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Who can tell me about Rome/Pompeii/possible other destination for Oct half term

(24 Posts)
MrsFogi Sat 05-Oct-19 17:11:20

I'm trying to plan for the Oct half term (I know very late!) so we've ended up deciding on Rome. We can go away for up to 10 days so I'm wondering if this is too long for just Rome? If so, should we perhaps go to Rome and another city (where? Florence?).
Also we'd really like to visit Pompeii - am I correct in thinking you just get the train there for a day trip or would be better of spending a night there?
Any other suggestions welcome - I know nothing about Rome (or Italy in general).
Also, in terms of temperatures - is it worth getting a hotel with a pool for the last week of Oct/first week Nov or will it be too cold to use a pool?
Thanks flowers

Aragog Sat 05-Oct-19 17:15:09

We are going to Sorrento for October half term.

We decided it would probably be too chilly for swimming unless it is a heated pool, and we found most weren't.

We will be going to Pompeii but it is a fair bit closer so going for a day trip via the train. Research suggests you need around 3 hours to explore the historical areas, longer if you want to go to the Herculaneum and/or Vesuvius.

superram Sat 05-Oct-19 17:16:25

All do able but are the flights not hugely expensive? We’ve looked for a few years not and always about £400 per person.

LIZS Sat 05-Oct-19 17:16:54

Probably too chilly for outdoor pool. Rome would be 5 days max but Pompeii/Herculaneum etc could fill another 3 , best stay over though as it is otherwise a long day trip.

Hullygully Sat 05-Oct-19 17:19:03

I LOVE Pompeii (there is a camping place next door so we often stay there and pop in). My top top tip is to be there as the ticket office opens and be first in because it is awesome to wander around before the coaches arrive.

It's a really fantastic place, I think one of the few that really feels like a (once) living city

Hullygully Sat 05-Oct-19 17:19:49

Will you have a car? If you got a car for a couple of days Rome is surrounded by beautiful places to visit

SoggySockRage Sat 05-Oct-19 17:29:23

@Aragog - you might struggle to do Pompeii and Herculaneum in the same day. Easy train ride from Sorrento though. If you can, I'd consider making two days of it.

So jealous, have an amazing time. My favourite place in the whole world

LIZS Sat 05-Oct-19 17:30:58

Pompeii takes best part of a day, Herculaneum 2-3 hours. Both are 40-45 minutes from Sorrento by train.

JaneR0chester Sat 05-Oct-19 17:31:28

When we went to Rome, we did a day trip by train to Naples & Pompeii. Really easy and comfy. The best bit was having booked Pompeii tickets online, so we only had to collect them at the entrance, no waiting involved.

Another time, we went to Venice for October half term. That was amazing, surprisingly warm weather and Venice wasn't horribly crowded and it was beautiful.

Aragog Sat 05-Oct-19 17:34:47

SoggySockRage - we are actually only planning to go to Pompeii anyway on this visit. I am sure we will return in years to come and explore further.
We are only away for 5 nights in total and have other places we are planning on visiting the other days, so it is more a brief visit to each place on this occasion, and may return on future holidays if we like what we see.

TakeAChanseyOnMe Sat 05-Oct-19 17:47:26

For 10 days, can you get flights to/from Milan, Verona or Venice? They’re all on the same train line. Good if you have kids 10+ that can handle the steps of Venice.

ListeningQuietly Sat 05-Oct-19 17:47:30

Fly into Naples - MUCH cheaper than Rome
and then use the trains to move around

SJane48S Sun 06-Oct-19 09:57:04

10 days is too long for Rome (much as I love it!). If you want to go to Pompei then it's do-able by train in a day but book it in advance on Trenitalia as it'!l be half the price of booking on the day.Book the high speed train (which means committing to a particular time) to Naples and when you arrive in Naples Centrale follow the signs at the station downstairs to the Garibaldi station where you pick up the Circumvesuviana train to Pompei. i think there is a YouTube video which walks you through the Centrale/Garibaldi walk.Naples is pretty grimy and personally I'd give it a swerve. The Amalfi coast is beautiful but more of a summer destination & it's just personal and only my opinion but Amalfi is a nicer base than Sorrento.

