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leesataxprep

Skip Pompeii

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My husband and I will be going on a 9 night med cruise next May. We will be staying in Rome for a couple days before we leave. Our last stop is in Naples. I see that everyone goes to Pompeii but I'm not sure I want to? I think we'll have seen a lot of "ruins" and a lot of history during our trip. I think I may prefer just going to the Amalfi Coast and exploring the towns there. I don't want completely miss out though. Would we be making a huge mistake if we skip Pompeii?? (assuming that most likely we'll never return to the area). In all the searching I've done on the forum I don't see that anyone is going to the Amalfi Coast without also making time for Pompeii. This makes me question my choice. Help?

Edited by leesataxprep

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My husband and I will be going on a 9 night med cruise next May. We will be staying in Rome for a couple days before we leave. Our last stop is in Naples. I see that everyone goes to Pompeii but I'm not sure I want to? I think we'll have seen a lot of "ruins" and a lot of history during our trip. I think I may prefer just going to the Amalfi Coast and exploring the towns there. I don't want completely miss out though. Would we be making a huge mistake if we skip Pompeii?? (assuming that most likely we'll never return to the area)

I guess it depends on your personal interests. There is no way that I would miss Pompeii if I had only one chance to visit the area - it is truly amazing. However, if your tastes are more geared toward natural beauty, the Amalfi is gorgeous!

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Yes, but of course everyone has their own preferences and Amalfi is lovely, a different vibe of course. A lot depends upon the experience you want to have but....

 

There's a reason so many visitors go to see it, Pompeii is tough to just put into words. It's not just one thing to see...an entire place/community/people destroyed by a volcanic eruption, natural disaster. It was quite an advanced civilization - great engineering, development for the times and loss of life was substantial so in terms of loss, estimates of about 2,000 people lost, with many more managing to get away.

 

These aren't just ruins, it's a civilization, unearthed but *remarkably* preserved due to the fact that air couldn't get at the site for about 1,500 years. In other words, best looking ruins, maybe ever. Mount Vesuvius - this time - erupted in 79 A.D. to destroy Pompeii and Herculaneum and neighboring villages. Vesuvius has been a violent volcano.

 

Understandable, though about possibly getting "full up" on ruins. Perhaps choose some others to opt out of but if you think you'll not likely be back to Naples, do seriously consider seeing Pompeii.

Edited by Host Bonjour

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Although we enjoy visiting Pompeii, we can understand some folks being totally "ruined" and preferring to do other things. The Amalfi Coast is quite special (we have vacationed there a few times) and worthwhile to visit.....but this is best done on a small (car or van) private excursion. The large tour buses (such as used by cruise line excursions) are not permitted to enter into Positano (no buses allowed) which is a real shame. Personally we think a basic Amalfi Coast tour should include visits to Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. Just driving to these places will also get you all the views/scenery that you would expect in this wonderful region.

 

Hank

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Regulars here know I'm hugely interested in ruins, so my answer might come as a surprise -- you should do what you are MOST interested in doing.

 

Now, if you're just on the fence, I'll say Pompeii is an outstanding site. (I just recently spent an entire week in a hotel just outside the site and visited it several times including two full days ;)) But if you really AREN'T interested, and you know it, then I'd say go for the Amalfi Coast.

 

I'll also add that plenty of people have posted on this board that they have done Pompeii AND the Amalfi Coast on private tours with the well known vendors often recommended here. Whether you really get to see much of either is a different question, of course.... But it can be done.

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I think we'd all be a lot happier if we took the word "should" out of our vocabulary, at least as far as vacations are concerned.

 

Do what will make you happy - and don't worry about what others think or do.

 

Maybe checking out one of the dozens of videos on Pompei would help you decide.

Edited by euro cruiser

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There is no ruin quite like the "pompeii dog". Seriously, when it comes to ruins, Pompeii is different. It's not just another Roman ruin. It's a story. Well, the great ones all are. In any case, you could see Pompeii in the morning and then go to the Amalfi Coast for lunch and afternoon. AP Tours puts together a nice itinerary that does both. Other companies probably do too, but if you just want to spend a lot of time in Positano, that's great too. Next summer will be our third in that area. We have been to Pompeii, Sorrento, Positano, and did Capri the other time. Never had a bad day from that port. We'll just be doing Amafi Coast next time and doing a private tour (don't mind spending more for that in this port).

