Pompeii was once a significant city of the ancient Roman empire dating back to 2000 years ago.
Located in the Campania region of modern-day Italy, the posh villas and elegant houses that once stood on the Roman port town were ruined and buried during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D 79. Today it is one of the country’s popular tourist attractions: over 2.5 million people visit this UNESCO World heritage site annually. Many travelers, students, backpackers, and vacation goers wonder whether a day-trip tour from Rome to Pompeii is possible - the answer is yes.
Hire a private driver
We recommend this to all of our friends and family. There are no direct, public bus or train routes to Pompeii from Rome. The simplest way to travel is by car. However, driving in Italy can be daunting. A good solution is to hire a private driver. This will certainly cost more than other forms of transportation, but for older or disabled visitors this is the comfortable and efficient option. Many people like to combine their Pompeii tour with a trip to Mount Vesuvius, or a stop on the Amalfi Coast. With a private driver, you have the ability to see more with scheduling flexibility.
For a group of three, the charges come out to roughly 50 euros per person each hour. You will save time, the headache of renting a car, and the confusion that can come with navigating a road trip in a foreign country.
Go by Train
Often travelers enjoy the experience of discovering everything themselves. In this case, doing can be slightly complicated. The journey will take roughly 2 hours. Here are relatively precise instructions if you decide to organize your trip by train. It is the most economic option.Step one:
Buy a train ticket from Rome Termini station to Naples Central Station. Trains depart frequently and every day. Make sure to select the high- speed option. Express trains will get you to Naples in 70 minutes. Book in advance to save money. Same day tickets can cost up to €44 each way.
When you arrive in Naples you must make a transfer to the Circumvesuviana train. Head downstairs to the platforms. It is a station connected to the main Naples Central Station. Don’t physically leave the Central Station building, but the Circumvesuviana platforms are called Garibaldi Station (confusing, yes). This is where the inter-city or “regional” trains depart from. You cannot buy tickets for the next train from Trenitalia online or from the Naples Central Station. Purchase tickets at a newsstand inside the Garibaldi Station. Make sure you have cash! The newsstand attendants are usually helpful, but you can only buy a paper ticket with cash. Station ticket offices also provide tickets, but can be complicated if you don’t speak Italian, and nonetheless require cash. Buy a roundtrip ticket for 4.60 Euros. You must validate the ticket before getting on the train.
Board a train on the Naples to Sorrento line, via Pompeii and Herculaneum. There are frequent stops. The journey should take about 35- 40 minutes. Delays are not unexpected, however. Departures are scheduled 2-3 times per hour throughout the day. The Circumvesuviana lines are more like metro cars and commuter railways than standard trains. Expect to stand for the entirety of the journey, with locals getting on and off as part of their daily routine.
Get off at Pompeii Scavi. The entrance to the archeological site is just a short walk from the station.
Returning to Rome by train
The archeological site closes at 7:30pm, from April 1st - October 31st. Other times of year, it closes at 5:30pm. The last train from Pompeii Scavi to Naples on the Sorrento line departs at 10.24pm. There are no ticket booths at the Pompeii Scavi station. This is why it is important to buy a roundtrip ticket in Naples.
For your return to Rome Termini Station from Naples Central Station, consider purchasing a low-cost ticket on one of the inter- city trains. It will take an extra hour, but perhaps after a long day touring Pompeii, you won’t mind. It will save you money, and you can buy the paper ticket at Naples Central Station, without having to worry about making the more expensive train you booked in advance at a precise hour.
Rome and Naples train stations are notorious for pickpockets. Pay special attention to your belongings, especially wallets and passports. If a person approaches you to the ticket machines to offer their help, do not engage with them. It is a common trick to distract travelers. Keep a close eye on purses, sunglasses, and other personal items while you are on the trains, as tourists often fall victim to thieves on local trains.
At Naples Central Station, watch out for people who try to swoop you up under the guise of being helpful and offering directions. It is possible they will lead you to board the wrong train. They do this hoping you will give them a tip for “showing you the way.”
DISCLAIMER: While we strive to report current information at the time of publishing, all schedules and fares must be re-confirmed prior to your trip, as they can change due to inclement weather, mechanical problems, track maintenance, and labor strikes.
Hire a guide
Pompeii is vast. It is easy to wander around for hours, just walking and exploring. Give yourself the flexibility to hire a guide to take you through. The site covers 170 acres, and having someone who knows their way around ensures art historians and curious visitors get the most out of their visit. Pompeii tour guides are passionate and experienced, livening the mood with interesting renditions of what transpired centuries ago.
Beware of the Roman cobblestones and pathways, and dress accordingly. The journey can be unforgiving on your feet if you do not have light hiking books. Other necessary accessories are sunglasses, sunscreen, a sun hat, and lots of drinking water. It is also recommended that you bring some snacks (the small bar/ café on the museum grounds offers little).The historical site usually opens at 9am, and stays open for the most part of the year. The popular consensus among visitors to the archeological and artistic marvel recommend experiencing Pompeii at your own pace. Explore the amphitheater, uneven streets, houses with no rooftops, lifeless statues, House of Mysteries, the forum, and House of Faun. Finally, take lots of pictures and enjoy your time to the fullest.
(This piece was written in better times but we are adding it to our articles in the belief that we shall be able to travel to Italy's wonderful archeological sites once again)
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How to get to Pompei from Rome and back
80045 Pompei, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy