Unless travelling on a Sunday (at present anyway), there's a simpler alternative that we much prefer to the Circumvesuviana train, for anyone who will be:
- staying in the Piazza Municipio area
- coming ashore at the cruise terminal
- or heading out from around here...
It's just a short walk to the small bus depot at the "Varco Immacolatella", from where SITA line buses run to the ruins - and then on to Salerno, if you'd prefer?
To find its location, look for the "IM" on this map of the harbour:
If you've instead arrived by island ferry, you'll land at the Porta di Massa quay - also shown there.
We've found the bus drivers very helpful, but spotting which to take isn't difficult...
Campania operates a "unified" ticketing system on public transport, and it costs the same whether you go by bus or on the Circumvesuviana railway: €2.80 for a single journey into zone U3.
For more details, see the "UnicoCampania" website...
(While you're there, have a look at - and maybe download - one or two of their Maps, from the list on the right of the page... probably useful before the day ends!)
Several outlets nearby: most conveniently either at the right-hand of the two cafe/bars near Beverello or in the red brick building at the extreme right of the photo showing the buses.
To get a copy of their timetable, use the "Salerno-Nocera-Pompei-Napoli" entry, under Quadro 8, here:
.. the summer 2011 version (perhaps only good until 12/15 September) is on....
For example, the first one for Pompei Scavi currently leaves at 06:20 on weekdays (that's Mon/Sat in Italy, coded as an "F"), and gets there at 06:55, long before the site opens...
Do have a good look around that excellent website - under "Itinerary Map" they offer various timed itineraries, and your luggage can be stored at either of the main entrances, in their free cloakrooms:
Guess that's all E&OE... but as up-to-date as I can offer!
PS: To continue to Sorrento afterwards, leave the site and walk to the 'Pompei Scavi' station (using the map you'll have downloaded and printed?) and buy your ticket - Zone E3, €2.10 for the single journey version. Either of these should give an idea of the stops along the Circumvesuviana line:
PPS: If you've a wait for the bus, wander over to the waterside for a look at the pretty "Immacolatella" building, whose statue of the Virgin gives the area its name - and perhaps take a better photo than I did!
Somehow surviving both sides' wartime bombing, it was once the quarantine station and dates from the 1740s - a design of Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. Until the city's new port facilities opened in the mid-30s, Neapolitans set off from here for the New World in their droves, and it must have witnessed untold tearful partings. Be thankful, perhaps, that walls CAN'T talk!