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As an archeologist, Pompeii is not to be missed. There are problems with the site but it is the gold Standard for Roman sites. There are tours that include Pompei and the Amalfi Coast. It's a long day but worth it.

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As an archeologist, Pompeii is not to be missed. There are problems with the site but it is the gold Standard for Roman sites. There are tours that include Pompei and the Amalfi Coast. It's a long day but worth it.

 

To me that is the best advice. We lived in Italy for 5 years and often vacationed on the Amalfi Coast and visited Pompeii a handful of times. Next year we're on a cruise with my DB & SIL, and DS & BIL. I'm doing all the coordinating and excursion arrangements and have already told them they have no choice: they must see Pompeii and hopefully at least part of the Amalfi Coast (may not get all the way to Ravello).

 

Can anyone recommend tour companies that include both? Thanks.

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To me that is the best advice. We lived in Italy for 5 years and often vacationed on the Amalfi Coast and visited Pompeii a handful of times. Next year we're on a cruise with my DB & SIL, and DS & BIL. I'm doing all the coordinating and excursion arrangements and have already told them they have no choice: they must see Pompeii and hopefully at least part of the Amalfi Coast (may not get all the way to Ravello).

 

Can anyone recommend tour companies that include both? Thanks.

 

If you look at my post two above your post, you will find such a company that I recommend. You can join a tour or do your own.

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If you look at my post two above your post, you will find such a company that I recommend. You can join a tour or do your own.

 

Thank you - I saw it and had already sent off a request for information!

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I wouldn't have missed Pompeii , it was amazing , have a look at my visit

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Edited by ozjohnau

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I have visited this area several times now...

And I've visited Pompeii at least three or four times...never get enough, though, last port stop, I did a tour of the Amalfi Coast and Herculaneum instead... I've also visited just the Amalfi Coast on one cruise...I've also visited Capri on a port stop...

 

Frankly, however beautiful the Amalfi Coast...or Capri...are, to me, they are ordinary in many ways...Of course, I grew up in Malibu and Santa Barbara and live nearby today...In many ways, the Amalfi Coast scenery is just too much like home for me...There are some nice little towns to walk around, some picturesque beaches, some great viewpoints with panoramas of the coast...

 

But, OTOH, Pompeii (and Herculaneum) are special...

I've been to lots of ruins like Ancient Fira and ancient Carthage and Masada and Megiddo and others where the sites consist of a lot of barren earth and a lot of rubble and some rudimentary reconstruction showing where structures once were...and a museum somewhere where they've collected some of the artifacts found...

But Pompeii is nothing like these...

First of all, the place is massive...It is the entire city uncovered...

The city was NOT destroyed to rubble over the centuries and built over like most ruins...Rather, it was buried suddenly in ash from the volcano...and, basically, preserved intact...Only the roofs--which were made of timber--were burned away...The building walls, the floors, the stone streets, the nonflammable relics, were all merely covered up for centuries...Excavated, they all remain intact, as they stood a couple thousand years ago when Vesuvius erupted. The meters deep of soot have been carefully dug away...and what remains is the entire city to explore...street by street, building by building, plaza by plaza, house by house...It is all absolutely incredible--right down to the frescos on the bordello walls...

Not only is it worth visiting, it is worth going back...there is no way to see it all in just one visit...

 

Herculaneum is a bit smaller, but also worth visiting for a lot of the same reasons...

 

If you think it is too much at one time, yes, go ahead and grab a private tour that spends the morning at Pompeii and the afternoon driving partially down the Amalfi coast--say Positano, Ravello and Amalfi...There are many good tour operators in the area--we've used a couple of them. BTW, It's much, much better to use a private guide with a small van than to try to do the Amalfi Coast in a large ship excursion tour bus... with a private van, you can actually stop for photos, see things and hear your guide. Also know, though, that most of these tour services are NOT licensed "guides" under Italian law...They can only give narration during the car rides. At the sites, they will arrange an actual licensed guide for you to take you through Pompeii or Herculaneum...It's worth it, though...

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Pompeii is not an just any ruin and why would you think large tour buses are not permitted to enter Positano?

