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Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

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Plantation, Florida
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Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

We will have a full day (7 am - 7:30 pm) port stop in Naples next month. As I've already visited Pompei, Positano, Sorrento, Amalfi, etc., I was considering visiting Herculaneum and Caserta. Knowing that they are in opposite directions, I'm not sure that would be a good use of our time in Naples. I've read that 2 hours is plenty of time to spend at Herculaneum, but with travel time, I'm wondering if logistics make this plan not a good idea since I also read that a good many hours can be spent at the palace and gardens at Caserta. With the long port stay, I've considered the Archaeology Museum and time exploring Naples as an alternative to the additional train trip to Caserta after Herculaneum since in my previous visit to Naples, we didn't spend much time in the city itself. I'd hate to miss Caserta this trip in case I don't make it back to Naples any time soon, but am wondering if I should reduce my ambitions... Any advice on how to best spend our time would be appreciated. As far as interests, we are very open... museums, activities, seeing notable landmarks, etc. are all possibilities. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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1. Re: Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

If Caserta is the place you want to get to most, I'd head there first thing in the morning and then let the rest of the day play out. You can prepare yourself with the travel information for different stops later in the day, such as Ercolano so you're ready if you have time.

You can get to Caserta by either bus or train from Napoli Centrale; the bus depot in Caserta is right next to the train station and the same ticket covers either travel, so you have maximum flexibility. The last time I went I took the train up but a bus back, because I happened to have hit a hole in the middle of the train schedule and I didn't want to wait an hour for the next one.

The ticket between Naples and Caserta is the U4, which costs Euro 3,50 each way. If you happen to be traveling on a weekend day the full day weekend pass is a better deal than two one ways, at Euro 5,60 for the day.

If you get off the ship quickly you may be able to catch the 7:38 train from Napoli Centrale, arriving at Caserta at 8:16. If not, the next train at 8:01 will get you there at 8:49, just after opening time. The train station in Caserta is right across the street from the royal palace, it's impossible to miss it.

There is an audio tour of the palace that you can rent; it takes about an hour to visit all of the rooms open to the public. After that you can spend as much or as little time as you want in the gardens.

For most people, a 90 minute walk through the house followed by another 90 minutes in the gardens is a good introduction. Even if you stretched your time in the gardens, odds are that you'd be ready to head back by noon or 1 PM. That leaves you quite a bit of time for a second phase of your day.

Edited: 06 April 2014, 16:39
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2. Re: Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

Probably the earliest you'd be ready to leave Caserta is the 12:13 train back to Naples, which arrives just after 1 PM. That leaves you the entire afternoon to either go to Ercolano (quite achievable) or to enjoy all that Naples has to offer.

The next return train from Caserta, if you find you want to spend more time there, departs at 1:10 and arrives at 2 PM. That's still plenty of time to make the short trip to Ercolano; the 2:11 train gets you to Ercolano at 2:28; assuming that you are going in the summer when the hours are longer, you could stay at the site for good two hours before heading back to catch the 5:25 train to Naples, arriving at 5:45.

Ocean City, MD
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3. Re: Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

The Palace is closed on Tuesdays:

…beniculturali.it/index.php/orarieprezzi.html

Plantation, Florida
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4. Re: Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

Thank you so much for the detailed information! That really helps!

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

Thanks Elstravel for the suggestions for travel to Caserta. I will build that into our trip. While I see that it would certainly be advantageous to combine both Caserta and Herculaneum into a full day, I think we would probably be too tired to then appreciate Herculaneum and also the light would have changed (ie for photographs). So I think we will visit Ceserta early as you suggest on one day and then spend the day visiting some museums in Naples as they stay open quite late. Vesuvius and Herculaneum will be visited on another day with other museums being visited on the afternoon of that day.

6. Re: Herculaneum and Caserta Palace from Naples

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