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Boy walking on cobblestone street in Pompeii ruins in Italy. Brick and stone ruins on either side of street. A few people in the background.

Rome to Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius Day Trip – The Easy Way

Are you in Rome and you really want to see Pompeii, but you only have a day?

Or, are you set on doing a Rome to Pompeii day trip but are undecided on how to do it?

Either way – if you’re looking for the easiest way to make the Rome to Pompeii day trip, a guided tour may be the best choice for you.

I’m a mamma of three living in Italy, and we spend much of our free time traveling around Italy. 

I’ve been to Pompeii on my own, but never on a day trip from Rome, and never with my kids.  So, I decided to try both out at once!

I’ve just returned from a day tour of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius from Rome.  And… we had a great time!

Below, you’ll find my thoughts on our experience on the tour, plus details on how the day was structured.  I hope it helps you decide if a day tour is right for you (as you’ll see below, it’s not for everyone).  And, keep in mind that you can choose to just go to Pompeii on your day tour.

Disclosure: Thanks to GetYourGuide for paying for a portion of this day tour to me and my 6-year-old son.  The review and opinions are our own.

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Rome to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Day Tour – The Basics

Company: We made the booking with GetYourGuide and the tour was operated by City Wonders.
Tour We Took: From Rome: Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius Day Trip with Lunch
Price:  We paid €308 for an adult and child.  You can see the up-to-date rates for the tour at the link above.
Options:  Our tour options included a Vesuvius area walk with a geologist or a Vesuvius cone hike.  We chose the Vesuvius cone hike (at a slightly higher price). 
Start/End Time: 7:30am to 8:10pm (scheduled to finish at 7:30pm).  We had to arrive and check-in 20 minutes before the 7:30am departure time. 
Number of Guests: about 50

Important:  These were the details for our specific day tour.  Always check the confirmation email for the details of your tour.  Times and places may vary. 

Rome to Pompeii Day Tour – Should You or Shouldn’t You?

Boy looking into large crater of Mt. Vesuvius.
Looking into the crater of Vesuvius


  • You want to show up and relax and enjoy
  • You don’t want to worry about navigating, catching trains, etc.
  • You don’t want to worry about buying tickets for trains, site entrances, etc.
  • You only have a day but would love to see Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius
  • You’re traveling with kids and want to enjoy the day without worrying about logistics
  • You want to travel with a guide who helps you with logistics and gives some info about what you’re seeing
  • You want an introduction to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius


  • You don’t like sticking to a strict schedule
  • You want a personal guided tour of Pompeii and Vesuvius (it’s a group trip)
  • You don’t want to ‘follow the flag’ or wear a tour group sticker on your shirt
  • You like to wander and choose where you spend your time
  • You want to spend all day in Pompeii (your time is split with Vesuvius)
  • You want to do an epic hike on Mt. Vesuvius and have plenty of time to enjoy the views, have a snack or aperitivo, and take photos
  • You want to stop in Naples for an amazing pizza or a visit to the Naples National Archaeological Museum (home to Pompeii’s artifacts)
  • You’re on a tight budget (you can visit for less on your own)

Read about Visiting Pompeii with Kids

How to Book Your Rome to Pompeii Day Tour

The easiest way to book your day tour to Pompeii is on the GetYourGuide website or app.  I used the website, but also find the app to be easy to use. 

Once you’ve chosen your tour and paid, you’ll receive a voucher with a QR code for each participant in your group. 

The voucher can be printed or you can show it on your phone (email or in the app) when you meet the group. 

Once you’ve booked, you’ll receive important info like the exact meeting point (and finishing point, if it’s different) and contact info for your tour organizer. 

Helpful Tip:  Before booking, check out the reviews and see if there’s anything that may affect your enjoyment of the trip.  For example, when looking at the reviews for this day tour, I noted that it was likely we wouldn’t get far on the Vesuvius hike.  But, that was fine for me and my son.

Rome to Pompeii Day Tour – Our Experience

Meeting the Group: We were instructed to meet the group in Piazza del Popolo.  It’s an easy to access point in the city and it took us about 20 minutes on the metro from our hotel in Monti, plus a 3-minute walk from the Flaminio metro station to the meeting point in the piazza.

The meeting point was full of groups meeting for tours, and the check-in wasn’t exactly where it was supposed to be.  But, we ended up finding our group about 50 meters away with plenty of time to spare. 

Because there were so many people and different groups, the check-in process took awhile and we didn’t get on the bus until about 7:40. 

Good To Know:  There are places to get a coffee, breakfast, or a snack around Piazza del Popolo just outside the city walls.  It’s best to use the bathroom before meeting the group, or stop into a restaurant by the piazza.  There’s also a McDonald’s that serves coffee and has a toilet, and there’s an ATM at the Poste Italiane (post office) next to the Flaminio metro station.

