Pompeii sits on along the train line that connects Sorrento and Naples (its a bit closer to Naples). The train that runs on these tracks is a private railroad called the Circumvesuviania Line and there are frequent trains that run between Sorrento and Naples. The train stop for the ruins is called "Pompeii Scavi" not to be confused with the "Pompeii" stop which is not that close to the ruins. So, Pompeii is an easy trip from either Naples or Sorrento as is Herculanium which also lies along the same line (its stop is Ercolano). I believe the admission price is 12 Euros which does not include a guide. You can join English speaking tours at the entrance or rent an audio tour and do it on your own. Since Pompeii is such a huge area, I always recommend that a first time visitor join a tour which usually costs about 10 Euros (this is in addition to the entrance fee).
All the informations from Hank are fine, another option more expensive but quicker and more comfortable, that's what we had, considering the time we had to spend there, it has been for us a private tour driver , we have been used www.amalficar.it, but there are also others on the area.
Originally posted by LEJ:
What is the best way to visit Pompeii--we will be in Sorrento/Capri; Amalfi/Positano; and Livorno each for one day.
Private drivers are a great way to see any country, and really makes a lot of sense if you want to drive along the Amalfi Coast (we do that with our rental car). But for going to Pompeii I am not so sure its cost effective. The train costs only a few dollars and stops right across the street from the entrance. A car/driver costs hundreds of dollars. However, if the OP wanted to visit Pompeii and than go to Sorrento, along the Amalfi Coast, stop in Positano, make a quick visit to Ravello, etc...than the car/driver is a great option. On the other hand, if they pay my air fare I will be happy to drive them on this route .
If money were no object I would certainly agree that a private car/driver is the best option. However, when you factor in the cost of hiring a car/driver (hundreds of dollars) versus taking a train (less than $25) money can be a major factor. Another interesting thing is when you consider the cost of taking tours in each port as opposed to doing your own thing. The extra expense of tours in every port can cost thousands of dollars (some spend more on tours than their cruise). A good example would be a family of 4 who decides to simply take the cruise line offered bus to Florence from Livorno. The cost for 4 would be about $250, and that would be for just the bus, not even a tour. That same family could take the train round trip for less than $100, and with good connections you might even beat the bus into Florence. One more example is the south of France. When we are in Cannes we generally rent a car for the day. The total cost of that car is about $100, and it allows us to visit places like St Paul de Vence (love this place), Grasse, Antibes, Nice, Eze, for the transportation cost of about $30 per person (4 people) which would include gas. Princess charges $49 per person for just a bus tour to St Paul de Vence, and that is for a 4 hour tour where you simply walk around the town just like you do when you drive to the place. A bus from Cannes to Monte Carlo (they call this an all day tour) is $79 per person, but the train would cost a fraction of this cost and is quite easy. Princess also has a tour option which includes a car/driver in Cannes for a full day for 1 to 3 passengers. The cost of this car/driver is $1299.00 (remember, renting a car is about $100). The cost of a car/driver in Livorno for a full day (this is on Princess) is only a mere $1699 (for up to 3). I shake my head everytime we see these kind of prices but I guess somebody thinks its worth the money.