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Pompeii Qs: Tour guide cost, tipping for closed villas?

Pompeii Qs: Tour guide cost, tipping for closed villas?

Jan 14th, 2004, 02:51 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Pompeii Qs: Tour guide cost, tipping for closed villas?

We'll be in Italy next week and will spend a few days in Naples, specifically to see Pompeii, Herculaneum, the museum, etc. After EXTENSIVE searching on Pompeii, I've assembled my trusty Fodorite Guide to Pompeii. A few questions remain:

Can anyone who has been there recently give me an idea of how much it will cost to hire a private guide at the gates? I found price info from c. 2001 that ranged from $50 to $80 per person. I have read that if you group up with more people, it's cheaper, but I'm interested in a private tour with just the two of us. Cost isn't the primary concern, I just want to know the going rate - living in China, we tend to over-bargain and I don't want to get off on the wrong foot by arguing too much about price!

Also, several posts mentioned that particularly in the off season, some of the villas will be closed, and that if you tip the guards, they will let you in. Anyone else experience this? Seriously, how would one even go about it? In Egypt, there are similar situations, but the guards will literally grab your arm and ask for a baksheesh to climb inside a sarcophagus (really!). I'm assuming it will be a bit more subtle in Pompeii . . .

Thanks, all! I promise an updated Pompeii report upon my return.
Andrea_expat is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 03:05 AM
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Hi Andrea,
we were quoted around €100 for a private tour at Pompeii,but i'm sure if you haggle you can get the price down.We took the hand held audio tour which proved to be sufficient.
infomania is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 08:28 AM
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We had every intention of hiring a private guide, but when we arrived, there were none to be found. We bought a book for a slef-guiding tour. As soon as we entered the ruins, a group tour guide, invited us to join. We dit. I can't remember the cost, but it was very inexpensive (our kids were free) and the tour was great. The guide was informative and very entertaining as well.
MFNYC is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 08:29 AM
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Please excuse my typos!!
MFNYC is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 08:40 AM
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We used a combination of book guides around Pompeii, one being Rick Steves. As we wandered and enjoyed our self-guided tour we passed many english speaking family and other groups with the guided tour. Most of them were straining to understand what the guide was saying. Some were very frustrated. Some speak English very well, but be aware if you get a guide that you understand him.
Ann1 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Regarding getting into the "closed villas" - they're not really closed. What happened to me in Nov 03 was that at the entrance, we saw a sign on the info desk saying that you can get "Free Coupons" to these "closed villas". Just ask for them at the ticket window when you buy your ticket. They will give you a coupon, and when you get to the "closed villa", just hand the guard the coupon and he'll let you in.
yk is offline  
Jan 18th, 2004, 10:04 AM
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ira is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 01:10 AM
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Thanks, all! Am in Milan now & should be in Naples in the next day or two! Will post a trip report upon return!
Andrea_expat is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 02:59 AM
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Andrea, could you please find out if they are still running the Pompeii by Night tour? I have posted here but didn't get much info on it. We will be there in July and wanted to do this tour. Thanks so much and have a great trip!
Marianna is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Actually, I believe the "free coupons" for certain closed buildings (such as the House of the Menander and Suburban Baths) are only available on Saturday & Sunday, and only during certain hours. The House of the Vetti, one of the most interesting houses is closed for renovation, or at least it was as of late November.
bryce330 is offline  
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