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lackcreativity

Herculaneum or Pompeii

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We will be taking a cruise with a stop in Naples this fall. I have been debating whether to visit Herculaneum or Pompeii from there. We are 67/68 and I am not as agile as I used to be (arthritis), but since that is a recent development I don't know yet how much that will impact our touring. Any advice for me?

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Pompeii is a large site, with some of the places (eg amphitheatre) a fair walk from the entrance.

And it's relatively shadeless.

 

Herculaneum is smaller, much more manageable and with more-complete buildings.

And plenty of shade.

Herculaneum looks more like complete street scenes than Pompeii's rather more ruined state which is like some European cities after heavy bombing during WW2.

 

But of course Pompeii is the iconic one.

 

If your arthritis is like mine it's good days & bad days.

No need to pre-book admission or transportation to either site, so perhaps wait til the day to see what the weather, mood, time, inclination, and arthritis suggest will be the better for you.

 

One way to get to either is the Sorrento-bound "Circumvesuviana" train from Naples centrale station ( ? or Porto Nolana station, which is closer - others can advise whether that means a change of train ?). Trains run every 30 minutes, 7 days a week, and the return fare is probably still under €10

Route map & stations are displayed at eye-level throughout the carriages.

The station for Herculaneum is Ercolano Scavi. From there it's a 15 minute walk to the site, or there's a shuttle-bus from the station forecourt.

The station for Pompeii is Pompeii Scavi, a couple of stations after Ercolano Scavi. It's very close to the entrance to Pompeii.

 

If time permits you could go to Pompeii, and if after a while you feel it's all getting a bit much you could cut that visit short and drop into Heculaneum on your way back to Naples. Herculaneum needs a bare minimum one hour.

 

All just MHO as always

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

Edited by John Bull

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JB,

Like you, the arthritis has good days and not so good. This is the first winter that it has become a challenge at times. I am hoping that the warmer weather in October may prove helpful, but I am certainly not ready to stay home because of it. Thanks for your advice.

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17 hours ago, lackcreativity said:

We will be taking a cruise with a stop in Naples this fall. I have been debating whether to visit Herculaneum or Pompeii from there. We are 67/68 and I am not as agile as I used to be (arthritis), but since that is a recent development I don't know yet how much that will impact our touring. Any advice for me?

 

Both are incredible...but, as JB noted, Herculaneum is more compact..so, it might be a better fit for you. 

 

My wife actually liked Herculaneum more...

 

Last time we did it, we put together a group of 8 from our roll call and arranged a tour with a local provider.  We combined a half day tour of the Amalfi Coast followed by a half day tour of Herculaneum.  The tour provider contracted for a licensed guide at Herculaneum who met us at the site. With eight of us sharing the cost, the price worked out to be very reasonable on a per person basis...and the tour company was very good at handling all of the logistics and getting us back to the ship on a timely basis.

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If you do decide to go to Pompei, the City Sightseeing shuttle bus may be a better fit for you.  It's more expensive than public transportation but still a bargain at 15 euro round trip.  It picks up and drops off right in front of the port so you can save your energy for the ruins.

 

https://www.city-sightseeing.it/en/shuttle-bus-naples-pompeii/

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Thanks all for the advice about visiting these sites on our own. We are fairly new to cruising, having done our share of escorted land tours, and so far we have been content to take the Viking excursions. At this stage, it just seems easier to let someone else do the work. Sometimes we stay in port on our own after an excursion and use the Viking shuttle back to the ship. For our one vacation a year, the convenience is worth the cost.

 

I am leaning towards Herculaneum, thanks to the information offered here.

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I am in Pompeii now -- literally staying in a hotel across from the entrance. In the last three days I have been to both Pompeii and Herculaneum and hands down I would choose Pompeii.

 

Pompeii has, over the last two years, opened a number of buildings/houses that were closed for years under renovation. Some of these have wonderful mosaics still on the floors and frescoes on the walls. Much better than most of what you'll see in Herculaneum (with an exception here and there). 

