Private guide for Herculaneum in Naples

Old Aug 8th, 2011, 10:41 AM
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Private guide for Herculaneum in Naples

We are looking for a guide for Herculaneum in Naples during a one day cruise stop in Naples in October . Can you make recommendations ?

Thank you.
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 12:19 PM
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We were very happy with InItaly -
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Old Aug 8th, 2011, 07:13 PM
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Hi- thank you. Did you do Herculaneum alone or with Pompeii ? I am concerned that doing Pompeii as part of a day trip on a cruise stop in Naples would be exhausting therefore looking at Herculaneum as an alternative. Would we be sorry to miss Pompeii ?
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 09:53 AM
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It's really easy (and inexpensive) to get to Herculaneum by train from Naples and to hire a guide there. I'm surprised by how expensive the initaly tour is, 384 E for two.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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Your really don't even need a guide for Herculaneum, and I would not do both Pompeii and Herculaneum together. You can't see everything anyway, and, Herculaneum is quite beautiful. It took us about four hours. We are into looking and reading as we go. You can also do a few hours at Pompeii, but we spent all day there. Honestly, it is a toss up. Yes, you would miss Pompeii, but others will miss Herculaneum and will not even know what a great place they are missing. Having been to both, I think Herculaneum, while different, is lovely and equally rewarding and interesting.

Herculaneum has more complete buildings with some paintings and color still visible. There are even some doors still intact. You can also see the sea and get more of a feeling for what it must have been like to live there. I actually wish I had seen Herculaneum before seeing Pompeii. It is that special a place!

It is easy to take the train (15 minute ride) from Naples, walk to the archeological site (about 10/15 minutes from from the train stop), buy your tickets and a guide book, and visit the site on your own. There are several little restaurants you pass on the walk down to the archeological site, nice for stopping afterwards for a bite to eat and rest before heading back to the ship.

Sorry, I don't remember the cost, but it will be a cheap day if you do it on your own, even with lunch out, and again, very easy to do.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 03:40 PM
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Thank you for good information . We will consider doing it on our own as suggested.
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Old Aug 9th, 2011, 04:08 PM
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I agree that both sites are interesting and different in feel from one another; in your shoes, with the limited time you have, I think I might indeed opt for Herculaneum -- it is more compact, and you will be able to feel like you have seen most of it. I picked that over Pompeii the first time I was in the region, and was very happy with my decision.

It is true that many people tour the site(s) on their own and find this works just fine. It is also true that many people (myself included) have hired private guides, and found that it greatly enhances the experience. It really depends on your interest and budget.

With respect to guided tours, I believe the price for the InItaly tour above included a driver to pick you up and wait while you tour the site, then deliver you back to Naples. There can definitely be some advantages to this service if you are tight for time, and unsure of where you are going. But another less expensive option would be to take the train to Herculaneum (or Pompeii) as suggested above, and meet your guide there -- that way, you are only paying for time you actually spend with a guide. I recently had a great experience with at Pompeii with Lucia Tizzano at, who also gives tours of Herculaneum. I believe the cost of a 2-hour tour was in the range of 100-120 euros. We then spent a couple of hours afterward touring the site on our own. Others on the forum may have additional recommendations for specific guides, and some people have had luck just showing up at the site and hiring one of the guides who tend to congregate at the entrance.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 02:52 PM
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These directions are dated but accurate once you reach the Circumvesuvia Platforms below the Naples Centrale Train Station. ROME-POMPEII DAYTRIP

Personally I would do Pompeii vs Herculaneum unless you combine Herculaneum with say the Naples Archaeological Museum or something like Oplontis-Villa Poppea (directions in above URL).

Pompeii is a complete 'Walled & Gated' Roman city, sort-of like a mini-Rome.

Herculaneum is a small section of a smaller resort city.

Herculaneum has been reconstructed to give that intact image.
IIRC the many of the 2nd floors and almost all the roofs were ripped-off and carried off-shore by the pyroclaustic surge.

And a couple of sites are fabricated for tourists, one is the wine shop next to the 'House of Neptune and Amphitrite' and the other is a small room facing a street with some-kind device in it (loom or something).

Actually I like reconstruction to make the site more realistic but that is something modern Archaeologists would likely frown on today.

At a slow pace with their audioguide you can tour the site in 2hrs (I timed it for a tripreport but it was my 3rd visit so figure 3hrs on site).
Regards, Walter
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Old Aug 10th, 2011, 10:05 PM
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I appreciate all of the thoughtful replies.

The pros and cons of each site are apparent by your descriptions.

We will likely get a guide. Lucia as noted above replied she is free for three hours in the AM. Maybe she can guide us through Herculaneum. We might be able to see the museum on our own in the afternoon.

Thank you all again for insights.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 03:02 AM
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By mid-October the oft-expressed concerns of some members, about being at one of the archaeological sites in the midday heat, won't apply - and you'll be free to organise your schedule as you please - so might I suggest going to wherever's furthest and most isolated first, and working your way back to the ship?

Unless you're fixed on having a driver - or are eager to get under way sooner - you might like to begin by taking the 9AM hydrofoil over to Sorrento, from its quay right next to the cruise terminal....

I know you'll perhaps have seen enough of the sea, but even so...

Then when you've had enough of the town, head for Herculaneum on the Circumvesuviana railway (getting off at their Ercolano Scavi statio), a very cheap journey (€2.10) taking some 40/50 minutes....

Afterwards you can carry on back to Naples the same way - then taking a taxi or walking from whichever station you use to the harbour again (*).

And if you find you're back near Naples' harbour with some time to spare, why not have a go on one of the routes operated by the CitySightseeing people's Open Top buses - circuits take an hour or a bit longer.... and if you've not time to get off, they still give an interesting look at the city!

For their Naples leaflet (depliant), try...

.... but do be aware that an Autumn one might well apply by the time you'll be here!

This may help give you an overall feel for the area....

... and this site offers lots of useful stuff for visiting Herculaneum - and Pompei if that's still of interest (and, since you'll probably not see every inch of either, there's no real reason to exclude it as a possiblilty.... but that's up to you!)

Indeed, for some timed itineraries round Pompei, try the list at the right of this page...

You'll find photos from most of the places mentioned amongst these...

... and some handy PDF maps (*) here..

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Old Aug 20th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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I appreciate all the input.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2014, 02:03 AM
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We did a 2hour tour of Herculaneum with did it with a qualified guide and found this interesting, informative and enjoyable, he was a working archaeologist and added major insight and detail to everything that we walked through. It was like being transported back to the time of the Ancients. My suggestion is to book a tour with a guide and according to my experience I highly recommend this company
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