Our Guide: We met our guide Anna, at the check-in.  She’s been leading groups to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius for 40 years(!) and she was full of information on what we were seeing, local culture, and everything we drove by on our way to/from Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii.  She spoke excellent English, and was extremely organized and very helpful. 

Other Travelers:  Our day tour companions were from all over the world.  There were adults, elementary-age kids, and teens.  We didn’t really mingle much except for at lunch, but everyone was kind and enthusiastic about the tour.

The Bus Ride to Pompeii:  The bus ride from Rome to Mt. Vesuvius was 3.5 hours, including a stop to use the bathroom and get a snack.  The windows were clean, seats were comfortable, and we had seatbelts and tray tables.  The views weren’t amazing, but Anna gave us fun facts and info along the way to keep it interesting.  Many people slept.   

Good To Know:  We had the same bus all day, so we could leave things on the bus if needed. 

Helpful Tip:  Take a photo of your bus license plate (or learn a few of the numbers).  You’ll see so many buses during the day, so it’s helpful to be able to identify yours!

First Stop – Mt. Vesuvius:  We had one hour to hike on Vesuvius (but others in the group had 45 minutes, depending on the official entrance time on the ticket the guide gave each of us).  We walked up to the crater (amazing!) and ended up turning around at the second snack bar after walking for 35 minutes.  We made it back down to the meeting point 25 minutes later.  We took a few photos (and looked at lizards) on the hike up and down.

Lunch: Lunch was surprisingly delicious for a place that was serving so many travelers (there were other buses of tour groups there at the same time).  The menu included a huge crochetta, a margherita pizza, and a lemon cake with gelato for dessert.  Water was included, and dietary restrictions cared for (but be sure to tell your group leader at the before you get to the restaurant).   

Second Stop – Pompeii:  After a 25-minute bus ride, we arrived in Pompeii and got headphones and met our Pompeii tour guide.  We spent about an hour and fifteen minutes on a guided tour, and then had 10 minutes to take photos and wander around on our own. 

Good To Know:  If you lose the group (we did – I misheard the meeting time), you can call the phone number on your voucher to get in touch with the main office.  We ended up running into the group, but the main office was very helpful and professional and was able to contact our main guide.

The Bus Ride Back to Rome:  After our visit to Pompeii, we hopped back on the bus for our drive back to Rome.  Like in the morning, we stopped to use the toilet and get snacks.

It was a long, hot, and busy day – but worth it for me and my son! 

The Timing of Our Day Tour to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius

Boy sitting at restaurant table, cutting into a margherita pizza.
We stopped for lunch after hiking up Vesuvius

7:10am – arrive in Piazza del Popolo (Rome) to meet the group

7:40am – depart Rome on bus

9:10am – 25-minute break at rest stop for snacks and toilets

10:50am – enter Vesuvius National Park (on bus)

11:10am – get off bus and walk up Mt. Vesuvius trail

12:30pm – meet group to get back on bus to go to lunch (10-minutes from the park)

13:30pm – eat lunch (our table was served last)

14:05pm – depart for Pompeii

14:30pm – arrive Pompeii

16:30pm – depart Pompeii on bus (and stop again at rest stop for snacks and toilets)

8:10pm – arrive back in Rome, 200 meters from Piazza del Popolo

Rome to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Day Trip – Our Thoughts

Large piazza in Pompeii ruins, with Mt. Vesuvius in the background.
Pompeii, with Mt. Vesuvius in the background

It was a long day, and it was exhausting, but worth it.  I felt like my son got a great intro to both sites. 

I could see being disappointed in the short amount of time at Pompeii if you’re really interested in the site (it’s amazing!).  But, it was a perfect amount of time for my son.  As a guide myself, it was wonderful to not have to worry about any of the logistics. 

My sons favorite parts of the day were walking to the crater of Mt. Vesuvius, eating pizza for lunch, learning about gladiators and exploring Pompeii. 

I do think it’s best to spend more time in the area if you have it.  For example, you could easily spend most of your day at Pompeii and spend the following day at Mt. Vesuvius.  You could also tack on a visit to Herculaneum, the ‘little sister’ of Pompeii.  But, if you’ve only got a day, this is a great overview.  At times things felt rushed, but I knew it would be like that.

We did spend a lot of time on the bus, but it wasn’t awful.  We slept, watched basketball on my phone, and talked about what we saw at Vesuvius and Pompeii.

I appreciated visiting Pompeii in cooler weather.  I’ve been in the heat of summer and it’s a much different experience (not in a good way).

