Pompeii Day Trip From Rome
Activity: Pompeii. Metro Stop: Start at Roma Termini, see instructions below for detailed information on how to get to Pompeii. Cost: €15/adult, free under 18. Hours: 9-5 Nov-March, 9-7:30 April-Oct.
Pompeii is an ancient Roman city frozen in time when Mt. Vesuvius erupted and buried the place in ash. It’s morbid and totally memorable. All the churches of Europe run together after a while, but Pompeii will stick with you and with your kids! I’ve also heard Herculaneum (nearby city, also got covered in ash) is wonderful as well and less crowded.
Baby backpacks are a good idea because the ground is uneven. Make sure everyone wears close-toed shoes. Bring lots of food and sunscreen because food and shade options are limited.
Pompeii is just an hour and a half train ride from Rome... if you plan your day right! Here's how to get there. Book a high speed train ticket ahead of time on ItaliaRail (see booking checklist). You're looking for the high speed train option which takes around 1 hour 10 min. Book for as early in the morning as you can get it. You're going from Roma Termini to Naples Main station.
When you get to Naples Main Station, find Circumvesuviana Railway station downstairs. Trains to Pompeii Scavi - Villa Dei Misteri every 30 minutes, journey time 36 minutes, fare around €3.20 each way. There's another Pompeii station on another train route. Don't get confused. You're looking for Pompeii Scavi - Villa Dei Misteri. When you arrive at the station, the entrance to the ruins are just across the street.
Like the Forum, audioguides are very necessary to appreciate Pompeii. Download this audioguide (scroll to the bottom) from my buddy Rick Steves before you go and you won’t have to worry about not knowing what you’re seeing. Plus, audioguide=hands free for child wrangling.
Watch out for the brothel area unless you feel like answering your kids' questions about the NSFW paintings. There are slightly pornographic paintings on the wall and they are very much still intact! When I was a kid, my parents brought me here and I got a book from the gift shop. It was a Pompeii before/after overlay book. I treasured that book because of my time in Pompeii!
When you're ready to go home, simply reverse the journey. If you want to keep your leaving time flexible, you can buy a train ticket back to Rome at the station. Otherwise I would choose the time to go home depending on what you think your kids can handle. Most people say they could spend all day in Pompeii because there is so much to see.