We've found 130 Pompeii reviews from Viator.com travelers and members: what they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved. It's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Review by Susan C, August 2011
Doing what: Rome to Pompeii Shuttle Bus & Independent Day Trip
We had a wonderful trip to Pompeii and the coach was absolutely fine. The negative points however were that there was only one pick up point - 3 blocks from the Rome station, which is an effort to get to by 7.30am when you are a foreigner staying in a part of the city some distance away. Secondly, why could the company not have included the ticket entry in the price - instead we had to line up in a very long queue in 33degree heat. Despite all this - the trip was great - but expensive for the minimal service provided. A train to Naples and the local train into pompeii would have been much cheaper and not difficult. That way you could avoid arriving at the time that all the tour buses arrive.
The order of the trip should be reversed so that Pompeii is the 1st stop and Naples is the 2nd (or removed entirely). Arriving at Pompeii at 2 in the afternoon is ridiculous. The heat is unbearable and there is little shelter while touring the city. The actual tour of the city was nice, but could have been longer (more than 2 hours). The stop at the shell jewelry store was also unnecessary, as everything there was extremely expensive.
You spend most of the time on the bus with minimal narrative. This time cold have been spent going over history or other topics of interest. We had one mono-lingual Spanish couple and the guide spent much time speaking to two people rather than the full bus of English speakers.
They stop at tourist traps for restrooms and also at a cameo/coral shop. This is a complete waste of time. The tour would be much better if allowed a stop at the museum where many artifcats from Pompeii are.
The guide at Pompeii was at times amusing but my recommendation would be to get the audio tour and break from the group. Other tourists would join our group for brief moments making it impossible to hear the guide.
All in all, save your money. Go to Naples by train and enjoy the city and go to the Museum. Then go on to Pompeii
Note from Viator: Hi Judith, thanks for your comments! Although we cannot cater to everyone we appreciate your feedback and will certainly bear this in mind when taking on future tours. We also sell tours on a variety of websites and offer them to different nationalities so sometimes our tours have multi-lingual guides.
Pompeii is probably the best preserved and largest site (nearby Ostia is a good alternative if you don't have a full day for this excellent tour). Our guide (sorry I forgot his name ??Enzo??) was excellent, knowledgeable and funny. He explained the layout of the Port city and took us to several of the most interesting sites at Pompeii: the area with artefacts, a soup kitchen, typical family dwelling, bakery, the ancient water system, the red-light district of Pompeii and the temple of Apollo, Our time at Pompeii felt too short (2 hours went by fast) and left me wanting more. Our time at Vesuvius was similarly short. Walking to the very top took almost 30 minutes (for those in good physical shape) and a similar time back down (due to the steep grade), it didn't leave much time for looking at the volcano itself. We had an excellent day for viewing the volcano crater (only light clouds that passed by quickly). Wear good shoes (no sandals) as the ground is pebbly and loose underfoot. Do not to take the walking stick offered at the bottom, you get better momentum walking up hill swinging both arms. Carrying the stick becomes a nuisance after a while and is useless on the way down. Also buy your postcards and trinkets after your return so you don't have to carry anything extra. The bus ride was long (3 hours each way) but air conditioned and we had a coffee/bathroom stop halfway which was very appreciated. It was a long day but worth it. If you have time and want to see one of the best preserved ancient sites definitely book this tour. It was amazing!
It was a great trip. Just wish we could have had more time in Pompeii. The Naples part is interesting but it is pretty much just a bus tour of the city with one stop on the coast.
This tour is fantastic. The hike to Mt. Vesuvius is not difficult but very moving. The guide was so extremely knowledgeable and fun about sharing the facts about the city of Pompeii that I'd go back just to hear him again. This is really a must do on everyone's trip to Italy.
Pompeii was awesome! Naples was a bust. Driving through the city and getting out of the bus for 5 minutes does not count as a tour in my book. It would have been nice to have lunch and a walk in Naples and then on to Pompeii for the tour of the ruins. Then some free time for a snack after the ruins before the ride home. Also, take off the shoulders and knees must be covered disclaimer from the information. It was a hot day and we had on long pants that were not necessary as we did not go into any churches. All in all a good day and Pompeii is a must see.
Andre, our guide was fantastic! Very personable and knowledgeable. Other reviewers have said the city tour was not worthwhile, however, I really enjoyed the quick overview of the city highlights before heading to Pompeii. Of course, Pompeii was the star of the day, a truly amazing place! Highly recommended!
Franco was an excellent tour guide. Pompeii was amazing. Despite the weather and traffic returning to Rome, it was worth it. Did not really get to get out to see Naples, basically toured the city by bus.
This was worth the money. Although the City Tour was not that extensive, it felt like a "private" tour with Andy, our tour guide. He was knowledgeable, had a great sense of humor, and treated us like we were old friends. His tour of Pompeii was personal, extensive, and was one of the highlights of our trip to Naples.
The tour group was very well organized and informative. Honestly, I think we could have just skipped Naples (a beautiful city, but parts were quite unsightly) and it was basically a bus tour with a quick stop to take photos. Pompeii was really incredible and the guide was quite entertaining and informative. Glad we did it!
This tour should be called a trip to Pompeii!
Let me describe how the day went: at 7AM we got picked up from our hotel and we waited at the "meeting location" for 15 minutes and got transferred to another bus. The bus was full and seats were cramped and I'm only 5'2" and 105 pounds!!
We then drove to Naples, had a "bathroom stop", and got to Naples past noon (there was a traffic jam). We had a photo stop at the shore, which was about 20 minutes. Then got on the bus again and went around the city for about 15 minutes. The stop at Naples was a joke!
We then proceeded to drive to Pompeii and stopped at a cameo factory, which was completely unnecessary. It was just an attempt to get people to buy something. Waste of time.
We arrived in Pompeii past 2 pm and had lunch. Lunch was poor. Drink was not included in the price. Service was slow and it took one hour to finish.
Finally, we get a walking tour of Pompeii ruins for 2 hours. That was the only positive thing about this tour. The local guide, and elderly man, was enthusiastic and knowledgeable!
I enjoyed this part of the tour.
The bus got back in Rome around 9:30pm and had to drop off customer one by one! Very luckily, our hotel was the 2nd drop-off location. If you are unlucky, you could spend another hour on the bus which it goes around in the city.
Overall I feel that was a day wasted. Long time spent on the bus for a 2-hour tour of Pompeii. The lady guide was adequate but appeared distant and unenthusiastic, not easy to understand her accent.
Seeing the sights in Naples and Pompeii were amazing. The Pompeii restaurant they took us to also was fabulous. Would recommend however that the local Pompeii tour guide have provided us a headset or use a microphone so that we could have all heard while walking around the city as it was hard to hear in a group of almost 40 people huddled together. Could have also done without the stop at the Coral museum. Most people were disinterested and the stop there was a bit too long.
Loved the tour, but a little long. Could have missed the Naples tour , because just shows how filthy that city is. Our guide for the Pompeii tour was very knowlegable, but group far too big. The pace was for too fast. Headphones for group would have been most helpful. People at back of group would have missed commentary.
The overall trip was very nice. I am glad we didn't get off the bus in Naples because that is a dirty city and very disappointing. Pompeii was amazing but I wish we had more time to explore, and that our tour guide spoke faster. We ended up leaving the tour and wandering on our own because he would take 20 minutes to explain one item and we only had 2 hrs to visit. The cameo store was a bit of a joke but thank goodness we only stayed for a short time. When we finally returned to Rome, I wish the tour guide would have let us know that we were going to stop at every hotel in the city to drop people off-we ended up jumping off the bus in some random place because we were tired of sitting on there.