the visit, I have read "The Fires of Vesuvius" by Mary Beard,, I have also studied the Roman architecture and went through Diana Kleiner course on Roman Architecture,

kja Jun 20th, 2017 08:18 PM

While I agree with greg that preparation would obviate the need for a guide, I don't think one needs the degree of preparation he describes. Of course, since I didn't take the steps he mentions, I could be mistaken, but I felt well prepared by reading less extensively about Pompeii and Vesuvius and carefully studying the sections of guidebooks that cover Pompeii. I thought the coverage in Fodor's quite good.

kybourbon Jun 21st, 2017 06:14 AM

You can join a tour there when you arrive or you can rent an audioguide. The sites are numbered and you simply press the number you want to listen to (there should be maps available also, but sometimes they run out of English ones). If you rent an audioguide you will have to leave an ID with them until you return it.

MmePerdu Jun 21st, 2017 07:05 AM

With so little time I suggest you go to Herculaneum instead of Pompeii. A very manageable size and more than satisfying, accessed from Naples on the same Circumvesuviana (commuter train). It won't take all day, leaving you time for the museum and exploring Naples a bit.

Here are a few of my pictures of Herculaneum:

dwdvagamundo Jun 21st, 2017 07:24 AM

While Herculaneum is a fascinating site, compact and quite different from Pompeii, it is not Pompeii. My advice would be to see both, but if I had time to see only one, it would be Pompeii. And in both cases, see the Archaeology Museum as well to give some context to the sites.

MmePerdu Jun 21st, 2017 07:43 AM

If Serica had more than 1+ day, dwd, I might agree. But to visit the area and have so little time left for anything else, I'd be inclined to compromise, though visiting Herculaneum is no hardship. I don't believe she can possibly do both, nor likely would she want to in so short a time frame. It just depends, to my way of thinking, on whether she wants to save some time to see a live city as well as a dead one, no matter how fascinating it may be.

Peter_S_Aus Jun 21st, 2017 02:39 PM

Here is another vote for Herculaneum. Closer to Naples, a much smaller site, very "approachable".

Serica Jun 21st, 2017 02:48 PM

Thanks so much everyone, Wow I really wish we had more time in Naples now, looks like there is so much to do beyond Pompeii!

Regarding research I was fascinated by the story of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii when we studied it in school and I have done my own study regarding it so I feel that I will (hopefully) be adequately prepared.

Depending on what time we are able to arrive in Naples (we are coming the morning after a wedding) we may be able to see some of the other amazing sights you have all described.

Thank you so much for all your insights! I wish I had posted before we locked in our accomodation, I will be sure to research more in the future!

massimop Jun 21st, 2017 02:55 PM

I visited Herculaneum & Pompeii in the same day. However, it was springtime, much cooler, and I wasn't using public transportation. But it definitely meant not seeing some parts of Pompeii at all for lack of time. (I went back on another trip.)

The enormity of Pompei is in itself impressive, but the level of preservation (less destruction, actually) makes it easier to see how people used the town. (It's also shadier and that helps).

FWIW it's worth I found both sites quite "horrible" as sites of sudden annihilation and human suffering. I am surprised I went back, but I became quite interested in antiquity.

massimop Jun 21st, 2017 02:57 PM

Adding for clarity that I was comparing the size of Pompeii to the better preservation + shade of Herculaneum as to what makes an impression on a visitor.

kja Jun 21st, 2017 03:20 PM

I also visited Herculaneum and Pompeii on the same day, and I did it from Naples by public transportation, but it was a VERY long day and I didn't visit each and every nook of Pompeii. I was fascinated by the contrasts -- which are due in part to the different nature of these locations at the time and in part to the differences in their manner of destruction. (From what I've read, Pompeii was a working city destroyed by ash; Herculaneum was a wealthier resort-like town destroyed by pyroclastic flows.)

BUT with so many treasures in the area and so little time, I don't think there are any clear decisions about what to do.

If Pompeii is part of the agenda, making time for the Villa dei Misteri would be worth considering....

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