The ten things to know before a tour in Pompeii

Colonnato foro

The ten things to know before a tour in Pompeii

Pompeii is one of the largest archaeological cities in the world, undoubtedly the most fascinating and best preserved. It is an international dream destination for millions of people, one of the places to see at least once in a lifetime. In 2018 there were over 3 million visitors.

Travelers often ask us how to prepare to fully enjoy a trip to Pompeii.

Let’s try to draw up a list that can help those who are about to visit the Vesuvian archaeological site for the first time.

  1. Buying online skip the line tickets is absolutely necessary if you intend to visit the site from April to October. Generally, in the afternoon all year round and between the months of November and March the line is very short, so it is not necessary to get tickets in advance.
  2. Book a private guide or a tour in a small group. Pompeii is a very important site, with multiple public and private buildings. The perfectly preserved city wall encloses an area of ​​sixty-three hectares. The town has two theaters, an amphitheater and five baths, various markets and public buildings, as well as hundreds of rich houses and shops. It is worth visiting the site with an archaeologist or a tour guide who knows him thoroughly. Book now our guided tour by an archaeologist.
  3. Avoid audio guides, which provide the same (few) information contained in the booklet donated together with a map at the information center and at the ticket offices. It is not worth paying for this service. The devices contain a description of only a small part of the buildings. Furthermore, given the vastness of the site, locating numbered points is very difficult.
  4. Avoid tours in large groups. Many agencies provide large group tours at very low cost. These tours should be avoided because it is impossible to formulate questions to the guides or linger, albeit for a few seconds, in an interesting place. A tour in a large group is good for those who are only interested in making a quick tour of the city and make some shots with the phone to be posted on the social media. A tour in a large group is NOT USEFUL for those interested in knowing the history of the site, and details on the public and private life of the Romans.
  5. Wear closed and comfortable shoes. The stone streets and dirt roads of Pompeii are not suitable for flip-flops and high heels. During the months of July and August the sun beats down, so it is preferable to wear a hat.
  6. It is not necessary to transport water to drink in the excavations as many of the ancient public fountains scattered throughout the city are still in operation, and provide excellent drinking water.
  7. The excavations are open all year except December 25th and January 1st. The opening takes place at 9am (Saturday and Sunday at 8:30am), closing takes place at sunset. The last admission is allowed at 3.30pm from November 1st to March 31st, and at 6.00pm between April 1st and October 31st
  8. The excavations have 3 entrances: Porta Marina Superiore near the Circumvesuviana station Pompeii Villa and the Misteri. Porta Esedra (also known as Porta Marina Inferiore) near the Pompei Ovest motorway junction, and Porta Anfiteatro in the center of modern Pompeii, a few steps from the Sanctuary of the Virgin of the Rosary.
  9. There is also a modern Pompeii with around 30,000 inhabitants. It is an important pilgrimage site to the Sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of the Rosary. It is certainly worth visiting the Sanctuary, a spiritual place of great charm and one of the most beautiful and impressive Italian religious architecture of the nineteenth century. The town is very pretty and full of excellent services. On May 8th and the first Sunday of October the bishop in front of thousands of pilgrims recites the Supplica, a blessing to Virgin of the Rosary. Pompeii enjoys a central location between Naples Salerno Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, and can be the ideal place to stay for some pleasant days of vacation in Campania region.
  10. Those using public transportation can arrive from Naples or from Sorrento with the Circumvesuviana train at Pompei Scavi Villa dei Misteri station located just 100 meters away from Porta Marina Superiore. Those arriving from Salerno with Trenitalia trains will descend at the Pompeii station located a few steps from the Sanctuary and Porta Anfiteatro. Those arriving by car can park in one of the various camping sites and private car parkings located near the Pompei Ovest motorway junction. Or, on the blue stripes (for a fee), near Porta Anfiteatro.


Emiliano Tufano

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