Let’s travel back in time for this one..
Through this blog, explore one of the most fascinating and well-preserved archaeological sites in history and get to know why you must visit Pompeii at least once in your life!
Pompeii is an ancient Roman city buried under layers of volcanic ash and pumice from the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. It was rediscovered in the 1700s, revealing information about the daily life, culture, art, and religion of the ancient Romans. Pompeii is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy – it attracts millions of visitors every year.
Entry tickets and opening times: pompeii-tickets.com
The site is located about 25 kilometres from the city of Naples, Italy. We can get to Pompeii with the local train – Circumvesuviana, that runs between Naples and Sorrento (an experience in itself..). Love it or hate it. Purchase tickets at the station (about 3 EUR). The journey takes about 40 minutes from Napoli Centrale to the Pompeii station, from where you can simply walk to the entrance of the ruins. Spend the day exploring Pompeii and return the same way in the evening!
How to get to Pompeii: Visit Pompeii
You can also take other (faster and more expensive) trains or tour buses to Pompeii from Naples or Rome, for example. The good thing is that Pompeii is accessible from both the Amalfi Coast and Rome/Naples. It thus makes a great day trip from any of these locations.
Heraculaneum is a smaller ancient Roman town nearby, which was subjected to the same fate as Pompeii. You can visit the Heraculaneum ruins by stopping over at a separate stop, but keep enough time to explore Pompeii!
We visited Italy in January, so the crowds were absent. We did enjoy going through a desolate Pompeii feeling like it’s another era.
Lying undiscovered for over 1,600 years, the excavation of buried city remains one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time.Everyday Life in Pompeii, by James Wiener
What is so special about Pompeii?
There’s many reasons to visit this spectacular site, here are some of the highlights of things you can do:
- Walk along the streets and view the houses, shops, temples, theatres, baths, and public buildings that were once bustling with activity.
- Admire beautiful frescoes, mosaics, sculptures and paintings that decorated the walls and floors; find tools, utensils, furniture, and personal belongings left behind.
- Witness the tragic fate of some of the victims caught by the eruption. Their bodies covered by ash decayed over time, leaving hollow spaces that were filled with plaster by archaeologists. The casts show the poses and expressions of people and even animals in their last moments. They are displayed in glass cases or in-situ.
- Learn about the culture from the many graffiti found on the walls and buildings. These writings reveal the opinions, jokes, love messages, and political slogans of the Pompeiians.
- View the oldest known amphitheatre of Ancient Rome.
- Enjoy stunning views of the still active stratovolcano Vesuvius and the surrounding landscape from various points in the city.
- Experience the magic and mystery of an ancient city.
Pompeii was completely destroyed and buried under ash and rocks during the catastrophic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD (over 1944 years ago). The same ash preserves the remains and plaster casts have been formed of the victims found at site.
The eruption killed thousands who didn’t manage to flee and destroyed everything in its path, but preserved the city in a frozen state for centuries.
Take the shuttle bus from Pompeii to Vesuvius and hike up the volcano to the crater! This was on our bucket list, but the crater was closed-off to tourists for some reason on the day we visited. Well, guess we will have to return to Pompeii someday!
Note that it would be a bit hectic to do both Pompeii and the Vesuvius hike in one day.
Temple of Apollo
Walk down the ancient roads, admire the Temple of Apollo, the frescos for a glimpse into how life in Pompeii was pre-destruction. The forum hosts the main temples of Pompeii – Temples of Venus, Apollo, and Jupiter.
Stories from the past
We purchased an audio guide in English (available in many other languages), which walked us through the different areas and sections of Pompeii and learnt facts about the art, culture and daily lives of the people in this prosperous town.
A walk through the streets of Pompeii
You sure can lose track of time in the midst of the ancient walls. I was the last one to exit Pompeii on that evening, if you don’t count the stray dog behind me.
Pompeii – a must visit once in a lifetime
Find more information on timetables, tickets, map and guide on the official Pompeii website: http://pompeiisites.org/en/
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Last updated on November 2nd, 2023