What to Pack for Your Rome to Pompeii & Mt. Vesuvius Day Trip

  • Comfortable shoes – They need to be comfy but you don’t need technical hiking shoes or anything fancy. The hike up Vesuvius and the walk around Pompeii are both doable in sneakers.  The trail up/down Vesuvius can be slippery (we saw a few people fall).
  • Backpack or waistpack
  • Hat and/or sunglasses
  • Sunscreen (very little shade all day)
  • Camera
  • Snacks – You can buy snacks throughout the day, but they’re overpriced and not very healthy.  I was happy we had some fruit and trail mix with us. 
  • Water – You’ll need it!  Pack plenty, but know you purchase water throughout the day if you need it.
  • Rainjacket if you’re visiting in the spring or fall
  • Light jacket – We didn’t need our jackets in early April, except for walking to/from the meeting point in Rome.  Pompeii and Vesuvius were both toasty.  I also used mine on the air-conditioned bus.  It’s good to bring a jacket ‘just in case,’ and you can always leave it on the bus.
  • Ziploc bag (for valuables in case it rains)
  • Euros (cash and credit card)
  • ID
  • External charger for your phone (I used about half of my external charger’s battery… but that’s partly because we watched Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Final Four on the morning bus ride)
  • Baby wipes or tissues for spills or bathroom breaks
  • Something to do on the bus (or just chat!)

Pompeii Day Tour Logistics

Toilets:  There are plenty of bathroom breaks on the day tour, including at: rest stops during the bus rides, at lunch, and at Pompeii. 

Snacks:  You can buy snacks at the rest stop during the bus ride, at Mt. Vesuvius, and at Pompeii.  Everything was (as expected) overpriced.  You can also bring your own snacks with you from Rome.  If you forget to buy something the night before the tour, there’s a little mini-mart next to Mc Donalds, just outside Piazza del Popolo.

Pharmacies:  You won’t see any pharmacies on the tour, so make sure you have everything with you.  You may want to bring bandaids or blister care, and don’t forget to pack sunscreen!

Lunch: Lunch is a sit-down affair just after you’ve climbed Mt. Vesuvius.  It’s a 3-course meal served with water.  You can buy other drinks for an additional cost.  Lunch is included in the tour.

Bringing Kids on the Rome to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Day Tour

While most people who take this tour are adults, kids are welcome.  I did the tour with my 6-year-old son.  There were a few other elementary-age kids and some teenagers with our group. 

He was fine on the bus ride (sleeping, looking out the window, and watching a basketball game with me).  He didn’t follow a lot of what the guides said, so I chose the most interesting bit to repeat to him.   

At the end of the trip, I asked him how his day was.  His reply, “I loved it, mamma!” 

It was a long day, but what made it work for my son was the fact that it was split up into different ‘events’ – bus, Vesuvius, lunch, Pompeii, bus – with sprinklings of fun snacks and facts along the way.

As far as a recommended age for this tour, it depends on the individual child, but I think 6 years old is a good age.  Kids need to be able to (and enjoy!) walking, to understand the meeting times (and group aspect), and be able to keep up with the fast pace of the tour.  My 9 year old would have loved this tour, but I wouldn’t bring my 3 year old (I’m sure he’d have fun but it would be too fast-paced for him).

The Pompeii tour does visit one of the old city’s brothels. Just a heads up that you may get some questions from your kids about it.

If I could go back in time, I’d have done more prep with my son on what we were going to see.  We did watch some videos and read about Pompeii, but I should’ve done some more prep.  I know we’ll be reading about Pompeii quite a bit now!

We brought our own snacks and water with us, but we ended up buying other snacks and treats along the way (gelato was a hit, as were cookies and cold drinks).

I recommend bringing something for the bus trip.  I brought some paper so my son could work on his paper airplanes.  You could also bring a book or other quiet activity.

This day tour is not stroller-friendly.  You could use a baby carrier if you have a little one that can’t walk.

In Rome with kids? Be sure to check out
Things to Do in Rome with Kids
Where to Find the Best Gelato in Rome
Villa Borghese with Kids
Gladiator School in Rome

Alternatives to a Rome to Pompeii Day Tour

While I think this is the easiest way for visitors to day trip to the Pompeii from Florence, you do have other options:

  • Take the train 
  • Hire a private driver (NCC – noleggio con conducente) to drive you from Rome to Pompeii (& Vesuvius) and back.  This is a pricey option (unless you have a bigger group and could fill up the van) and you’ll need to organize your time in Pompeii.  You could also hire a guide to help you in Pompeii.
  • Driving isn’t a good option because you’ll need to deal with Rome’s traffic (yikes), parking, and ZTLsRenting a car in Italy can be enjoyable, but not for this day trip.
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