 

Reasons to choose Pompeii over Herculaneum:

 

1.  Pompeii represents a full Roman town. It has a forum and all the usual public monuments: markets, basilicas, temples, civic buildings, theatre, amphitheatre. Herculaneum is only about a quarter of a town, and contains mostly private dwellings.

 

2.  Pompeii has the fabulous "Villa of the Mysteries" (with recently restored frescoes) that are surely one of the national treasures -- there is nothing else like them anywhere. 

 

3. Recently restored and reopened houses such as the House of the Vettii, House of Menander (possibly owned by the family of the wife of Emperor Nero), and House of Octavius Quartio are quite impressive and easily surpass most houses at Herculaneum in terms of frescoes and mosaics.

 

Warning: both Herculaneum and Pompeii have unpredictable closures. They have to work around staffing issues as well as spot repair/restoration problems that need to be addressed. We were at Herculaneum today and were looking forward to visiting a house that has been widely advertised as "newly opened to the public" after being closed for 80 years. Guess what?  It was closed. :classic_huh:

 

With regard to walking, both Pompeii and Herculaneum present challenges due to very uneven (Roman) roads and undulating sidewalks making it necessary to mind your step at all times. Herculaneum entry requires a descent down both stairs and a ramp (and ascent back to current ground level when done) of about 70-75 feet; Pompeii does not.

 

Edited to add:  In addition to seeing Herculaneum, we also had special arrangements to visit the (still buried) Roman theater of that town. Like the Domus Aurea in Rome, it is underground and requires wearing a hard hat and protective slicker (provided). The theatre was the first part of Herculaneum to be "rediscovered" back in the 1700's and part of the tour includes walking through and seeing some of the original tunnels, as well as seeing parts of the interior of the theatre. This experience has only been available for a few months and only 15 people are allowed in per hour on the few days it is offered. If anyone is interested in more info, I'd be happy to post it.

 

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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Cruisemom,

You have given me a lot more to think about. I think I will check out a map of Pompeii to see where the places you mentioned are located in relation to the entrance, so I can get an idea of the distances. 

 

Thanks.

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I'd like to share information about a tour that includes both Pompeii and Herculaneum.  I cannot recommend this tour because I have not taken it yet, per Cruise Critic guidelines.  (I have booked it for May.)  It offers a transportation option for an additional cost that provides port pick up and drop off and transfer between the sites.  Here is the link in case you are interested:   https://www.viator.com/tours/Pompeii/Explore-Pompeii-and-Herculaneum-with-an-Archaeologist/d24336-23258P129

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It would be helpful if, in addition to a review, you post the name of the actual operator.  Viator is just a consolidator selling other companies' tours and it's useful to know the actual operator.

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23 minutes ago, euro cruiser said:

It would be helpful if, in addition to a review, you post the name of the actual operator.  Viator is just a consolidator selling other companies' tours and it's useful to know the actual operator.

 

I do apologize.  I thought the Viator website mentioned the tour provider, which is Askos Tours.  Their website is:  https://www.askostours.com/

 

I did book it through Viator because at the time, the Askos website did not show prices, and I did not want to wait for a reply from the tour company.  My DH and I had a lot of back and forth before deciding on a tour for that port, and I just wanted it settled!  😉  Also, Viator has a great cancellation and refund policy should our plans change.

 

Edited by Cruisen Elf

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Also interested in this so thank you for those that posted.  Will follow this thread  as we are not going until October. 

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Just another idea, the nearby Villa Oplontis that was supposedly Nero’s wife’s was really interesting and very uncrowded.  We had been to both Pompeii and Herculaneum and we found we really enjoyed this Unesco site.  It is easily accessible from the Torre Annunziata station on the circumvesuviana train.     This allows time for Pizza.  😄

 

I had developed some knee issues on that cruise and it was a very short walk from the station, but there were stairs down to the site and back up.  

