Does anyone know of a reasonable car rental company with an office near the colosseum where I can rent a car for one day to visit Pompeii? I figure to leave at 8:00 AM and return by 8:00 PM.
Termini Station is only a 15 minute walk from the Coliseum. Rent a car from Termini where all the major rental offices have a desk and the desks are all day long, non stop. Check with AutoEurope.com, they usually have the best prices.
Not to be contrary, but if all you are doing is driving down and back in one day, you will not have time to see much along the way. Why not just take the train and avoid the traffic in Rome and Naples? A drive through Tuscany I can understand, Naples, not so much.
At that point, just take a one-day bus tour to Pompeii. Vacations are supposed to be fun. Driving in Rome and Naples does not qualify as fun. Let somebody else take the wheel, sit back, and relax. Double-amen to Paul's suggestion.
I don't understand Americans obcession with their cars. Frankly I think they are a pain in the neck that Europe makes so easy to do away with. Take the early train to Naples, the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii, see Pompeii, return to Naples, eat real pizza at Antica Pizzeria da Michele and return to Roma feeling like a real Italian. Done it often.
I agree with the other posts - a drive down to Pompeii is not the best use of time or the most enjoyable thing.... If a bus tour isn't your thing, you can easily take the fast train down to Naples and switch to the local Circumsuviana train to the Pompeii Scavi site. The fastest trains take about 1.5 hours and leave at 7:25am or 9:25am (based on the current schedule). Leaving about 1/2 hour to transfer to the local line within the Naples Central station and another 1/2 hour to Pompeii should get you there in 2.5 hours. The Pompeii Scavi train station is just a short walk from the site. You might even have some time to see Naples (pizza! - Rick's recommended places are walking distance from the station) before you catch your evening train from Naples back to Rome. The fastest trains return at about 6pm. There are some other slower trains that leave later. Plan on 2-2.5 hours for those. You can usually book discounted tickets at the Rome station 2-3 days in advance at the kiosk.
Ran out of space... All the details are in Rick's Rome book. There is a section on day trips that includes Naples and Pompeii.
Yup, take the train for just a day trip. If you wanted to stay and visit other archealogical sites, etc. a car might be worth it, otherwise, no car.