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May trip advice needed, Rome, Venice, Pompeii

Planning a trip with a friend to Italy at the end of May and we would like to see Venice, Rome, and Pompeii. Advice needed on order of locations and best way to split up our time (we will fill in details later, but need to figure out enough to book at least flights very soon)

Would fly out from the east coast on Sat 5/23 preferably (or Sun 5/24 if necessary) and would be looking to return the following Sunday (or possibly Monday if needed). Would need at least a full day in Pompeii area as friend wants to visit the nearby village her family was from. Otherwise flexible on where to fly to/from and order.

Suggestions on a big picture itinerary? Are we trying to do too much for our time frame? I don’t have a good sense of how feasible this would be, any advice would be appreciated!

Posted by
1485 posts

Looks like you might have 8 NIGHTS?
2 night stay = 1.5 days, 3 night stay =2.5 days

You'll want 3 nights in "Pompeii" area- stay in Naples. Your transportation options to friend's village would be better from there I guess?

Fly into Venice- easier to fly INTO Venice than out of.
Venice 2 nights
Train to Naples 3 nights
Train to Rome 3 nights.
Fly home from Rome.

Trains are easy in Italy.
I like to use to check transportation options. Just for reference.
Purchase your tix at

Lots of details here on this forum- just search.
You won't "see" near all of Venice or Rome or Naples but you can visit all 3 of your locations.

Posted by
13787 posts

Christine's itinerary is fine, with one question - do you need 3N in Naples? As I understand it, you want a full day to visit the ruins and the village. That should be easy to do in one full day. So Venice 3N, Naples 2N, Rome 3N. If you have few nights, I'd skip Venice and fly roundtrip Rome. Another possibility is to fly into Venice and out of Naples. Then you'd put Rome in the middle.

Getting from Venice to Naples will take a good part of a day. You can fly or take the train. I considered both on my last visit and opted for the train. Although it probably added about an hour to the total travel time, it was hassle-free. It's a pain to get to the Venice airport, I dislike all the airport procedures, and the train is city center to city center. Your choice.

Posted by
13787 posts

I meant to add Do NOT wait to fill in details later. That can lead to misery. Say you book international flights and then find out down the road that the hotel you want is full, or the internal flight is not at a convenient time . . .

Before you book flights, line up your hotels and trains and internal flight. You can usually make hotel reservations without cancellation fees, and choose the trains/flight you want. Then as soon as you book flights, you can buy train/plane tickets (the earlier you buy the cheaper they will be).

Posted by
15 posts

Thanks for the feedback! I think I need more details from my friend about this village. If it’s very close we may be able to just stay in Rome and take the trains down for the day, or even a quick overnight...might be cheaper to find a Rome/Venice trip and just do a night in Naples on our own.

Posted by
1485 posts

might be cheaper to find a Rome/Venice trip and just do a night in
Naples on our own.

This is confusing.
Are you looking for a guided tour/trip?

Pompeii for the day from Rome can be done but it will be a super long day- train will take about 2 hours each way. (Train to Naples transfer to Circumvesuviana to Pompeii)

Add 2-3 hours minimum for Pompeii then however/wherever this village is and it’s a complicated full day

Posted by
2454 posts

I totally agree with Chani’s suggestions. You’ll just use up too much time and energy doing a day trip to visit Pompeii and your companion’s village. Also, you would not have time to visit the Archaeological Museum in Naples that contains the artifacts recovered from Pompeii and completes its story after you visit the site.

Posted by
169 posts

I'm gonna be a contrarian here and say that a day trip to Pompeii is actually doable. The train from Rome to Naples is not two hours, more like an 65 minutes, from what I recall, and then if you take the express Circumvesuvina, you're at Pompeii 20 or so minutes after that. You just need to make sure it is the Express Train. The Rick Steves book spells out the process really well.

