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Day Trip From Rome

Boston...
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Day Trip From Rome

We are torn between an all day bus trip to Pompeii (including a short hike at Vesuvius) and a shorter day trip to Hadrian's Villa & villa d'Este in Tivoli. I am concerned that Pompeii is too long a trip when we only have 4 days in Rome, but is Pompeii just so much more spectacular than Tivoli that it is worth it? We are history and archaeology lovers, so both of these appeal - matter of fact my son wants to do both, but I think that won't leave us any time in Rome! Any thoughts from people who've been to Hadrian's Villa? Or is Ostia Antica a shorter trip and good substitute for Pompeii?

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: Day Trip From Rome

Can't comment on Vesuvius as we've not done been there - and although our neighbours have a "on a clear day" view of the volcano, I don't think we've ever been closer than this....

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/image/129157749

But, with just four days, Ostia is probably your better choice....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/ost_antic

.. even if no match for Pompei:

www.pbase.com/isolaverde/slides_pompeii

You could 'do' it in half the time (for €1 each way), with longer to see more of the city....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/places_rome

And then perhaps, on another visit, come down this way - for Naples, Herculaneum, Ischia, Capri, the Amalfi Coast...

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/tele

Peter

Boston...
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2. Re: Day Trip From Rome

Thank you so much Peter. Except your photos are so lovely that now I wish I had 40 days in Rome instead of 4! I am leaning towards your advice to make Pompeii & the Amalfi coast a future trip - but your photos of Pompeii sure are enticing - too many good choices!

Burlington, ON
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3. Re: Day Trip From Rome

We have done day trips to both Ostia and Tivoli. Both are amazing but Tivoli was my favourite. Ostia is a shorter and easier day trip but in Tivoli we were able to visit both Villa D'este and Hadrians Villa. They are both beautiful to visit but very different. The water fountains and gardens at Villa D'este were one of the highlights of our trip. My husband is a roman history buff and Hadrians Villa is his favourite site.

I agree with Peter that you should save Pompeii for a visit to Naples and the Amalfi Coast. We are heading there this year!

Norwich, United...
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4. Re: Day Trip From Rome

Gwen, thank you! But 40 - or even 400 - might not be quite enough!

If Pompei appealed for its wonderful frescoes, then do be sure you get to the 'Palazzo Massimo alle Terme' branch of the National Museum of Rome - within sight of Termini station - where they've collected together and recreated several entire rooms....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/massimo

Also some very good mosaics and a huge amount of other interesting stuff!

The 7 Euro ticket is great value, and covers not only that one but also the museum's three other branches.... two elsewhere, the Palazzo Altemps and Crypta Balbi and, just across the road, the one in the Baths of Diocletian....

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/nrm_dioclet

Yet more choices for you - sorry!

Peter

Boston...
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5. Re: Day Trip From Rome

Thanks everyone, this is such good help and reassures me that its ok to skip Pompeii this time. We were planning a visit to the National Museum on our 'jet lag' day, so we will be sure to head for the frescoes. And we've made arrangements for getting to Tivoli. I'll report back in June!

Norwich, United...
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6. Re: Day Trip From Rome

Well done indeed.... research, decision,action - all in 24 hours!

For a quick idea of what's in the other two places your €7 covers, I've finally posted a few old pictures from the Palazzo Altemps and Crypta Balbi here:

http://www.pbase.com/isolaverde/places_rome

Peter

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Day Trip From Rome

I agree thqt Pompeii should be saved for anoher trip.

However, when in Rome? The Baths of Caracalla are emphatically worth cisiting for history buff.

Charles City, Iowa
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8. Re: Day Trip From Rome

All good points above, but I would still choose a day trip to Pompeii (without Vesuvias or the Amalfi Coast...future trip). It's an easy day trip from Rome. Take morning train from Termini to Naples, Circumvesuviana from Naples to Pompeii Scavi stop, which is right at the entrance to Pompeii, and have the afternoon to enjoy wandering the ruins. You can be back in Rome in time for dinner. Above trips mentioned are great, but there's only one Pompeii! There are an abundance of tour guides there, but with a guide book and map (available at the entrance) you really don't need a guide. Trains in Italy are not that hard to navigate once you've taken a trip.

Edited: 30 April 2012, 06:34
Le Marche, Italy
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9. Re: Day Trip From Rome

I've visited Pompeii (three times, once as a day trip from Rome), Ostia Antica (I'm not sure, maybe five times, always as a day trip from Rome) and Tivoli once (as a stopover when driving from Rome to our home in Le Marche). If there's any chance you'll visit the Campania region at some time in the future, I would save Pompeii for that trip. It's a long day trip from Rome, and the visit to the site is necessarily somewhat superficial. It would be even more superficial if you try to add things like Vesuvius.

For someone fascinated by Roman history, Ostia Antica provides even more historical depth than Pompeii or Tivoli, although it may lack some of the Wow! factor. Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli was an emperor's summer digs, and really has nothing much to say about Roman history. In fact, a lot of the buildings had a purpose that's totally unknown, because there aren't any similar sites to compare it to. Pompeii has a lot more depth, but it was essentially a bedroom community of Naples, which flourished, and was destroyed within a single century, the first century BC. Ostia Antica was an important port city for over 400 years, and continued to be a significant town into the early middle ages. It was much more heterogeneous than Pompeii, with rich neighborhoods, poor neighborhoods, many different religions and nationalities, merchant quarters, residential quarters, and public spaces. It was never destroyed, but was gradually abandoned when barbarian invasions from the sea induced the population to move closer to the church and castle fortress that had been built in the ninth century by a local bishop a little further inland. You can still see (and visit) the castle, which was greatly modified in the 14th century. It's to your right when the entrance to Ostia Antica is on your left.

Either Tivoli or Ostia are convenient day trips from Rome. Ostia Antica is certainly the easiest to reach. Tivoli has three villas, from different periods, that are worth visiting. I've never seen the Villa Gregoriana, which was closed for restructuring when I was in Tivoli. Both the Villa D'Este and the Villa Adriana are very interesting, and maybe more so than Ostia Antica for someone who doesn't have a deep interest in ancient Rome.

Edited: 30 April 2012, 08:08
Boston...
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10. Re: Day Trip From Rome

Wow, such wonderful info, you guys are the best! I've added the Baths of Caracalla to the wishlist if time permits. Thank you bvlenci for sharing your knowledge/enthusiasm on Ostia Antica. Now I'm even more excited about that. I know Hadrian's Villa probably seems like not a 'top 10' choice for our short time in Rome, but we are motivated because we walked along a bit of his Wall on the Scottish border - the odd things that inspire tourism!