Rail service to Pompeii

Trains to Pompeii

Mt. Vesuvius and the ancient Roman cities it buried in AD 79 (most famously Pompeii and Herculaneum) lie on the southern curve of the Bay of Naples, south of the city.

The best way to see them is by using the commuter rail line EAV/Circumvesuviana, a clattering old suburban rail line from Naples (so first: Get to Naples).

Which train line do I take to get to Pompeii?

The Circumvesuviana has several train lines. The one you want is the line out to Sorrento, with departures roughly every 20 minutes.

It services Herculaneum ("Ercolano-Scavi" in Italian; 17 min), Vesuvius (same stop), Pompei-–Villa dei Misteri (36 min.), and Sorrento (60 min.).

When you alight at Pompei-–Villa dei Misteri, turn right out of the station, and the Porta Marina entrance to the Pompeii archeological site is just a few hundred feet down on your left.

Continue down this road to enter the modern town of Pompei after about ten minutes.

Note: There is another Circumvesuviana line that can also get you to Pompeii. The Napoli—Poggiomarino line has a stop called Pompei-Santuario. You could do that, but consider:

  • (a) It's a longer walk from an archaeological park entrance (about five blocks from the Piazza Anfiteatro entrance)
  • (b) It's less frequent (hourly most of the day, half-hourly early in the morning and again in late afternoon)
  • (c) It's a bit longer ride (45 min, vs. 36 min)

Where to find the EAV/Circumvesuviana station in Naples

If you're arriving in Naples by rail, the Napoli Centrale station is where most trains arrive.

However, finding the EAV/Circumvesuviana station—which is called Piazza Garibaldi and lies underneath Napoli Centrale train station—can be a bit tricky.

Head toward the train station's main exit, but just before you get there, look to the left for a staircase leading down (which, a few years ago, they finally labelled with a "Circumvesuviana" sign).

Continue following those "Circumvesuviana" signs—but partway along the hall stop at the ticket windows on your left to purchase your tickets.

Finding the right platform; boarding the right train

The binario (platform) for the Pompei-bound trains will be displayed.

That part is easy.

However, several different commuter lines will use the same platform, so ask around to be sure the train pulling in is bound for Pompeii/Sorrento before stepping on board.

(Over the years, I've probably stopped at least 50 fellow tourists from getting on the wrong train—and those were just the people who happened to be standing next to me on the platform.)

Beware of pickpockets every step of the way. The Naples train station is the black hole of Italian pickpockets, and they love to work the tourist-packed Circumvesuviana train as well.

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Trains links

Tips

Where to find the EAV/Circumvesuviana station in Naples

If you're arriving in Naples by rail, the Napoli Centrale station is where most trains arrive.

However, finding the EAV/Circumvesuviana—which runs underneath Napoli Centrale train station—can be a bit tricky.

Head toward the train station's main exit, but just before you get there, look to the left for a staircase leading down (which, a few years ago, they finally labelled with a "Circumvesuviana" sign).

Continue following those "Circumvesuviana" signs—but partway along the hall stop at the ticket windows on your left to purchase your tickets.

Finding the right platform; boarding the right train

The binario (platform) for the Pompei-bound trains will be displayed. That part is easy.

However, several different commuter lines will use the same platform, so ask around to be sure the train pulling in is bound for Sorrento before stepping on board.

(Over the years, I've probably stopped at least 50 fellow tourists from getting on the wrong train—and those were just the people who happened to be standing next to me on the platform.)

Beware of pickpockets

Beware of pickpockets every step of the way (the Naples train station is the black hole of Italian pickpockets, and they love to work the tourist-packed Circumvesuviana train as well).

Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for rail travel

English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
train treno TRE-no
car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
seat posto PO-sto
departures partenze par-TEN-zay
arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
     
punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
City / Train station names
English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
Rome Roma Termini
Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
Milan Milano Centrale
Genoa Genova Porta Principe
Naples Napoli Centrale
Leghorn Livorno Centrale
Turin Torino Porta Nuova

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).

 

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