We did the day trip from Rome in July 2018. We made sure to book an early train to Naples [think 7 am hour]. We arrived to Pompeii at it's opening time and wandered around the ruins before meeting up with a guided tour from a local after lunch that we booked through Viator. It effectively meant we were double paying to get in but we really didn't care. It allowed us to see some stuff we knew we wouldn't get to on the guided tour.

We finished in the early afternoon, taking the train back to Naples, and then used the subway to get to the Archaeological Museum. I don't remember its closing time and we certainly didn't get to see everything but we really didn't want to. We went to the rooms with the art taken from Pompeii and a few other exhibits to "complete" the Pompeii experience. We were back to the train station to catch a 7 pm with plenty of time. We ate inside the train station. Wasn't awesome food but it was fine.

It was admittedly a long day but in my eyes, it was very worth it. And again, doable, with careful planning. Follow the Rick Steve instructions. If you do the Archaeological Museum, read the instructions in the book about which subway line to take. There's a Metro that runs directly to the Museum area and a one time ticket is only 2-3 Euro.

[I'd skip your companion's village if you truly want to allow enough time for Pompeii and a potential trip to the museum.]

EDIT: I'll say though that Rome has plenty to keep you occupied, if you say it's not worth it. We spent 8 days there [with the one day dedicated to Pompeii] and even with 7 full days in Rome, there was still additional things we could have done.

Posted by
3407 posts

You really do need to find the name of the town your friend wants to visit. Trying to just wing it in this area can be totally frustrating. The Campania area is extreamly large, most immigrant families normally just used "Naples"
As it was an identifiable location on the map.

Chani has given you the best option of Rome/Naples. With only 8-9 nights this would be your best combination.

Fly R/T Rome if this is your first trip to the area, do Rome first for 3-4 nights.

Train to Naples 1hr17min. 3-4 nights
Circumvesuvian to Pompeii 40 minutes

Return to Rome your last night for your flight home the next day.

Edit: are you not visiting the Pompeii site?
Just your friends "village" ? If so, then you might need 1-2 nights in Naples. Which means you could do both Venice and Rome.

Posted by
4591 posts

ewilliams, it would be helpful to know if you have been to Europe before. I ask because, while Christine's itinerary is a good starting place, It gives great emphasis to Naples, which is (Pompeii aside) perhaps a destination for a second or third trip to Italy. Your trip is very short for the long Transatlantic flight already, so "unnecessary" nights in one place are a big deal. (I'm not saying Naples is not interesting; I merely mean that if it doesn't deliver what you are looking for, you don't have time to stay there. However, I will say that Venice is more memorable than Naples.)

I don't like the idea of a one-day runout from Rome to Pompeii, with the village visit - which is vague and may be hard to get to. There may also be some bumbling around and finding places closed for lunch or repairs or cut-funding or whatever. But I also don't like three city changes in a 7 or 8 night trip. There's a lot of overhead in these moves.

Many people go to Venice, Florence, and Rome on their first trip to Italy. You don't have to. But whether you like art museums or not, Florence has even greater magnitude of influence on Western art than the discovery of Pompeii. The other problem is that a week in Rome is not "too much." Have you looked up the village on Google Maps yet?

Posted by
15 posts

I have been to England several times, with one trip split with Paris. That’s it (for now). I’ve done hotel changes several times on some of those trips. I need to confer with my friend this weekend for more detailed info. She’s got a lot on her plate right now so I’m trying not to add to that as best I can. I personally don’t mind the travel as it lets me see what I want and I do carry on only, but she will almost certainly be checking a bag (despite my best attempts) so that’s why I was thinking of being based on Rome more nights and just taking a small overnight bag for a night in Naples. The package deals I’m seeing are only about 50% more than just the flights I can book on my own so that may be a viable option.

Posted by
3816 posts

You have 8 days of touring. In my opinion, you should go with two of these sites.
I suggest Rome and Venice, Rome has lots to see and you need 5 days there. Three days will only just cover the tip of the iceberg.