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Pompeii, Herculaneum - Order?

Old Mar 30th, 2004, 02:18 AM
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Pompeii, Herculaneum - Order?

Hello - We will be in Sorrento for a week and we plan on visiting many of the ancient sites. Do you think it matters in which order you visit the big two? We will also stop at Oplontis on the day we visit Herculaneum. Would there be some reason to see one before the other - in terms of appreciation and understanding?
Also, do people climb on the ruins? I ask this because at Ostia visitors are encouraged to run up and down the arena stairs, or photograph themselves behind a counter in an old apartment building. Thanks.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 05:52 AM
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ira
 
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Topping for Wish,

Have you also considered Paestum - best preserved Greek ruins outside Greece?
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 06:30 AM
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Wish, in Pompeii the ruins are very accessible. You walk in and around everything. The theater and amphitheater stairs are all available for climbing. One of the things I like about ancient sites in Rome and Pompeii is there is always an old broken column or something to sit on when you need to rest.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 07:07 AM
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If you don't have a preference, why don't you see the older ruins first, as this may give you an appreciation for advances in building skiils over time. I believe Herculaneum is older, but can't say for sure. . . .
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 07:31 AM
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We have visited both Pompeii and Herculaneum, but I guess it really never occurred to me which to visit first. We went to Pompeii first and a day or so later to Herculaneum. We found both to be extremely interesting and though Herculaneum is much smaller and quite different it was equally interesting. Had hoped to visit Paestum but time didn't allow.

We went to Ostia Antica on a previous trip to Rome. I don't remember anyone encouraging us to "climb on the ruins" but no one stopped us when walking around the theater or other places. Likewise at Pompeii and Herculaneum, we wandered around at our leisure and were not approached by any of the guards and told not to walk anyplace.

You're in for a real treat, both sites are wonderful.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 12:22 PM
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Re Herculaneum: Visit the Suburban Therme/Baths when you 1st arrive at the site. It closes at 1pm & last entrance is 1230 but I noticed them closing it a noon 3 weeks ago.
After you buy your ticket and walk down the long ramp alongside the site the Therme is in the corner of the site where the ramp 90deg to the right. When you reach the end of the ramp on your right you will see the bridge across the chasm to enter the site. But on your left and easy to miss is the other entrance. Which is an underground tunnel that takes you down to below the Therme to the ancient beach and boathouses (where 300 skeletons were found).
The Therme is also where that large basin that was blown across the room and left it's impression in the volcanic debris. It's always shown on those documentary shows . Regards, Walter
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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If you do venture on over and down to Paestum, you'll find none of the crowds or tour buses found at the other ruins. No problem to park. It's not nearly the size of Pompeii - a handful of temple ruins and a musuem - but still a wonderful site. It was worth a day of our trip to go there!
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Two suggestions regarding a visit to Pompeii and to Rome. One is to get little guide books which we got for the Forum and the Pompeii ruins which has an overlay so you can view the ruins and then see what they once looked like.

Other suggestion is reading some historical novels to get a feel of the ancient life, e.g., "Roman Blood," one of a series by Saylor, and "Pompeii," a new popular novel by Robert Harris.

Bill [email protected]
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Thank you everyone for replying. Yes Ira, I have Paestum on the schedule, but I am not sure if we'll really make it there. I have it for our last day - when we pick up the car and can drive direct.
Walter - I appreciate the tip. I'll be sure to visit the baths.
I looked up the ticket pricing today and I found it confusing. It seems that all 3 sites can be attempted in 1 day for 5E, while if you spread it out over 3 days and buy a combo ticket, it costs 18E. However, couldn't you just buy individual 5E tix on both days? I only ask because we are 5 people so costs for all those tix adds up after a while. Either way we will visit.
Last question, are there multiple ferries from Sorrento to Capri and Amalfi? I mean do I need to book with one particular company beforehand, or can we just go down to the dock that morning and find an appropriate ferry? Thank you.
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Old Mar 30th, 2004, 07:44 PM
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WishIwasthere-

I'm not sure where you saw the ticket prices. Oplontis is €5 for single ticket, but both Pompeii & Herculaneum are each €10. The combo ticket to 5 sites: (Herculaneum, Pompeii, Oplontis, Stabiae, Boscoreale) - valid for 3 days is € 18.00
http://www2.pompeiisites.org/databas...f?OpenDatabase
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Old Mar 31st, 2004, 01:45 AM
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Thanks YK. I was reading off of the Oplontis site that said, "5E for 3 sites." It must mean the lesser 3 sites. I guess the combo ticket is the way to go.
Any idea about my ferry question?
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Old Mar 31st, 2004, 04:35 AM
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If you are going in the spring/summer time, there should be plenty of ferries. No need to buy in advance. I suggest NOT buying roundtrip tickets as there are multiple companies and you would NOT want to be stuck waiting around for one particular company's ship when there are others that suit your schedule better.
The following URL has the schedules for Capri for the current month. If you are staying at a hotel in Sorrento, the front desk should also has all the ferry schedules.
http://www.capri.net/salsa/lang/en/p...ting_here.html
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Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 01:50 AM
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Another question...does anyone know if you need to Validate your tickets on the Circumsuviana commuter line like you do on the regular train lines? If I am traveling from Herculaneum to Sorrento, but stopping in Torre Anunziata to see Oplontis, do I buy point to point for each leg or just a longer journey ticket and make the stop? I am worried I won't be able to explain all of this (in Italian) to the conductor. Where I live (CT), on commuter trains you are allowed to exit and enter anywhere BEFORE the stop for which you purchased your ticket. You pay by ultimate distance, not each leg. Thanks for your help.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 04:17 AM
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ira
 
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Hi wish,

IIRC, your ticket is good for 6 hr from te time you stamp it. So, you can get off for a short stop and on again.

Re Paestum:

It's about 2 hr by ferry from Sorrento to Salerno, and you get a very nice view of the coast from the water. You could then rent your car in Salerno and drive to Paestum.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2004, 05:19 PM
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I don't think it matters which you visit first. Purely a matter of preference...but keep in mind that Pompeii has large "civic" buildings and temples, and grand villas along broad avenues. Think...say Washington DC. Herculaneum was a seaside town...think quaint. Narrow streets, small stone houses and shops. At Pompeii you get more of a sense of the grandeur of ancient Rome...at Herculaneum a sense of the daily life of people. Both are fabulous and complementary. When we were at Herculaneum we hired one of the licensed tour guides at the entrance, and he was excellent...it was well worth the extra expense. I'd just arrange the visits to best fit your time (I think you'll want more time for Pompeii because it is much larger), other logistics and perhaps the weather. If the weather is very hot and sunny, things feel much hotter over at Pompeii, which is farther from the water. Take a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and a water bottle!
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