23B7EA60-DEA7-4E17-9F1C-940ED75CC76F.jpeg

13A50A87-62A0-4851-B5FE-74D3E8C883DF.jpeg

B8BBF929-954E-46DB-821E-1193925263A9.jpeg

8902DDF3-A803-4EDE-A2FE-7568C39B6E9A.jpeg

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On 2/23/2020 at 1:22 PM, cruisemom42 said:

I am in Pompeii now -- literally staying in a hotel across from the entrance. In the last three days I have been to both Pompeii and Herculaneum and hands down I would choose Pompeii.

 

Pompeii has, over the last two years, opened a number of buildings/houses that were closed for years under renovation. Some of these have wonderful mosaics still on the floors and frescoes on the walls. Much better than most of what you'll see in Herculaneum (with an exception here and there). 

 

Reasons to choose Pompeii over Herculaneum:

 

1.  Pompeii represents a full Roman town. It has a forum and all the usual public monuments: markets, basilicas, temples, civic buildings, theatre, amphitheatre. Herculaneum is only about a quarter of a town, and contains mostly private dwellings.

 

2.  Pompeii has the fabulous "Villa of the Mysteries" (with recently restored frescoes) that are surely one of the national treasures -- there is nothing else like them anywhere. 

 

3. Recently restored and reopened houses such as the House of the Vettii, House of Menander (possibly owned by the family of the wife of Emperor Nero), and House of Octavius Quartio are quite impressive and easily surpass most houses at Herculaneum in terms of frescoes and mosaics.

 

Warning: both Herculaneum and Pompeii have unpredictable closures. They have to work around staffing issues as well as spot repair/restoration problems that need to be addressed. We were at Herculaneum today and were looking forward to visiting a house that has been widely advertised as "newly opened to the public" after being closed for 80 years. Guess what?  It was closed. :classic_huh:

 

With regard to walking, both Pompeii and Herculaneum present challenges due to very uneven (Roman) roads and undulating sidewalks making it necessary to mind your step at all times. Herculaneum entry requires a descent down both stairs and a ramp (and ascent back to current ground level when done) of about 70-75 feet; Pompeii does not.

 

Edited to add:  In addition to seeing Herculaneum, we also had special arrangements to visit the (still buried) Roman theater of that town. Like the Domus Aurea in Rome, it is underground and requires wearing a hard hat and protective slicker (provided). The theatre was the first part of Herculaneum to be "rediscovered" back in the 1700's and part of the tour includes walking through and seeing some of the original tunnels, as well as seeing parts of the interior of the theatre. This experience has only been available for a few months and only 15 people are allowed in per hour on the few days it is offered. If anyone is interested in more info, I'd be happy to post it.

 

 

Three days pre-cruise, we will be staying near Herculaneum.  I am very interested in more info on your limited tour.

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9 hours ago, CruisingIGo said:

Three days pre-cruise, we will be staying near Herculaneum.  I am very interested in more info on your limited tour.

 

As I mentioned, the theater in Herculaneum was the first part of the town to be rediscovered. In fact, the discoverers only knew that it was Herculaneum they'd discovered because of a large Roman inscription they found which basically says "This is the theater of Herculaneum". It has never been completely excavated because the modern town perches on top of it. There are a number of tunnels that were dug by the original discoverers (I hesitate to call them archaeologists!) in the 1700s and some newer ones were created later to do a more thorough investigation. 

 

The theater has not been open to the public in a very long time, if ever, due to concerns about safety and about potential damage to the site. However, it has just been reopened to limited tour groups. The tour is for one hour and it is offered only on Sundays (for now). There are two tours offered in English, at 10:00 am and at noon. The 11:00 am is in Italian. Each tour only allows 15 people. You can purchase a ticket just for the theater tour or you can get a combined ticket for the theatre plus the main Herculaneum site.