 

While we personally enjoy Pompeii, Hurculanium and even Paestum, we also appreciate that not everyone here on CC (or elsewhere) likes ruins. And as to large tour buses in Positano, having spent significant time in Praiano (about 5 miles east of Positano) we are pretty familar with the area. Positano only has a single road that snakes through the town (it is one-way). Only the small regional public buses can go into the town. Large tour buses (they type used by cruise ship excursions) are not permitted to enter. So cruise line bus excursions will usually have in their description deceptive language such as "you will see Positano" which is true. What they do not tell you is that you will only "see it" from the road (Amalfi Drive) that is above the city. If you actually want to go down into the city (we love this place) you must either hike down (and it is a steep hike) from the Amalfi Drive (where you will see many cars parked along the road) or you could wait and catch the regional "orange bus" that does have stops in the town.

 

The other problem with Positano (for those who vacation in the area) is the limited number of parking spaces (some in expensive lots). In fact, the parking is such an issue that we leave our car parked in Praiano and take the Orange (that is its color) bus to town for dinner or just to spend some time.

 

There are other rules for large buses on the Amalfi Drive which can further restrict their use. For example, at certain hours of the day large buses (over 12 meters in length) are only permitted to be going a certain direction along the Amalfi Drive. The problem is there are a few tight spots where two large tour buses cannot pass each other (going in opposite directions). Despite the rules these "standoffs" are too routine and can really back up traffic while the drivers (and a few locals) vocally try to figure out a solution (one bus will usually have to back up...which is a trick when there are 100 cars packed behind it :). We do love vacationing in this area (with our rental car)....but have learned to never be in a big hurry.

 

Hank

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We did a private tour a few years ago that included Pompeii, Sorrento and part of the Amalfi Coast. It was a Sunday in early July - the roads were crazy busy. We had a great day, but because traffic was so heavy (Sundays are big time family days in Italy), we never actually made it to Positano. We only spent about 1.5 hours at Pompeii. The driver and guide were a little annoyed with us for that, but we wanted to see other stuff, too, and it being the last day of the trip, we had seen a lot of ruins by that point. I will agree with the others that it's a completely different "ruins" experience, but for us it was enough. The views along the Amalfi Coast are amazing, and we went to a fantastic restaurant perched high above some hills towards Positano. It was a lot to cover in one day, especially with all the traffic delays.

 

Another trip we just did the Amalfi Coast, with Ravello and Positano which was more manageable. I believe that it was also a Sunday, but it was October, so the traffic wasn't quite as bad. Two years ago we just opted to take the ferry to Sorrento and spent the day just leisurely wandering. I could never get tired of that area!!

 

There are a lot of options in that neck of the woods. Do what sounds most fun for you and don't worry if you don't want to do Pompeii. We are going back next year and our friends are going to Pompeii and we're going to figure something else out for the day. Go figure - it's also a Sunday!

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I'm just back from a cruise where I took my kids 5 and 8 to Pompeii during a pre cruise visit. Although I could happily stay there all day I knew it would be too much for the kids. We spent 2 hours walking on a pre planned route so that I felt they got to see a bit of everything. Definitely felt that this was enough and gave a good oversight. So if in doubt I'd say that yes, you could do both that and the amalfi coast. It would be a nice combo of walking and relaxing drive.

 

There are a couple of good documentaries from Mary Beard on youtube and also a good BBC Docudrama which might give you a feeling for whether you fancy it :-)

 

But if not, go for it with the Amalfi Coast - its' really stunning too.

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Pompeii was a very good education. We had a private guide & were on the grounds for over 5 hours. Weather super, good photos, & pleasant, knowledgeable, excellent English speaking guide. He could answers most of our questions. His delivery was more of a story about this civilization & what were seeing, then simply giving facts & dates. We finished the day in Sorrento with a cocktail & wonderful ocean-view from a local restaurant before returning to the ship.

 

Amalfi Coast was much more laid-back with lots of sight-seeing. We chose to do this tour in a Limo. We had a driver & a guide in the vehicle. Picked-up right at the Port of Naples for our early morning adventure & an hour ahead of the tour buses & ship's excursions. Wonderful day 8 hours plus, however the Limo will return you to the port at your chosen time. We had two great gentlemen in this car. They were funny, entertaining, knowledgeable, & took us to sites most tourists miss on the coast. Likely one of the best private guides we have had on any excursion. We have done many, as I prefer the non-ship excursions.

