I am a woman considering traveling alone from Rome to Pompeii via Trenitalia and Circumvesuviana. After reading some travel tips, I am concerned about whether this is safe, especially since I will be by myself. As this is my first trip to Italy, I also wonder if it is easy to make connections, find my way, etc. My only other option is the coach trip to Naples and Pompeii (although I'm really not interested in Naples or the coral shop). Any advice would be much appreciated!
I travel by myself always as I generally go to Italy for work and then take a couple of extra days vacation. I have always felt quite safe but one thing I do is to make sure I know where I am going and how to get their. I tend to prebook my train tickets and also take a seat reservation in 1st class. When I get to my destination I also have worked out how to get to my hotel. This gives me peace of mind and also makes me look as if I know what I'm doing and not hanging around stations looking lost. Trust me you won't be the only single woman travelling. Just relax, stay aware of your surroundings and look confident and I'm sure you'll be OK.
When traveling alone the key is to pack light. You need to be able to carry everything - not just wheel - all your belongs. The train station in Naples is a bit rough. It's the worst part of the city and is a big part of the reason Naples has a bad reputation.
If you are concerned about taking the train take the bus from Rome Tibertina Station to the Pompei ruins. The bus only runs a couple times a day but once you store your luggage (if this isn't a daytrip) below you can just sit back & relax. The website is only in Italian: www.marozzivt.it. Enjoy Rome (www.enjoyrome.com) operates a shuttle between Rome & Pompei. It does not include a tour of the sights but I'm sure you can find someone else on the shuttle that is willing to split the cost of one of the guides offering their service at the entrance. Or do the ruins on your own with Rick's guide book it's a breeze.
I'm not a woman ... However last summer I did talk with a woman on the plane travelling alone to Rome, and a few days later saw her again (alone) in Pompeii. So it's doable. There is only 1 connection you need to make, since you can get a train directly from Rome to Naples. At the Naples train station follow the signs to the Circumvesuviana which is to the left as you come off the arriving trains. You can buy your ticket at a window or at the automated machines on the wall. Then go downstairs (more like a ramp than stairs for the most part) to get to the platform by the tracks, and the only decision left to make is which is the right track. After that you're off to Pompeii, no train change needed. Circumvesuviana runs a few trains, not all of which go past Pompeii so you need to be on the right train. But your ticket will tell you which is the right train. Its open seating on the Circumvesuviana train.
I did this with luggage and it was not a comfortable situation. I knew I was being watched as I awaited the Circumvesuviana train. However, I was successful. Naples train areas are not like any of the others. If you can do the bus, do it.