We will be traveling from Rome to Sorrento in mid-April and were thinking about seeing Pompeii on the way, stopping for, perhaps, 4 - 5 hours. Is this realistic logistically? I know you can spend days in Pompeii; will we feel completely short-changed with a few hours there?
While Pompeii is large and complex, you can see a lot in four or five hours. Hire one of the guides at the entrance and ask for a two hour high light tour. You will be fine.
We did something similar two years ago and then spent about two hours on our own wandering about and felt that was more than enough.
We had not come in from Rome but Positano, from Rome it would take about two hours tops to get to Pompeii, I think you need to get off at the second Pompeii stop think it is called Scavi and believe you can park luggage right there and ruins are about 500 feet or so from train. Be sure you have great shoes and bottled water.
I only spent a few hours there, and did not feel short-changed. And I, for one, could not spend "days" there; my few hours were enough. It just didn't "speak" to me; I know many others disagree. However, the Archeology Museum in Naples is another matter. I could spend lots of time there, because the past came alive - and how! And I didn't get to Herculaneum, but want to next time. So, I think a few hours in Pompeii is fine. If you are really taken with it, you can always make a second trip from Sorrento.
Thank you all for your responses. It seems like we can see Pompeii and be in Sorrento by cocktail time... no problem!
Lisa , My personal perspective on your allowance of time at Pompeii is that it is appropriate . We did just that this past September . You can always spend more time in just about any location , but one has to find a happy balance . The only question I would pose to you is , are you planning this after having been in Rome for , say ,a day or several , or are you doing this en route to Sorrento having just touched down in Rome that day ? If the former , I think you'll be fine. If the latter , you might want to rethink your plans a bit . Coming into Rome ,jet lagged and trying to spend time in Pompeii en route to Sorrento , I think you might find a bit much. Better to go to Sorrento and come back to Pompeii a day or so later when your attention span has recovered . After all , the trip back to Pompeii from Sorrento is an easy half-hour.
Steven, Thank you for your reply and your concern. We are planning to go to Sorrento/Amalfi coast after spending 5 nights in Rome so we will be relatively well rested. Well. I hope. I'm glad you also agree that a few hours in Pompeii will suffice.