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Pompeii

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Pompeii is the site of one of Europe’s most famous natural disasters. It was a thriving Roman town when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, covering the town and its inhabitants with ash that hid and preserved them for centuries. The archaeological site has been extremely important for historians who want to understand the daily life of Italian from the Roman Empire, and it’s also hugely popular with tourists! Book a trip with an expert guide to get the inside scoop on Pompeii when you visit.
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Pompeii Fast Track Entrance Ticket

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Skip-the-line tickets with optional guided visit for the Ruins of Pompeii

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Pompeii Archaeological Area Entrance Ticket

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Day Trips

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Pompeii & Amalfi Coast Day Tour from Naples with Lunch

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From Rome: Full-Day Pompeii and its Ruins

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From Rome: Amalfi Coast and Pompeii Tour

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More Tickets & Tours

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From Rome: Skip-the-Line Pompeii & Vesuvius Day Trip

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Pompeii: Fast Track Entrance Ticket with Audio Guide

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Pompeii: 2-Hour Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist

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Pompeii Ruins Skip-the-Line Small Group Tour

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5 Tips for Visiting the Pompeii

Pompeii | Photo: Hardo Müller CC BY-SA 2.0
1
Make sure to book your tour guide in advance to make sure you have a good experience. It is possible to hire a guide once you get to the site, but make sure they have the appropriate license. Official guides will be carrying an ID badge.
Pompeii | Photo: Hardo Müller CC BY-SA 2.0
2
The site is exposed to the elements, with limited shade in summer and not many indoor areas in winter. Wear clothes suitable for the weather, and make sure to bring comfortable shoes for walking!
3
Part of the fun of Pompeii is discovering the graffiti that ancient Romans left behind. From ‘Satura was here’ to instructions on how to rent the building it was etched on, to some interesting bragging about who seduced who, it’s interesting to see that humans haven’t changed that much in 2000 years. Find your favorite pieces and take a picture, but don’t add any new notes to the walls!
4
Bring some snacks and plenty of water with you. There are a café and a restaurant within the archaeological site, but as the site gets extremely busy you might not want to spend your time waiting in line.
5
The site is huge and not all of it is open to the public, so stick to the marked paths. Path 1 takes about 2 hours, path 2 takes about 3 hours, and path 5 takes about 5 hours. If you’re visiting with a guide then make sure to take some time to explore by yourself afterward, because they won’t be able to show you everything!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s so important about Pompeii?

During its heyday, Pompeii was a moderately important town locally, but it didn’t have the same significance as Ostia, for example, or Herculaneum. Estimates suggest that it was home to around 11,000 people, a medium-sized town with a busy industrial port but no particular political or cultural significance. That was until it was destroyed by a volcano in 79 AD, forgotten until its rediscovery in 1738. The town’s preservation under ash, though fatal for the inhabitants, meant that it provided a wealth of material to archaeologists and historians. From preserved buildings and items for sale to the physical remains of the people who died in the eruption (including their clothing and skeletons), historians have been able to piece together what life might have been like for an average citizen of the Roman Empire. It’s been an invaluable resource, so much so that schoolchildren are taught about Pompeii all around the world and that there have been near-continuous excavations going on at Pompeii for over 250 years.

What’s there to see at the archaeological site?

The archaeological site of Pompeii is huge and there’s a lot to see. The shortest route takes you past a set of Roman baths, the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Temple of Jupiter, and several houses which are notable for their content or decoration, including the House of the Tragic Poet and the House of the Geometric Mosaics. The House of the Tragic Poet is famous for its mosaic containing one of the first ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs - ‘Cave Canem’. You can see bakeries with intact ovens, private homes with surviving wall paintings, two theaters, gladiators’ barracks, and many other buildings which you’d expect to find in a well-off city in the Roman Empire.

Should we take a guided tour?

Yes! There are some signs throughout the site, but the best way to make the ruins come to life is to take a walking tour with an expert guide. They’ll be able to show you the small details you might otherwise miss, like ancient graffiti or small items inside houses which show you who lived there or what the room was used for. If you’re not planning to take a guided tour then you should definitely bring or buy a guide book which will give you some extra information.

How long should we plan for our trip?

You should plan at least 2 to 3 hours for exploring the archaeological site of Pompeii. If you’re intending to take a day trip from either Rome or Naples then it’s likely to take the whole day, but you may be able to combine the trip to Pompeii with a trip to either Vesuvius or another archaeological site. If you’re fascinated by Ancient Rome and want to explore thoroughly then you might need to spend more than one day exploring not only Pompeii but the nearby sites of Oplontis, the Antiquarium of Boscoreale, the Stabiae Ruins, Villa Ariana, and Villa San Marco.

Is the archaeological site accessible?

The entire archaeological site is not accessible, but there has recently been work done to ensure that visitors with mobility problems or other needs are catered for. There is a 3.5km itinerary called ‘Pompeii for All” which is designed to allow visitors in wheelchairs or parents using strollers to access the most important buildings in comfort. Visitors intending to use this route should enter via the Piazza Anfiteatro entrance. Wheelchair users may need to bring a companion as some ramps may have a greater than 8% incline, and some areas of paving are still uneven. Guided tours in Italian Sign Language (LIS) are also available for Deaf and hard of hearing visitors.

General Information

Opening Hours:

From April 1 to October 31 the archaeological sites of Pompeii are open from 9 am to 7.30 pm on weekdays and from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm on the weekends. Final entry to the site is at 6 pm. From November 1 to March 31 Pompeii is open from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays and from 8.30 am to 5 pm at weekends. Final entry to the site is at 3.30 pm.

Address:

Pompeii, Porta Marina Entrance
Via Marina 6
80045 Pompei, NA

Tickets:

Tickets for entry to the archaeological site of Pompeii cost €15. Reduced tickets cost €2 and are available for EU citizens between the ages of 18 and 24. Entry is free for all visitors under the age of 18, for disabled visitors from the EU and one companion, and for teachers and students from Fine Arts institutions in Italy and the EU.

How to get there:

The entrance at Porta Marina can be reached via Circumvesuviana trains from Naples to Pompei Villa dei Misteri, while the Piazza Anfiteatro can be reached by Circumvesuviana trains that stop at Pompei Santuario. The site can also be reached by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane trains to Pompeii station. The site can also be reached by SITA bus services from Naples and Salerno, or by BusItalia routes 4 and 50 from Salerno. There is no on-site car parking, but there are municipal and private car parks nearby where drivers can park for a fee.
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