I'm staying in Rome and want to day trip to Pompeii. For those who have done this from Rome as a day trip, would you recommend (A)taking the train and doing this on my own (on a train I've heard is infamous for pickpocketing) or (B)join up with a tour bus for the day trip (having just finished a 14 day Rick Steves tour the day before)? Deadline to decide quickly approaching. Suggestions?
It is very easy to get to Pompeii by train.
I sound like a broken record, but hire Gaetano Manfredi as a guide. His contact information is in Rick's book.
After your tour of Pompeii, stop in Naples and have pizza at Da Michele. It's delicious!
I would sign up with a tour if you can find one. They provide a lot of info. Maybe you can hookup with one in Pompeii.
Taking the train from Rome to Pompeii (change in Naples) is very easy and doesn't cost a lot--about $55 each way given current exchange rates. I've done this twice in years past and will do it again next week. Never had a problem with pickpockets. You could always hook up with a tour guide once you arrive at Pompeii.
I agree with Jeff, the train is easy and
affordable with a Naples changeover. The
train and naples station both have pickpockets,
but they are not hard to spot and will leave
you alone if you don't look like an easy mark.
Pompeii entrance has loads of guides looking
to form a group, simply take your choice.
We enjoyed Pompeii and learned a lot just with Rick's book and the guidebook from the bookshop at Pompeii. I would recommend going down on your own at least, since then you can stay as long as you want. I like the flexibility.
We just did a day trip from Rome to Naples/Pompeii on May 6. We took the high speed train on the way there and we were in Naples earlier than the train was scheduled. We then took the Circumvesia (it was a little confusing at first but we did it with no problem). Then we came back and went to L'Antica Pizzeria "Da Michele". Very yummy, there were 6 of us and we each ordered a medium size pizza (only two kinds to choose from) and split it with our partner. It was 33 Euros (including Beers). We had no problems with pickpockets in Naples or Rome, we used money belts, I highly urge you to use one. Some of the people travelling with us did not and got pickpoctked in Rome. I also tried to use our guide books sparyling in the train stations and in large groups so that we did not look like tourists. We took the slow train home (cheaper) and had a great day.
here is the time look like:
3 hours for the museum in naples (to see the treasures from pompeii), 1.5 hours from naples to pompeii, then 3 to 4 hours to wonder pompeii (it's surprisingly big to wonder and appreciate). so if you can get up early and get a fast train from rome, then you can do it.
if the bus tour doesn't include the museum in naples, then you're missing at least 60% of pompeii.