 

We used http://www.seeamalficoast.com emails were prompt & professional. They have a California contact as well. Unsure if this is the correct contact nbr.

1 714 512 5167. We would used them again, should we visit Naples in the future.

 

We were able to share the costs of this Limo with a total of 4 people. Lots of room & everyone comfortable. I put this out on our roll call, after getting confirmation from the Limo company. I was over-whelmed with couples wanting to join us. However only had room for two people. First come, first served... The four us enjoyed the ride together & a very nice lunch. We split up during our independent times in town. Everyone was on time in meeting the driver at the designated parking spot. We returned to the port, two hours prior to ship's departure. Best excursion of the trip. Which trip you decide on,

I'm sure you will enjoy yourselves. Trying to do both trips at best, would be difficult in the same day.

 

Happy Travels, John

 

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Although Pompeii sounds great, I think we will just spend the day visiting Ravello/Positano/Amalfi on a private tour with another couple from my roll call. I won't have enough time to do all 3 towns if we also spend time in Pompeii. Thanks for all of your input!

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I decided to book the Pompeii and Amalfi tour since so many people here were saying to not miss Pompeii! I think I'm going to be very tired after a week of sightseeing but I want to see as much as I can. I'm so excited.

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To me that is the best advice. We lived in Italy for 5 years and often vacationed on the Amalfi Coast and visited Pompeii a handful of times. Next year we're on a cruise with my DB & SIL, and DS & BIL. I'm doing all the coordinating and excursion arrangements and have already told them they have no choice: they must see Pompeii and hopefully at least part of the Amalfi Coast (may not get all the way to Ravello).

 

Can anyone recommend tour companies that include both? Thanks.

 

We were in Naples this year and took a private tour with Carmine Foggia at See Amalfi Coast tours. He's a great guide and the tour was exceptional. My husband and I have visited Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast a number of times and See Amalfi Coast tours offers that combination. This time, we focused solely on the Amalfi Coast and went to Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. Have a wonderful time and enjoy your trip!

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We will be visiting Naples in October on Emerald Princess. We have to decide whether we want to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum. I have heard that Pompeii is rather strenuous and a lot of uneven ground.

I would appreciate some guidance as to what people think is the better or both very similar?

 

Pam

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We will be visiting Naples in October on Emerald Princess. We have to decide whether we want to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum. I have heard that Pompeii is rather strenuous and a lot of uneven ground.

I would appreciate some guidance as to what people think is the better or both very similar?

 

Pam

 

Both Pompeii and Herculaneum have similar terrain. Herculaneum does tend to have more shade, although in October the heat won't be as much of an issue. The real difference lies in the fact that Herculaneum is a much smaller site.

 

Some will say Herculaneum is 'better' -- but I have to disagree. At Herculaneum, there are some well preserved houses, but there are few public buildings, so you don't get the complete picture of a functioning city the way you do with Pompeii. The only visitable public buildings at Herculaneum are the Temple of Augustales (very impressive) and the Baths. At the moment, the large Palaestra is closed for renovation. There's a Theatre -- but no one's been allowed inside it for years. And Herculaneum has the boathouses underneath, where a number of skeletons were found -- this is well worth climbing down and back up to see. (Some of the bones are still in situ.)

 

If you can spare two hours -- which is the minimum amount of time I'd plan to spend -- then I would vote for Pompeii.

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Both Pompeii and Herculaneum have similar terrain. Herculaneum does tend to have more shade, although in October the heat won't be as much of an issue. The real difference lies in the fact that Herculaneum is a much smaller site.

 

Some will say Herculaneum is 'better' -- but I have to disagree. At Herculaneum, there are some well preserved houses, but there are few public buildings, so you don't get the complete picture of a functioning city the way you do with Pompeii. The only visitable public buildings at Herculaneum are the Temple of Augustales (very impressive) and the Baths. At the moment, the large Palaestra is closed for renovation. There's a Theatre -- but no one's been allowed inside it for years. And Herculaneum has the boathouses underneath, where a number of skeletons were found -- this is well worth climbing down and back up to see. (Some of the bones are still in situ.)

 

If you can spare two hours -- which is the minimum amount of time I'd plan to spend -- then I would vote for Pompeii.

 

Thank you for that information. It seems it will be Pompeii then especially as there is some restricted access at Herculaneum at present.

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