Safety Tips in Pompeii

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    by goodfish
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    Stuff to be Aware Of

    by goodfish Updated Feb 24, 2014

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    As I've mentioned in previous tips, the site has had some issues with lack of visitor services and general deterioration. The good news is that this is being addressed so hopefully many of the needed improvements will have been accomplished by the time you go. Just in case, here are a few little things you might want to expect:

    Tour Guides: The site doesn't have its own (it should) and so persons claiming to be guides mill around the entrances soliciting business. It's possible some of them might be legit but more often they're not. Either hire a guide through a reputable tour business or just purchase a good guidebook with a map, and see it on your own (we did.)

    Maps and guidebooks: You should get guidebook and map with corresponding numbered sites with your ticket but they're not very good and it seems that they sometimes run out of them. I HIGHLY recommend buying a book from the scavi bookstore with more detailed information plus illustrations of how the city may have looked before the eruption. There are a few good one to chose from - just pick one with lots of pictures, well-written content and a map. Even with these materials, the site can be a little confusing but you'll sort it out.

    Closed sites: Many of the houses were closed off when we were there. They are trying to open up more but need to stabilize crumbling frescos and walls first. This is another reason to get a good book with photos of interiors you may not get to see.

    Lack of restrooms: There is a lot of ground to cover and restrooms are few - although I just read that more have been installed. There were virtually none at the far side of the site so unless that has changed, be sure to visit any working facility near an entrance (see map indicated in first tip) when you arrive.

    Stray dogs: This is another issue they're trying to address. If you see any, ignore them and they shouldn't bother you.

    Food and water: The only source for both is near the entrance (see map for cafe location). I strongly suggest you bring water, something substantial to snack on and a little bag for hauling out any trash. Don't sit on the ruins to nosh, OK? Water is a must - it can be very hot.

    Crowds: Unavoidable. Get there first thing in the morning and you'll probably have a little quiet time before the hordes descend.

    None of these inconveniences are reasons enough not to go and enjoy this fascinating place; don't sweat the small stuff.

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    LACK OF TOILETS!

    by DAO Updated Jun 14, 2013

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    The main Pompeii site is not blessed with a lot of toilets. Most are outside of this huge site. Remember, this was once a city. The main toilets are at the exit. Not very handy. Also there is one not too far inside the site (pictured). That’s about it. I would find the first one and kind of stay focused on where you are. You cannot walk fast in Pompeii. The stone roads are raised and the distances are vast. Good luck. I ended up jumping over a barrier and going into a ‘restricted area’ out of desperation.


    Update: June 2013:
    VT Member TooTallFinn reports, "There are now lots of toilets in the snack bar and restaurant that is located in the middle of Pompei."

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    The Long Walk

    by goodfish Updated Nov 21, 2011

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    There is only one way to see Pompeii: on foot. The site is much, much larger than most people expect it to be and you'll be treading on very old, very uneven stone pavers - slippery in the rain - for a good share of the day. Wear sturdy shoes with a good tread and as much cushion as possible, and leave flimsy, heeled sandals at the hotel, OK? Much of the site is not accessible to wheelchairs OR strollers so I'd think twice about bringing small children who might have to be carried the majority of the time.

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    the sun

    by Evenith666 Written Jan 15, 2010

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    The Sun is a major fator which should be considered when visiting Pompeii. There is no shade to speak of during the early afternoon, so taking a good sun hat and light, long sleeved shirt is essential to prevent serious sun burn.

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    None too easy on the feet.....

    by Maryimelda Updated May 10, 2009

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    As you can probably imagine, the streets of Pompeii are not smoothly paved at all. They consist for the most part, of huge stones which are very uneven and bumpy to say the least. There are also many places where you will need to jump down or climb up a high stone ledge from the street to the building you are inspecting. Good comfortable shoes are a must. Don't even think of wearing sandals or flip flops and it goes without saying that high heels are an absolute no, no. A wide brimmed hat and sunscreen are also the order of the day, as shade within the site is almost non-existent.

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    Take water and good shoes

    by Cristian_Uluru Written Apr 26, 2009

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    The visit of the Roman town of Pompeii is very exciting but during the summer season is very hard due to the high temperature. Inside the town there is only a restaurant located in the central bath (behind the central forum). Remember to take with you enough water for the visit!
    To walk in the ancient street is not always very easy due to its strange conformation so use comfortable shoes. If you want to visit well the town prepare to walk a lot!
    Don't go with people that offers you to show closed houses: they ask you extra money, it is not allow from the regulamentation and it could not be safe! Some houses are opened only on request or with booking: you can book some of them in the site below. If an house is closed the visit is not allow.
    Remember do not touch any painting and don't take any piece of stone as souvenir!!!

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    Walking

    by leics Written Mar 1, 2008

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    It is an ancient site, so please do not expect walking to be easy!

