Ruins and history, Pompeii
Famous at the global level, the excavations of Pompeii is the only archaeological site in the world, along with that of Herculaneum, capable of returning visitors a Roman town, whose life has remained firm to a distant morning in 79 AD, an era from which the Vesuvius decided to cancel by earth orbit.
from November 1 to March 31
daily from 8.30 am to 17.00 (last admission 15.30)
April 1 to October 31
daily from 8.30 am to 19.30 (last admission 18.00)
Closed 1th January,1th May and 25th December
Rates of entry
Archaeological excavations of Pompeii
Full € 11.00
Reduced € 5.50 (*)
Archaeological excavations at Herculaneum
Intact: € 11.00
Reduced: € 5.50 (*)
With access to sites 5
global ticket (Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis, Stabia, Antiquarium of Boscoreale - validity 3 days)
Intact: € 20.00
Reduced: € 10.00 (*)
global ticket (Oplontis, Stabia and Antiquarium of Boscoreale)
Intact: € 5.50
Reduced: € 2.75 (*)
Free: for EU citizens under 18 years or greater than 65 years
(*) Reduced: for EU citizens aged between 18 and 25 years of age and for school teachers of the European Union.
The free tickets and reduced may be issued only upon presentation of a valid identity document.
Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei
Tel. +39 081 8575111 - Fax +39 081 8613183
OFFICIAL SITE: www.pompeiisites.org
I was lucky to visit Pompeii in August of 1996.
Pompeii was lost for nearly 1700 years before its rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana. Today, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2,500,000 visitors every year.
The ruins of Pompeii are situated near the modern suburban town of Pompei. It stands on a spur formed by a lava flow to the north of the mouth of the Sarno River (known in ancient times as the Sarnus).
Today it is some distance inland, but in ancient times it would have been nearer to the coast. Pompeii is about 8 km (5.0 mi) away from Mount Vesuvius.
The Downfall of Pompeii was centered on the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, an eruption that lasted two days, killed more than 10,000 people and buried the
city of Pompeii and some surrounding towns under ten to twenty feet of volcanic ash.
Fondest memory: I was a little child when I visited with my parents here.
I do not remember correctly but I was quite impressed, and all the reading I did prior to the trip really made it more interesting.
The people of Pompei were brilliant, and made some contributions during their day.
The ruins are open until 7:30 p.m.
This tall, sturdy arch honors Caligula, a tyrannic and especially cruel emperor who ruled from 37-41 AD. The small amount of information I've read about him showed him to be a alienating figure in history, who seemed quite insane!
The holes evident on either side of the stone arch most likely held shelves on which statues of the emperor stood. This structure was covered with travertine; some of which still remains at its base.
The Arch of Caligula stands on the Via Mercurio, which apparently was a residential street lined with homes.
The Macellum was a large building complex containing a covered market and many assorted shops located inside and outside. A fish pond sat in the middle.
There were three separate areas at one end where a fish market and perhaps a room for refreshments was located. In the center was a space dedicated to the Imperial family, Octavia (sister of Augustus) and Marcellus (son of Octavia).
It is thought that some of these shops might have belonged to money changers.
One of the more striking structures in Pompeii was the Forum. It was a place for the city's economic and religious dealings. A public, pedestrianized gathering spot where the public could move about without hindrance.
This large square with its massive columns was constructed of travertine and marble. In this same area was a Basilica, local government offices and religious buildings. In so many words, this was the nerve center of the city.
Favorite thing: Pompeii is so large and spreadout and it all looks very much the same. There are various routes you can take ranging in the number of hours they take and what areas they cover. My top tip for this is that you must go with a guide becasue they will point out things that you wouldn,t recognise if you went by yourself. For instance they will point out what various buildings are eg the laundry, brothels, restaurants etc. Otherwise they all look the same. They will also so point out murals on the walls, markings in the road etc. if you go by your self you are likley to miss these things. Going with a guide means you get to see everything and you can make the most of your visit.
Favorite thing: The columns you can see in this picture are a part ot the perimeter of the Basilica. They are made following the Dorian style. The architecture in Pompei and Ercolano is the Roman architecture, so you can find the same elements concerning houses (Domus), the Basilica, The Foro, etc.
If you thought Pompeii had it bad when Vesuvius erupted, you might not have heard of Herculaneum! This ancient city was a luxurious coastal village, and is today called Ercolano. The reason why it got the worse end of the deal, was that not only did it get the ubiquitous 3 meters of ash falling from the sky, but it was also hit by the pyroclastic flow of "liquid hot magma", that buried the town under 75 feet (27 meters) of the stuff!!
Thankfully, most of the estimated 5,000 inhabitants were smart enough to drop what they were doing and leave at the first evidence that something was wrong with Vesuvius' health.
Well 18 years on and so much more of Pompei has been excavated and frustatingly we knew another trip would still not be enough. This time we decided to ditch the guide with our party (he wasn't happy about it but we agreed to meet at the pre-arranged restaurant for lunch) and do our own thing.
We managed to see a lot more this time and things off the normal tour itinerary too, but in the heat its so tiring and on cobbled roads too. So after 2hrs 30 mins we were wilting.
There are still places to see - like the Villa of Mysteries which was way over the other side to our entrance - its a huge place.
Pompei is a place where you can discover new things on other visits. Guess we will have to return again some day.
Fondest memory: This pic shows Pompei near the forum from our first visit 18 years previously and where they were excavating - what a contrast to the huge site now!
Fondest memory: The whole ancient excavated city of Pompei is like a big archaeology museum. You can get a pretty good idea about life in ancient Pompei when you leave. There's history associated with every site: temple, houses, theaters, etc. I believe my visit to Pompei was worth it.
Favorite thing: I had seen pictures of Pompei's ampitheatre before my visit, but it was a lot bigger than I expected when I saw it for real. You can wander around in the arena or in the passages underneath the seats. The views from the seating areas are excellent.
Pompei the town destroyed by the volcamnic action of Mt Vesuvius is an amazing place to explore. We first went here in 1985 on our honeymoon and have always wanted to return as we only had a two hour guided tour and knew there was so much more to see.
For a first visit I would reccommend a guided tour - there is so much to see and they will help you see the most important places. Alternatively you can get a map and/or audioguide at the entrance and do your own thing.
Entrance fee was 10 Euros in 2003.
Over 65's can have free entry but proof of age is needed.
Favorite thing: The amphitheatre of Pompeii is the oldest of the Roman world. It was built after the 80 BC and could hold up to 20,000 spectators . The main part of the steps and of the upper balcony reserved for women is still intact. The level of the arena is lower than the outside area. This means that the theatre was partly built upwards and partly set into the ground like the Coliseum.. There are two main entrances to the arena and the lower level, and the upper levels were reached by external stairways with two ramps.
Favorite thing: I just wanted to let you know that Pompeii itself really isn't that nice, in fact, it's quite disgusting in my opinion. It's really rundown in some parts, and it's pretty full of cars. Just get in and get out, it isn't worth staying there because you can daytrip from the Amalfi Coast, Naples, or even Rome (like my friend Tony did). Here is a photo of some nice flowers I shot during my walk around Pompeii.