For many travelers to Italy, no tour of the country is complete without a visit to the Pompeii, the southern Roman city destroyed by the 79AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.
The Pompeii archaeological site is just 15 miles (24 km) south of the city of Naples, which is the major transportation hub for travelers heading south. From Naples, it's easy to reach Pompeii via train, rental car or private transfer. If you're already to the south of Pompeii, Sorrento makes a good base for exploring the nearby ruins and the stunning Amalfi Coast.
This 5-day itinerary includes Naples, Pompeii, and the town of Maiori on the Amalfi Coast.
Duration: 30-40 mins
If you're traveling by train, you'll take the EAV Linea 1 train, called the Circumvesuviana, for the 40-minute ride to the Pompei Scavi - Villa Dei Misteri stop adjacent to the archaeological park. There's not much to see in the modern city of Pompei, so most travelers return to Naples the same day, or continue on to Sorrento, the terminus of the Circumvesuviana train.
Note that on the EAV schedule, the departing station in Naples is indicated as Piazza Garibaldi, but the platform for the train is actually on the lower level of Napoli Centrale, the main station, below the high-speed train platforms. Tickets for the Circumvesuviana can only be purchased at the ticket window near the platforms or at newsstands or tabacchi (tobacco shop) in the station.
If you plan to continue on to Sorrento after your tour of Pompeii, you will need to purchase either an all-day ticket or two tickets – one for each leg of your trip. Trains from Naples depart every 30 minutes.
By rental car, Pompeii is a straight shot from Naples on the A3 Autostrada, also signposted E45. The trip takes about 30 minutes. If you don't want the stress of driving in Naples, a Naples to Pompeii day trip is ideally suited for a private transfer. Your driver can wait while you tour Pompeii, and many transportation providers offer guided tours of the archaeological park.
Duration: 2-3 hrs
If you're traveling to Pompeii from Rome, you'll first arrive at Napoli Centrale via Trenitalia or Italo, then follow the directions above. It's possible to go from Rome to Pompeii and back again as a very long day trip, but you'll need to get an early start in the morning.
Private transfer from Rome is another good option, as dozens of companies offer either private or small group tours from Rome to Pompeii and back, many of which include guided tours of the site and stops for lunch, shopping or brief visits to the Amalfi Coast.
Find out more about How to Get from Rome to Naples.
Duration: 20 - 60 mins
If you're already in Sorrento, the Circumvesuviana reaches the Pompei Scavi - Villa Dei Misteri in 20 minutes, making for an easy day trip. There are also private tour providers departing from Sorrento. Driving along the winding SS145 from Sorrento to Pompeii takes about 1 hour, depending on traffic.
For a northbound itinerary from the Amalfi Coast, this relaxed tour of the Amalfi Coast, Naples, and Rome starts in Amalfi town and heads north and includes a day trip to Pompeii and neighboring Herculaneum.