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Pompeii Day trip from Rome

I know this is a long day but has anyone done this and do you have a tour you would recommend? I may have a total of six to take including two children (edited to add: ages 7 and 9) and one (spry 73 yo) senior. Any experience you can share would be most appreciated! Thanks

Added after some comments:

Thank you to all who have commented so far! I have added the ages of my kids and mom. I tested the waters with my mom to see if she was willing to consider Ostia instead and she said no, she is quite keen to see Pompeii and so are the kids.

I looked at the very comprehensive blog post in one of the comments and I think taking the high speed train makes the most sense. Is there a way to get to the sites that would be better than taking the local train from Naples - has anyone experienced a private tour that might meet you at the train station in Naples and take you to the sites and guide you as well and then return you in time for your train back to Rome?

Also I know my kids would be over the moon to see Vesuvius. If you have included this in your own trip please share thoughts. Thank you all!

Posted by
22984 posts

Personally I think it is easy to do on your own even through it is a long, long day. You take the train from Rome to Naples and then to Pompeii. At the gate, hire one of the available guides. They will customize your tour -- from length of time to exactly what parts of Pompeii you will tour. Pompeii is massive so you can easily take several hours. There was four of us, we used a local guide, for two hours. Don't remember the price but thought it was reasonable for what is a private tour. A bit of a quick hit but a good overview and drops us at the cafeteria inside Pompeii. From there we refreshed a bit and return to areas that we wanted to explore in greater detail. In all we spent about six hours on site. It is a good rest area if your senior wants to take a longer break.

And remember Viator is not a tour company. They are a third party tour arranger. Not necessarily bad but it is a middle person between you and the actual tour provider.

Posted by
1926 posts

I've spoken to this topic numerous times, but I would say with 2 children and a senior, if you do it, it should be with a tour such as Viator.

I have said that for an ambitious, travel-savvy couple in good shape, a day trip Rome-Pompei-Rome is doable. You just need to leave Termini station no later than 9AM. 75 minute train ride to Naples Centrale station, switch to the Circumvesuviana commuter train right there at the station, and take that 30 minutes to the Pompei Scavi stop. 5 minute walk to the ruins, stay there 3-4 hours, enjoy, than retrace your steps, maybe stopping in Naples for a Napolitan-style pizza, before heading back to Rome in the early evening.

Posted by
6402 posts

As a substitute, much closer to Rome you have Ostia Antica. It is smaller, but just about as impressive, and less crowded.

Posted by
15303 posts

A second vote for Ostia Antica: it's SO much closer to Rome so would be a much less expensive, time-consuming an excursion for 6 than Pompeii.

My issue with most of the escorted tours to Pompeii from Rome is that they are by bus or other sort of vehicle, and you end up spending more time sitting on that vehicle - at least 3 hours each way from Rome - than the 2 hours usually devoted to touring the scavi. If that tour includes other attractions, such as Positano/Amalfi Coast, you spend even more time sitting: not my idea of a good time although enough people do it.

So, I would not recommend an escorted day trip by bus from Rome with young children or seniors with mobility challenges/who are easily tired. You mentioned in a previous thread that you are interested in activities, "...that will be most memorable for my daughters and not too exhausting for my mom"? I would call a 13-hour day exhausting, even if most of it would be spent sitting. I also figure all those hours looking out a bus window could be better spent sightseeing Rome.

If opting to do it solo by train, you can shave an hour or more off the transport time: 1 hr, 10 minutes to Naples by fast train, and 35 minutes or so from Naples to the the scavi by Circumvesuviana commuter train: the train stops right outside the main entrance. You can jump onto a tour at the entrance as well. After your tour is over, spend as much time on further exploration as desired and then just reverse the process. Eliminating extras like Vesuvius or the Amalfi Coast will make for a shorter, less tiring day for the kids, and if you order your fast-train tickets to/from Naples in advance, you're likely to be able to land a nice price break. Still, Ostia Antica would be much easier, and there are so many things to see just in Rome itself that you're unlikely to be bored. :O)

Edited a typo

Posted by
6830 posts

I don't blame you for seeking the ease of a package tour. But when you price the product for six, your enthusiasm will wane. While it is too much for one day, you may actually have a better schedule by doing it yourself. (Does the bus stop at more than one hotel? Is there a required group lunch? Is weekday road traffic or a weekend road-accident a time factor?)