I'd fly into Rome and have 3-4 days there dependent on whether you were making the Pompei trip then make the 3.30 hour train journey to Florence, spend 3 days there before having the last couple of days in Bologna and fly back from there. Another possibility with 10 days would be flying into Verona for a couple of days (and take the bus to one of the town's on Lake Garda), then take the train (it's about one hour 20) to Venice for another couple of days then finish again in Bologna. All this is easy to book on the Trenitalia site and advance booking is a lot cheaper! Train travel is easy in Italy and the trains run on time. Don't take suitcases though as some trains have compartments and suitcases (as we found from bitter experience!) don't fit on the above head luggage racks which means you have to leave them in the passage way and there's a lot of swearing from people trying to get past! We have Osprey luggage which are basically backpacks with wheels that do fit on the luggage racks.

The weather won't be pool weather but on the plus side it will probably be warmer than here and there will be less crowds than in the summer! If you're going to do a multi city I 'd probably skip Milan - very expensive and not especially attractive (and again, that's just my opinion!).

ListeningQuietly Sun 06-Oct-19 11:24:02

A year is not enough for Rome

SJane48S Sun 06-Oct-19 12:11:25

If you mean by that truly getting under the skin of the rhythms of the city and the people @ListeningQuietly then fair enough but then the same would be said of many many places. If you are 'doing' the major sites, museums and galleries though unless you're travelling with DC with an exceptionally developed taste in archaeology, history, food and art then about 4 days is fine IMO.

rookiemere Sun 06-Oct-19 16:49:25

We did a split week between Sorrento and Rome one October half term - flew into Naples did the sights near Sorrento, then got the train back to Naples and then the high speed train to Rome.

We had excellent weather - mid twenties so it was warm enough for sun bathing In Sorrento but not really beach weather. We stayed in the Rota Suites which had two separate sleeping rooms and allowed access to the pool and outside bathing area of a much grander hotel for a fee.

TheCanterburyWhales Mon 07-Oct-19 08:17:16

I did 3 days in Rome, 3 in Florence and 3 in Verona. Did day trip to Pisa from Florence and day trip to Venice from Verona.
If you're keen on doing Pompeii you could do a long day trip from Rome with no problem. People holidaying in Sorrento do it the other way round.
Weather is unpredictable at this time of year- temperatures have fallen 15 degrees overnight (I'm in Puglia and in a jumper and wondering about putting the heating on) I don't know when half term is, but bear in mind the last weekend of October is also a long public holiday and the major tourist sites will be rammed.

mummymeister Mon 07-Oct-19 15:33:04

We have been to Rome, pompeii, Barcelona, Athens all in Oct half term. 4 or 5 day trip was long enough. booked accom through airbnb. we didnt care about the weather just took the right clothes.

MrsFogi Mon 07-Oct-19 20:37:34

Many thanks for all the replies - I've booked the flights (to Naples and back from Rome).
@rookiemere wold you recommend the Rota Suites (were they walking distance to the station/centre/restaurants)? Thanks!

rookiemere Mon 07-Oct-19 20:49:20

MrsFogi the Rota suites had a lot of room and it was good for us to have separate sleeping areas, kitchen area not hugely well equipped but enough to make a simple meal. No view to speak of and noisy if you tried to sit out on the terrace. Easy walking distance to the centre and to the train station. Sister hotel had lovely bathing platform- if you book direct might be able to get free access to it.

smemorata Mon 07-Oct-19 20:56:32

Too chilly for outdoor pools!

rookiemere Mon 07-Oct-19 21:46:25

Yes the pool was too cold to use, but it was warm enough to relax on the sun loungers on the bathing platform and DH and DS had a dip in the sea which was a bit warmer ( or so I was told).

MrsFogi Mon 07-Oct-19 21:48:19

Thanks @rookiemere

rookiemere Tue 08-Oct-19 07:48:33

When we flew to Naples we booked a transfer to take us to Sorrento as I was worried about pickpockets in the bus. It wasn't wildly expensive- think it was 70 Euros and a lovely introduction to the area.

Sorrento is a great base to take the ferry to Capri or Ischia ( longer journey so we didn't go) and the circular train to Vesuvius and Pompeii or Herculaneum. If you have DCs with you I had Herculaneum recommended as being more accessible- we didn't go there - and DS didn't make it into Pompeii after being sick on the bus down from Vesuvius.

Sorrento itself is a bit tacky unless you walk down to the Marina which has some lovely restaurants.

To get to Rome we took the circular train to Naples train station- guard your belongings there as lots of dodgy looking characters- and then took a pre booked high speed train to Rome. Do book the train in advance as it will be more expensive on the day - was great with leather seats and free wifi.

Have fun.

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