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Old 08-01-2013, 06:47 PM   #16
Dogsambam
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You can easily do it in a day, but I would suggest doing a tour that makes sure you are back at the ship in time. Naples is chaotic and getting back to ship may cause you a problem.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:04 PM   #17
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We did Pompeii on our own. We took the tram, located at the port entrance, to the train station. Get a ticket for tram and train at the newsstand at the port entrance. As you leave the ship, you will be bombarded by aggressive taxi drivers who will lie to you and try to make a deal with you. They told us the trains were not running and other lies. Just keep walking to the corner newsstand. The guy there was very helpful. We went early in the am. 40 min. train ride if on the local and shorter if you are lucky to get an express. It was not crowded in Pompeii at all the day we were there. We used Rick Steve's audio tour downloaded unto our iPhone and iPods. It was excellent and free!
We did not go to Sorrento, but had enough time to stop in Naples, get pizza and back on the ship with more than an hour to spare and we really took our time in Pompeii. We were there for about 3 hours I think.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:30 PM   #18
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My experience from 2007

The area near Pompeii is unfortunately located in a very poor suburb or Naples. Just like in similar areas of America, these areas tend to be high in crime and gang related violence. When I rode the Circumvesuviana in 2007, I saw armed guards patrolling the carriages. Both the carriages and train stations were covered in spray paint graffiti, a reminder of the etymological origin of this word.

At the Circumvesuviana ticket widow, the attendant spoke only Italian. I struggled with the question, “andata e ritorno?” until the attendant drew a picture of two opposing arrows. At most other train stations in Europe, there was usually someone who spoke English.

While I never experienced or saw any crime, I was on high alert. Pompeii is worth the risk, but I would absolutely not go here after dark.

WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.


-Paul
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Old 08-02-2013, 04:27 PM   #19
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WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.
I must be a total spaz because we completely didn't understand the "artwork" in the tiling on the floor, and when told what it was elected to skip it just because the walk down toward the brothel was SO FAR.

My point is, it's really not that noticeable (IMO) unless you're looking for it. We went there not knowing what to look for, but we had a guide.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #20
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The area near Pompeii is unfortunately located in a very poor suburb or Naples. Just like in similar areas of America, these areas tend to be high in crime and gang related violence. When I rode the Circumvesuviana in 2007, I saw armed guards patrolling the carriages. Both the carriages and train stations were covered in spray paint graffiti, a reminder of the etymological origin of this word.

At the Circumvesuviana ticket widow, the attendant spoke only Italian. I struggled with the question, “andata e ritorno?” until the attendant drew a picture of two opposing arrows. At most other train stations in Europe, there was usually someone who spoke English.

While I never experienced or saw any crime, I was on high alert. Pompeii is worth the risk, but I would absolutely not go here after dark.

WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.


-Paul
We got off the train at the Pompeii-scavi stop. It was 1 block from the entrance, passing by a TI, restaurants and souvenier shops. It did not seem to be a dangerous place to us. Yes, there is some graffiti on the trains, but this was no different from the rest of Europe. Maybe they have cleaned things up since 2007. I don't recall seeing any armed guards. There is a brothel to tour in the ruins of Pompeii, but it is clearly marked as such and you can skip it if you choose. We loved doing Pompeii on our own schedule and the hardest part of taking the train was figuring out that you had to buy the ticket at the news stand. It was a wonderful and educational day for us. I was very comfortable in Pompeii. Naples, however, was a bit uncomfortable. I did not feel safe there. Lots of pick pockets, people yelling and crazy traffic and drivers. It was also filthy. I would skip the city of Naples next time.
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Old 08-02-2013, 07:09 PM   #21
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. . . I was very comfortable in Pompeii. Naples, however, was a bit uncomfortable. I did not feel safe there. Lots of pick pockets
During one stop in Naples, one of our dinner table mates was pickpocketed right outside the port as she and her husband crossed the street. Her purse had a flap, and they managed to raise the flap and reach in for her wallet without her noticing.

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Old 08-02-2013, 10:16 PM   #22
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Hi there, my family and I were on a RCCL cruise last july one of our stops was naples. We did all three on our own. We first went to Pompeii, then Sorrento and lastly toured around naples before boarding the ship. When you get off the ship at the port of Naples you are greeted by dozens of taxi drivers if you keep going out to the street right outside the port there will be an old man with a small white van, he is an independent tour operator. His name is Humberto, he took us everywhere we wanted to go and brought us back. He charged us for the entire family/trip $150. He is the sweetest old man and there is nothing like driving along the coast with the windows open listening to Dean Martin's I love Napoli album.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:40 PM   #23
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Hi there, my family and I were on a RCCL cruise last july one of our stops was naples. We did all three on our own. We first went to Pompeii, then Sorrento and lastly toured around naples before boarding the ship. When you get off the ship at the port of Naples you are greeted by dozens of taxi drivers if you keep going out to the street right outside the port there will be an old man with a small white van, he is an independent tour operator. His name is Humberto, he took us everywhere we wanted to go and brought us back. He charged us for the entire family/trip $150. He is the sweetest old man and there is nothing like driving along the coast with the windows open listening to Dean Martin's I love Napoli album.
Thanks for the info! Would you happen to have his email addy or name of company? $150 is not a bad rate. Sounds good. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 08-03-2013, 09:05 AM   #24
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The area near Pompeii is unfortunately located in a very poor suburb or Naples. Just like in similar areas of America, these areas tend to be high in crime and gang related violence. When I rode the Circumvesuviana in 2007, I saw armed guards patrolling the carriages. Both the carriages and train stations were covered in spray paint graffiti, a reminder of the etymological origin of this word.

