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Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum

Some background to answer the question. I am ending a southern Italy and Sicily tour (not a RS tour) in Salerno in mid June. I have 4 nights until my already booked flights home from Rome. I was in northern Italy 9 years ago for 30 days but stretched "north" to include Naples and Pompeii. In Naples I did go to the Archeological Museum and do part of the RS walk. For Pompeii I just want to see the new excavated areas that have been opened to the public in the last 9 years and assume this would take me about 2 hours. On that trip I was in Rome for 3 full days but there is still much more to see.
I am considering 3 itinerary variations .
1. Take the train from Salerno to Pompeii. I know this is on the city side of the Pompeii historical site but there is an entrance there. After Pompeii take the Circumvesuviana to Herculaneum, have lunch, see the Herculaneum site, and then take the Circumvesuviana to Naples to catch a late afternoon train to Rome. I know there is a café at Pompeii but I ate there the last time and it was the worst meal I had in 30 days in Italy.
2. Take the train from Salerno to Naples, store my luggage at the train station, then take the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii. At that point I would continue as in "1" above. This would alleviate having to drag my luggage thru the Pompeii site to the other entrance where there is luggage storage, taking the luggage to Herculaneum and then to Naples, both on the Circumvesuviana. I have previously taken luggage on the Circumvesuviana at rush hour (not fun).
3. Proceed as in either "1" or "2" above except stay in Naples overnight and take a mid afternoon train to Rome. This would take the time pressure off of both Pompeii and Herculaneum and give me a chance to see more of Naples the next morning. It would also give me the flexibility, depending on the weather and how heat exhausted I might be at Pompeii, of going from there directly to Naples, check into the hotel, get some rest, see some of Naples later in the afternoon and go to Herculaneum the next morning. This would cost me a day in Rome.
Which if these do you think is better? Or do you have another alternative to consider?

Posted by
7480 posts

I think you'd have to exit the Scavi to use the Porta Marina bag check if you enter at Amfiteatro. Re-entry is not allowed on same day ticket.

Note that no one can know in advance which villas at Pompeii happen to be "closed today" for conservation or shortage of guards.

It took us 1.5 hours for a basic but good "slow food" lunch on the main street of modern Herculaneum. There were only a few restaurants visible. That Scavi is 15 minutes downhill from the Citcumvesuviana.

There are at least 3 small but significant other Scavi, perhaps led by Oplontis or Stabiae.

Posted by
2210 posts

My vote is for #3 with #2 itinerary. Temps are likely to be warm and I’d want to be as unencumbered as possible for touring.

Posted by
11362 posts

if this is meant to be a plebiscite, I vote with Patty.

Posted by
1595 posts

You may be able to tell. The options are in the order I thought of them over the past few weeks. Each one was meant to be an improvement on the previous. The combination of #2 and #3 was what I was planning on. I just wanted to be sure I was not over thinking it.

Posted by
27328 posts

I cannot imagine taking a rolling bag (if that's what you have) through the excavations at Pompeii. Those cobbles!

Posted by
1595 posts

Well aware of that. One of the reasons version #2 was highly favored.

Posted by
926 posts

So, #3 is taking an overnight from Salerno for Naples? I think that’s sensible, trying to blitz through everything en route to Rome in one day sounds stressful. There’s always time lost waiting for trains, walking to/through the sites that doesn’t show up on the balance sheet.

Also for your consideration: I don’t think there’s luggage storage at Herculaneum. If you want to do the blitz, taxis can fill the gaps nicely (taxi from Pompeii train to the main entrance w/luggage.) Find a good local place in Salerno to pack a sandwich for lunch, only buy drinks at the site. Lastly, Herculaneum is open late in season, I think until sunset. So, I would plan a visit late afternoon and take a morning train to Rome at your leisure.

Posted by
7480 posts

We need a first-hand post-Pandemic report, but when we went to Herculaneum, there was an official luggage storage desk near the ticket office. We did not use it. There is no human present anywhere at the Circumvesuviana station in modern Herculaneum, and no luggage storage there. That would mean humping your luggage down (and back up) the hill to the excavation site.

Posted by
27328 posts

If you want to see the museums at the excavation sites, check on their closing times. They are not necessarily open as late as the scavi themselves. The day I went to Herculaneum, the museum closed at 4 PM.