 

The groups meet at the Ercolano Scavi ticket office and then walk up to the entrance, which is through an unremarkable door on the street in Ercolano itself. You then go down a couple of flights of modern stairs, where you will be given a hardhat, slicker, and flashlight (and you will have to stow ANY bag in a locker with key; cameras are okay to bring).  From here, you begin to access the site and the walking is fairly difficult -- up and down uneven steps (some with quite big drops), and through tunnels. I am 5'7" and did not have to bend down at all, but some of the taller men in the group had to duck occasionally!

 

It is very dark inside with limited lighting but you will see part of the seating of the theater and you will be able to walk on the actual stage and see the architecture. You'll also see the original well that was being dug when the theater was discovered, and some Roman (and later) graffiti on the walls.  I'll try to post a few pics later.

 

You can read more about the reopening here (in Italian but you can translate using Google):   https://www.napolidavivere.it/2019/03/16/teatro-antico-di-ercolano-apre-con-uno-speciale-percorso-sotterraneo/

 

Tickets can be purchased at the Ercolano Scavi ticket office (I wouldn't count on availability) or through this site:   https://www.ticketone.it/teatro-antico-ercolano-ercolano-biglietti.html?affiliate=ITT&doc=artistPages%2Ftickets&fun=artist&action=tickets&key=1991048%2412474742&jumpIn=yTix

 

 

 

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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On 2/23/2020 at 8:01 PM, euro cruiser said:

Enjoy, and please do come back and tell us about it.  It's always good to have a variety of options.

 

Sorry that I won't be able to post about the tour that visits both Pompeii and Herculaneum.  Our cruise was cancelled by the cruise line, so I had to cancel the tour.  😢  Safe travels to all!

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3 hours ago, Cruisen Elf said:

 

Sorry that I won't be able to post about the tour that visits both Pompeii and Herculaneum.  Our cruise was cancelled by the cruise line, so I had to cancel the tour.  😢  Safe travels to all!

 

You are probably both relieved and disappointed. So sorry everyone is having to deal with all these disruptions. I hope you'll be able to reschedule your cruise for another time.

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43 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

You are probably both relieved and disappointed. So sorry everyone is having to deal with all these disruptions. I hope you'll be able to reschedule your cruise for another time.

 

You described my feelings exactly!  But I am lucky in comparison to those experiencing illness or loss of livelihood.   Definitely hope to re-book a similar itinerary at a later time when things are less uncertain.  Thanks!

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good ideas;  we will be on a Princess cruise in early Nov.  Look forward to our Naples stop.  bennybear, where did you get that pizza from?  Looks great

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, AF-1 said:

good ideas;  we will be on a Princess cruise in early Nov.  Look forward to our Naples stop.  bennybear, where did you get that pizza from?  Looks great

 

We have tried many Sorbillos which was voted top, Antica Michele.... This one was from 

a more popular local place Lombardi’s.  It was incredible!  The gelato nearby was also incredible! 

IMG_3501.jpg

Edited by bennybear

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Awesome thanks.  There is a Lombardi's pizza in NY City

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2 hours ago, AF-1 said:

Awesome thanks.  There is a Lombardi's pizza in NY City

Wonder if it’s related? 

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bennybear, that I do not know

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On 2/23/2020 at 4:22 PM, cruisemom42 said:

I am in Pompeii now -- literally staying in a hotel across from the entrance. In the last three days I have been to both Pompeii and Herculaneum and hands down I would choose Pompeii.

 

 

 

I don't know if you will see this but reading here I value your advise a lot cruisemom! 

 

Our Europe cruise was canceled for September, but I won't be able to find out until June at the earliest if our airfare is canceled. Because of that I was doing the basic plannings of a land trip. I couldn't find any place I was really happy with in Pompeii itself to stay with online searching. So may I ask where you are staying and how do you like it?

 

Thanks! 

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