Pompeii and Herculaneum must be on your travel itineraries for south Italy. It's not a question of whether to visit the two famous ancient Roman buried cities or not, its all about how to visit them.
In our experience the options are:
- go with an organised group (too frustrating)
- do it alone (too much to see and what guidebook to buy)
- hire a professional guide and travel by Mercedes (absolutely)
For Pompeii, make the choice between basing yourself near the entrance to the archaeological site or nearer the Sanctuary and new Pompeii. The two are not so close after you've been trekking all day.
For Herculaneum, why not stay in town before heading up Vesuvius the day after.