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Pompeii

Last updated: 29 March, 2024

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 famously smothered the thriving Roman town of Pompeii with molten lava and choking volcanic ash.

Today, you can stroll along Pompeii’s streets and see the town as it was that day in extraordinarily vivid detail – right down to ruts in the roads caused by chariot wheels. Peer into perfectly preserved homes and shops, and wander round the Forum and Roman Baths.

Before you go

Read Pliny the Younger’s account of the eruption to experience the horror of the disaster. Or try Mary Beard’s Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town or Robert Harris’s Pompeii.

While you're there

Nearby Herculaneum (easy to reach on the Circumvesuviana railway) was also destroyed by the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Only partially excavated (a large part of the ancient town still lies under modern Ercolano) it is much smaller but better preserved than Pompeii so in many ways more vivid.

Get the complete picture

Afterwards, be sure to visit Naples’ National Archaeological Museum to see all the artifacts gathered from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Villa Oplontis – including mosaic floors, statuary, cooking utensils and jewellery.

Logistics

Price from: £13
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Google Maps and Street View cover Pompeii’s ruins just as they do any other city, so you can understand the layout before you go.

It’s possible to hire a guide but you should book one before you arrive, rather than trying to hire one at the site. There are excellent audio tours available from the ticket office, allowing you to wander the site at will – it’s worth working out what you want to see before you arrive.

You won’t need a taxi; regular Circumvesuviana trains run to Pompeii from Naples’ central station.

There are food stalls at the site, but they’re expensive and quality is poor – use in emergencies only. Eat in Naples before or after your visit.

When to do it

Arrive early before the crowds and take yourself to the furthest point you’d like to explore. Work backwards from there, thus avoiding bottlenecks at the earlier sites.

The site is exposed to the elements and there’s no shelter. Take the usual precautions if visiting on a hot or wet day.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Pompeii Day Trip from Rome with Mount Vesuvius or Positano Option

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Embark on an enchanting day trip from Rome to explore the ancient ruins of Pompeii and the majestic Mt. Vesuvius. Delve into the UNESCO-listed wonders of Pompeii with a knowledgeable guide and indulge in a delightful 3-course lunch, all while enjoying breathtaking views of the Bay of Naples. Customize your experience by choosing between an exhilarating volcano hike or a leisurely exploration with a geologist or take it to the next level with an upgrade to a comprehensive Rome day trip, covering Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and Positano – all in a single extraordinary day!

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Pompeii Vesuvius day trip from Naples+Italian light lunch or wine

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Visit the top of the volcano that destroyed Pompeii nearly 2000 years ago. With a 7-hour guided tour, stroll through the streets of Pompeii alongside an archaeological guide (or with the accompaniment of an audio guide)*. Drive 3280ft (1000 mt) up Mt.Vesuvius and walk the path to the crater's edge. Enjoy the view of the Bay of Naples and learn the geology of the volcano from an expert volcanologist guide. Maximum group size is 40 passengers. Choose between the different group sizes and preferences for pizza lunch or wine tasting!

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Full-day Sorrento, Amalfi Coast, and Pompeii Day Tour from Naples

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This all-day excursion takes you for a breathtaking drive along the Amalfi Coast to the picturesque hillside town of Positano (with 1 hour free time to explore on your own), then to serene Sorrento (where you'll have 1 hour free time to explore on your own), and before going back to Naples' port to the evocative ruins of Pompeii for a two-hour guided tour before returning to your ship.

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Pompeii Ruins Day Tour from Rome

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Spend an unforgettable day getting a panoramic tour of Naples. Visit the incredible archaeological site of Pompeii. Seize the opportunity to visit one of the most important archaeological sites in the world: Pompeii. You’ll spend a day surrounded by nature and culture. Reach the haunting ruins of Pompeii, travelling back in time to the fateful day in 79 AD when neighboring Mount Vesuvius erupted, covering the prosperous Roman city in deadly volcanic ash. Have a lunch in a typical Italian restaurant.

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Day Trip of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Vesuvius from Naples

  • Naples

Enjoy this full immersion in the history of the region with our small group. Travel first to Herculaneum, the residence of Roman Patricians, completely submerged by volcanic mud. Wander through the streets and see colorful mosaics. Climb the Vesuvius, stroll around its crater and enjoy panoramic views of Napoli. Finally, stop at Pompeii, the impressive open-air museum that holds more than 2000 years of history. During the entire tour, your driver will be at your complete disposal, explaining to you on board the vehicle everything you need to know about the places you will visit. The tour ticket is not the entrance ticket to the archaeological sites. Guide services and audio guide within the archaeological sites are an extra service available on request to guarantee you total independence in the management of your leisure, whether you want to walk alone through the ruins or you want to enrich the visit with a guided tour.

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