At the Circumvesuviana ticket widow, the attendant spoke only Italian. I struggled with the question, andata e ritorno? until the attendant drew a picture of two opposing arrows. At most other train stations in Europe, there was usually someone who spoke English.

While I never experienced or saw any crime, I was on high alert. Pompeii is worth the risk, but I would absolutely not go here after dark.

WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.
I as I stated before I stayed in Sorrento for 4 days in 2011 and rode the train everyday. Never once did I see an armed guard on the train. In fact we left Herculaneum at dusk and walked back to the train as it was getting dark, and even rode the train after it was dark, and managed to make it back to our hotel unscathed

Most of Europe is covered in graffiti. Like any urban area you should be aware of your surroundings, and watch out for pick pockets.
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Old 08-03-2013, 12:26 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by pjacobi View Post
The area near Pompeii is unfortunately located in a very poor suburb or Naples. Just like in similar areas of America, these areas tend to be high in crime and gang related violence. When I rode the Circumvesuviana in 2007, I saw armed guards patrolling the carriages. Both the carriages and train stations were covered in spray paint graffiti, a reminder of the etymological origin of this word.



WARNING: Pompeii may not be appropriate for children because a highlight of the tour is a stop at several brothels around the city. Inside are frescos depicting available services. Although these areas can be bypassed, there is artwork scattered through the city that may not be appropriate for children. For adults, a good guide or audio tour is extremely informative of putting all this artwork into historical context, but it would not be understood by children.


-Paul
No, it's not in a bad section. I'm guessing you're just not used to Italian cities. Pompei is actually a lovely little town--we've spent a lot of time (almost 2 weeks over the past 2 years) just wandering it. We usually stay in a hotel about a mile from the back entrance of the ruins, and just walk over. The worst thing that ever happened to us there was when we were sitting at the fountain at the town square in Pompei at about 11 pm, and some random guy came up trying to sell us some cheese he had on a string. It was odd, yes, and uncomfortable, but not frightening. And after my husband stared him down, he left us alone.

About the graffiti: again, I think you're just not used to Italian towns and cities. It doesn't mean anything about gangs or crime, it just means they get tagged all the time. You should see the metro train stops...half of them look abandoned, they're so overgrown with grass and trash. Pretty much every local train in Naples is like that. Now, the trash all over Naples...THAT is due to a feud between the Naples Mafia (who controls most of the trash companies) and City government.

On armed guards: I think you're mistaking the train conductors, who wear military-style uniforms, for guards.

And yes, the ticketing people at the train station speak very little English. Much of Naples speaks very little English- it's one of the most "Italian" cities in Italy that way. They've very much refused to bow to catering to Americans, and I can't say I blame them. However, in Pompei and the other touristing towns like Sorrento, everyone speaks it, for the most part.

Naples is full of pickpockets, but if you pay attention, you'll be fine. It's a lot like visiting NYC. If you act like a tourist, they'll target you.

Naples is one of my favorite cities in the world (can you tell?) . Treat it right, and it will treat you right!

I'm surprised the brothel is such a high point for tour guides in Pompeii--it's so very small, and hard to find. There is so much more to see there, that it should be easy to skip.
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Old 08-03-2013, 07:58 PM   #26
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Carabinieri?

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On armed guards: I think you're mistaking the train conductors, who wear military-style uniforms, for guards.
The pair of guards that I saw patrolling the carriages were certainly armed with semi-auto pistols. I think they could have been Carabinieri or local police.

I've been on lots of British and European trains and the Circumvesuviana is one of the worst. The opposite end of the spectrum is a Swiss train that was so clean that I could eat off the floor.

I hope current conditions on the Circumvesuviana are better than 2007.


-Paul
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Old 08-03-2013, 11:40 PM   #27
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The pair of guards that I saw patrolling the carriages were certainly armed with semi-auto pistols. I think they could have been Carabinieri or local police.

I've been on lots of British and European trains and the Circumvesuviana is one of the worst. The opposite end of the spectrum is a Swiss train that was so clean that I could eat off the floor.

I hope current conditions on the Circumvesuviana are better than 2007.


-Paul
They're not. If anything, they're worse. It barely runs right now because of strikes. We were very glad to have rented a car, since the few times we tried the Circumvesuviana in Nov and Dec it was shut down for the most part. The normal trains are much better, though, and run mostly on schedule still. We usually take them from Naples to Rome, and haven't run into any issues so far.

It might have been the carabinieri, but I think that's not the norm. We haven't seen any on it while we've been there, though we have seen them in Naples pretty often.
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