I want to visit Pompeii. Is it a day trip, or do I stay the night?
You ask, we respond.
The trip from Rome to Pompeii takes about two and a half hours total thanks to the new high-speed train service to Naples (011-39/06-6847-5475, trenitalia.com). But getting there and back in one day is a little ambitious.
Consider breaking up the outing by stopping in Naples for the night, but keep in mind that the noisy city isn't for the faint of heart: A stroll along Spaccanapoli, the main drag that cuts straight through the center of town, will leave your ears ringing as you dodge weaving motorini and battle the crowds, all against a backdrop of gloriously crumbling baroque masonry. Keep your hand firmly on your purse, be prepared to use your elbows, and plunge in. Take refuge at Hotel Europeo. The rooms are a bit sparse, but the convenient locationright in the center of the city, near the Spaccanapoliis ideal (via Mezzocannone 109, 011-39/081-551-7254, seahotels.com, from $70).
If you've got kids, Pompeii is the perfect historic destination for your older childrenwho wouldn't be mesmerized by an ancient city preserved by lava? You'll see fully intact bakeries, casts of bodies frozen in time, and furnished villas, all from A.D. 79. Pay particular attention to the frescoes in the shops that line the main via dell'Abbondanza; several of them have recently been restored (entrance to the ruins $14.50).
Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.