I am traveling with my husband and 3 kids (13, 11, 7) to Italy in August. My kids are huge enthusiasts for ancient history (those Asterix comics did it), and want to see everything Roman. So we will be spending a week in Rome, of course. But then, we want to travel down to Naples to see Pompeii and the archaeological museum. And also to indulge in a bit of nostagia for myself - I spent a summer in Naples many years ago while in college, and loved the city. However, I am finding the logistics with a family to be far more daunting than when I was a carefree college student living with a local family.
My tentative plan is to arrive in the morning, do Naples and the museum, spend the night, go to Pompeii the next day ( with my kids, it will take most of the day), spend the night, and then return to Rome.
The first problem is lodging. It seems to be insanely difficult to find hotel rooms for a family of 5. In Rome, we are booking an apartment, but we won't be in Naples long enough. Also, I don't really want to stay near the train station, which I recall as being a really dicey area. My recollection is that Vomero is the nicest, but a pain to get to from the train station. Any advice on lodging in a nice area for a family of 5?
I also am not huge on trying to schlep 3 kids, husband, and bags through the train station. We are New Yorkers, so we are pretty hip to pickpockets, but in some ways that makes it scarier. So now I am wondering if there are other options. Are there package tours from Rome to Naples/Pompeii? Or are there tours that will pick up at the hotels in Naples? With 5 people, sometimes it is actually cheaper to use a package tour than to spend for all the train tickets (Rome-Naples, and then the Circumvesuviana).
Are we better off renting a car and staying outside the city? My old friend from college (whose family I stayed with) recommended doing that. He still lives in the area.
Any other advice for a family visit to Naples?