    Whilst i understand people's frustration about accessibility providing smooth surfaces in Pompeii would be, in my opinion, heresy. There are one or two re-laid 'pavements' (they look dreadful, I think) but the majority of the site is as it was.

    So be prepared. If you have very small children, a backpack is better than a buggy......you will have real trouble with the latter, and will probably end up carrying it and the child anyway. If you have larger children, watch them.......it's very easy indeed to trip, and stone slabs are hard.

    If you have walking difficulties, expect that you will not be able to easily access many parts of the city, and that the streets will be both roughly paved and difficult to negotiate.

    Even if you can only manage to see a little of the city your visit will be worthwhile, so don't let this put you off. Just be aware of what will await you, and tailor your expectations accordingly.

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    Very Hot, take bottled water

    by Cazee Written Jan 26, 2008

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    It is extremely hot at Pompeii in the summer, so you must take plenty of bottled water, a hat and sun cream. Pompeii is a lot of walking and very spreadout. There is no shelter from the sun and no shops to buy water. The only shop is right at the beginning in the car park, so you must take your bottled water with you.

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    Come prepared

    by toonsarah Written Nov 24, 2007

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    As I said in my introduction, Pompeii covers a large area, so come prepared! Wear comfortable shoes as you’ll be walking on large stones and cobbles all day and over reasonable distances. Watch where you’re walking too, as some of the stones protrude and it could be easy to trip. The pavements on either side of the roads are high, so again take care stepping up onto and down from these.

    We visited in November, when temperatures were just pleasant, but if you’re there in high season when it can be very hot, you’ll need to take some water, sun screen and a hat – there is very little shade around the ruins, and only one place inside where you can buy anything to eat or drink. You won’t want to have to retrace your steps just because you’ve run out of water.

    I also found it important to keep my sunglasses on, although the sun was at times quite hazy, as there seemed to be quite a lot of grit blowing around which caused me particular problems as I wear contact lenses. You might want to consider wearing sunglasses too, even if the day isn’t that bright.

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    Very hot and dry

    by Balam Written Aug 5, 2007

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    We spent 7 hours walking around and exploring Pompeii. Pick up a free map and guide from the Info kiosk as with out a map you could get lost.

    take a bottle of water with you as you will need it, there is a working tap in a drinks fountain along the main thorough fare were you can refill your bottle.

    Bottles of water can be purchased from the stalls for 1 Euro for a small bottle on the main road before you enter, it's cheaper to take your own

    wear a hat as the sun on your head will give you a headache and don't just wear a vest, take something like a loose shirt that you can cover up with. and some extra high factor sun tan cream would be usefull.

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    Watch out for that rut!!!!

    by monorailgold Written Oct 1, 2006

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    When you go to Pompeii, be mindful of the cobblestones and the ruts in the road. The streets are made of very uneven cobbles and have deep tire ruts ground into them. If you are not paying attention to where you are walking you could easily twist your ankle, or worse. It would definetly put a damper on your vacation if you broke your ankle in Pompeii. The sidewalks are just dirt walkways that are uneven, also. The curbs are very high in spots and the stepping stones in the center of the streets are rough and slippery when wet.

    It is intersting to see the tire ruts and to think about how many carts it took to make those ruts. I am always amazed to see them ground in the stones on most of the streets of Pompeii. This, alone, brings the human element to the city for me. Knowing that these roads were once travelled by thousands of people on their way to work or home. It is just another one of the incredible sights that have been unearthed in this once great city.

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    bring water

    by doug48 Updated Aug 1, 2006

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    in the summer pompeii is very hot. once you enter the ancient city there are no facilities to buy food or drink. there are vendors at the entrance to porta marina that sell bottled water and soft drinks. i suggest you pack drinks and snacks before you enter the city.

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    Do not guide!

    by gubbi1 Written Aug 15, 2005

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    Do not guide a group in Pompei. It is not allowed to use other guides as the official ones. I heard that it can be expensive, cause you will have to pay penalty!
    Don't know how strict they are, but I wouldn't try it...

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    Summer Heat

    by barryg23 Updated Jan 28, 2005

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    In summer it gets very warm in Pompei. There are not too many shaded areas amongst the ruins so it's advisable to prepare sensibly. It takes a couple of hours to fully explore Pompei, and hence it's a good idea to bring plenty of water along and perhaps some lunch as what there is on offer here is quite expensive.

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    HOT STUFF

    by BerniShand Updated May 13, 2004

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    In the summer months it is very hot here, the many stones absorb the heat and also reflect it back at you, go as early in the morning as possible, but if you do visit during the hottest part of the day remember to bring plenty of water and a sun hat........wet wipes are great for cooling you down too, and always stand in the shade if you can

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Pompeii Warnings and Dangers

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