Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii, the city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, is an incredible opportunity to see one of the most compelling and intact archaeological sites in Europe.
Pompeii (Pompei, not the single ‘i’ in Italian!) is a preserved ancient Roman city in Campania. Pompeii, along with Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata, were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
Pompeii and the surrounding areas were buried under almost 20ft of volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. As it sat under the ash for almost 2,000 years the Roman city remained incredibly well-preserved.
Over the years around three-quarters of Pompeii’s 165 acres have been excavated. However, in recent years work has been focused on restoring and maintaining buildings already unearthed. Since the ruins have been excavated and exposed they have become at risk of damage due to natural forces such as weathering, erosion, light exposure and water damage.
When visiting the Archaeological Park of Pompeii (Ruins of Pompeii) remember that it is an entire city with buildings, villas, shops, squares and temples and if you wanted to see everything you’d be looking at a good three-day tour!
We chose to drive there and parked close by. We planned to spend the entire day at the ruins and focused on the main sites within Pompeii including the Large Outdoor Theater, Amphitheater, Villa of the Mysteries, the Forum and the Basilica.
Having purchased our tickets online in advance via the official website we received a free map on entry. The map will suggest a route to follow but also numbers each site so you can pick and choose your own route and what sites you’d like to see.
I think we chose the hottest day of the year and other than a small refreshment point located behind the Temple of Jupiter there are no refreshment options do definitely bring your own drink and snacks. There are plenty of picnic areas located inside the park for a well deserve break.
UPDATE 27th May 2020: Due to COVID-19 a mandatory route, see below, and entry time slots are now in operation with limited numbers – Click here for all the details >
If you plan to stay with us, you’re in luck as its just a 20-minute drive from Villa Di Martino. By car the highway A3 Pompei Ovest exit leads directly to the archaeological park entrance, and there are a number of car parks near the entrances.
Circumvesuviana trains depart from Naples and Sorrento and you’ll want to get off at Pompeii Scavi–Villa dei Misteri which is a short walk from the archaeological park entrance. Click here to access the train timetable >
How much does it cost?
Tickets cost €5 when purchased on arrival at the ticket office and are subject to availability, which usually wouldn’t be a problem, but due to limited access due to COVID-19 we would recommend booking online for an additional €1.50 (Total €6.50). Under 18’s gain FREE entry with an adult.
You can view the full opening hours on the website here. The park is closed on Mondays and is open from 9 am to 7 pm Tuesday to Sunday however last entry is at 5:30 pm.
Highly recommend taking a day out of your next trip to Italy to take in this incredible archaeological site. It’s great value for money and there is so much to see and explore. Bring plenty of food and drink with you so you can break regularly and take in all the must-see areas at your own pace. It made for a perfect day well spent.
You can visit the Archaeological Park of Pompei website here.
Photos by Monica
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