Naples, Pompeii, Herculaneum & Vesuvius
The Naples area has much to offer and here are some of the highlights. You can easily spend a couple of extra days before or after the sailing discovering new sights and sounds.
There is so much to see in Naples. A castle, palaces, piazzas, historic churches, museums and the Opera House.
For those who like their entertainment subterranean there are ancient underground tunnels and aqueducts to explore as well as the Catacombs of early Christian burials.
Toledo is reputed to be the most beautiful metro station in Europe.
This website is a great guide.
The historic site of Pompeii is 40 minutes by train from Naples. When Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, Pompeii was covered in ash. In Pompeii, the volcanic ash was so heavy that the roofs of the buildings collapsed, whereas in Herculaneum the ash and hot gases did less damage and many buildings and objects were preserved almost intact. You can look round either site in 2 or 3 hours, and guided tours are available. Best to pre-book to avoid queuing.
Like the nearby city of Pompeii, Herculaneum is famous as one of the few ancient cities to be preserved nearly intact, as the ash that blanketed the town protected it against looting and the elements. Although less known than Pompeii today, it was the first, and the only discovered buried Vesuvian city (in 1709) for a long time. Pompeii was revealed only in 1748 and identified in 1763. Unlike Pompeii, the mainly pyroclastic material that covered Herculaneum carbonized and preserved more wood in objects such as roofs, beds, and doors, as well as other organic-based materials such as food and papyrus.
A bus ride of 40 mins takes you to Vesuvius from Naples. Alternatively you can take the Circum Vesuviana railway to Herculaneum or Pompeii and take a bus from there. The bus takes you up the hill to the National Park where you have to pay 10 euros for entry, then a steep walk for 30 mins takes you to the crater edge. There are 54 km of walks and trails in the national park as well as archaeological sites, so you could spend some time there. On the other hand you could visit Pompeii or Herculaneum for half a day, and also go up Vesuvius the same day.
Here’s the web site for Vesuvius etc –