Alas, the last-minute fare for the super-fast Frecciarossa trains is three times or more the advance purchase price. And if you miss your train, you get no refund or credit towards a different departure. But Frecciarossa/Circumvesuviana is much faster than a van or bus drive.( I'm presuming that a trip to Termini is about the same as your trip to a tour pickup-point.)

You don't make clear whether the senior needs special consideration, or how old the children are. The stones you walk on at Pompeii have groves and potholes and can be slippery. And it can't be over-emphasized how vast is Pompeii. Even with a good tour, there is at least a mile of walking at Pompeii, and hopefully two miles! Can everyone in your group do this? Month of the year? You will need sun protection and plenty of water. I would bring parasols or umbrellas for the more vulnerable.

Posted by
83 posts

We just returned from our Italy vacation.

We did Pompeii & Positano from Rome with Walks of Italy. I booked when they had a discount code. The tour is quite pricey, so with 6 you may want to look into a private trip. Most on this forum say it is easily done on your own. Pompeii was a must for my husband and daughter and my husband didn't want to train it.

We enjoyed the tour. We only spent about 2 hours in Positano, not long enough...personal decision if you want this or not. Pompeii- our guide was an archeologist and was very knowledgeable, we liked her a lot. We spent about 2-3 hours as well.

The tour is 13 hours long, so we spent a lot of time on the bus. The bus was ok comfortable. The guide on the bus talked a lot, too much for us.

We lucked out with the heat. had rained the morning we went, we arrived in the 2-3p time frame, it wasn't ridiculously hot, just hot! There were 2-3 places in Pompeii to fill water bottles and the guide always pointed them out.

Since you mentioned a senior- we had a lady with a cane on our tour, she made it thru Pompeii with the help of her grandson. I heard the bus guide ask her if she wanted him to come thru Pompeii with her to help and when she declined, he told her to tell the Pompeii guide if the tour was too much, to call him and he would come in and get her.

Hope that helps!

Hope that helps.

Posted by
10519 posts

two children and one senior

Not knowing the ages is a handicap to making helpful comments.

I would do Ostia Antica. Much less stress and strain on everyone.

Have done both ( on different trips). Each is unique, but with enough similarities that one gets the see how ancient Romans lived

Did Pompeii when we stayed in Sorrento. While doing it from Rome is logistically possible, it is far from the ideal way to do it.

Posted by
15303 posts

Diane, that info was added by the OP a some point today as an edit to the original post. We weren't originally given much for background. And the WOI tours to Pompeii do not begin in Naples, as the OP is asking for now.

auldsport, please do not change the information in your INITIAL post as many of us who are already posting to the thread will not look at it again! If you have relevant details to add/new questions to ask, PLEASE do that as NEW additions (" add reply") to the thread. Treat this as an ongoing discussion.

Is there a way to get to the sites that would be better than taking
the local train from Naples

auldsport, I think we're still not sure what your issue is with taking the local train? "Better" in what sort of way?

Posted by
10519 posts

Is this the September trip mentioned in your other post? You do not say when in Sept., but you could still encounter temps well into the 80s and possibly 90

Are you accustomed to that kind of heat? Very little shade in Pompeii.

If you do make the day dash, plan on the following day to be a low key day

Posted by
7 posts

Hi everyone! Thanks again for all these helpful comments! I am sorry I made the mistake of editing my original post - I somehow did not see the reply button! Sorry about that - thanks for helping me out.

So we have decided yes we WILL do the trip to Pompeii. We are going towards the end of September and I will definitely plan for heat.

I am going to buy high speed tickets for the five of us (one has to leave early so we wont have six after all).

So what remains to determine is the best option for getting to see as much as possible as painlessly as possible. To this end I was wondering if there is a best choice in terms of train or tour from naples.

Thanks again!

Posted by
4104 posts

Before anyone adds the Circumvesuvian or Campania Express please note...

Notice summer 2019
There are daily delays and cancellations on this route at this time, which can result in being blocked on a crowded train with no air conditioning for hours. In addition, there is no luggage space and many stops are in a state of disrepair. We strongly suggest you consider an alternative means of transportation, especially if you have luggage or if you are travelling with children on the naples-sorrento route, and vice versa.
I would suggest either a taxi or private transfer to Pompeii Scavi.

Edit fixed rate taxi fare.
R/T with 2 hours at Archeological site.