WHERE IS POMPEII?
Pompeii is an ancient Roman city located in the Campania region of Italy, close to Naples, that was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Despite its tragic history, the archaeological park of Pompeii remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy and a must-visit for anyone interested in Roman history. Let’s see if it is worth visiting and how to get from Naples to Pompeii.
POMPEII – A QUICK GLIMPSE
I always like to dedicate a short paragraph explaining whether visiting this destination is worth it or not. Does it worth visiting Pompei? Well, it depends on your interests and what you hope to get out of the experience. However, here are a few reasons why many people find visiting Pompeii to be a valuable and worthwhile experience:
- Unique historical significance: Pompeii is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman cities in the world, and offers a rare and intimate glimpse into the daily life of the Roman Empire. You will never see anything like Pompei again. The ruins of Pompeii offer a wealth of information about ancient Roman architecture, engineering, and technology, as well as the social and cultural aspects of life in the Roman Empire
- Cultural richness: Pompeii is home to a rich and diverse collection of art, including frescoes, mosaics, and sculptures, that provide insight into the artistic traditions of ancient Rome.
I truly believe that visiting Pompeii is an enriching and memorable experience and dedicating a couple of hours exploring the park, especially if you are in Naples – it is something that you will never forget.
HOW FAR IS NAPLES TO POMPEII?
The distance between Naples and Pompeii is approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles).
HOW TO GET FROM NAPLES TO POMPEII – 3 WAYS
There are 3 ways to get from Naples to the Pompeii ruins.
BY TRAIN – SHOULD YOU TAKE THE CIRCUMVESUVIANA TRAIN OR THE METROPOLITAN?
The train is the quickest and most convenient way to travel from Naples to Pompeii. It only takes 30-40 minutes and it costs around 3€.
- The Circumvesuviana train: The Circumvesuviana line is the most popular way to reach Pompeii from Naples. It leaves you straight to the entrance of the Archeological park but unfortunately, these trains are very crowded and have no AC. The trip lasts around 40 minutes and there are 16 stops. One tip to find a seat on the circumvesuviana train is to board from Napoli Porta Nolana and not from the main station, Piazza Garibaldi. Note that you need to get off at “Pompei Scavi Villa Dei Misteri“.
- The metropolitan train: The frequency is very high, the train leaves almost every 10-15 minutes from Napoli Piazza Garibaldi station and the ticket costs 3€. You can even buy it in advance if you like from trenitalia.com. The trains have AC (something to consider if you visiting during July/August!) , they are comfortable but the negative is that they don’t reach to the entrance of the archeological park, but they reach the Pompei city. From there it is just a short walk, but if you are travelling with luggage, or kids or for any other reason you want to reach directly to the entrance of the park, opt for the Circumvesuviana train.
BY BUS – WHY GO WITH THE BUS?
Another option is to take a bus from Naples to Pompeii. The trip takes approximately 45 minutes. The tickets costs 15€.
You can take the Campania Express bus, which departs from Naples’ Piazza Garibaldi station and goes directly to Pompeii. It is a tourist line, that does more or less the same stops as the Circumvesuviana. If you really want to just sit back and relax and not worry about standing for half an hour, I think this is the best option. As mentioned above, the Circumvesuviana train is very crowded and you should be aware for pickpocketing.
The bus is the longer, more expensive and maybe the less convenient way.
Driving from Naples to Pompeii is also an option, although it’s recommended to have a GPS system or a good map as the roads in the area can be quite busy. Parking is available near the entrance to the archaeological site.
Regardless of the mode of transportation you choose, it’s advisable to book tickets or transfers in advance, especially during the high season, to avoid waiting in long lines and ensure a smooth and stress-free journey.
A TAXI OR PRIVATE TRANSFER
If you are looking to avoid crowds at any cost, you can book a private transfer to Pompeii from Naples. This private transfer from your hotel for example is a good option. They can pick you up from your hotel, take you to Pompeii ruins, wait for you to explore the park, and take you back safely.
Another good option is to do a day tour from Naples to Pompeii ruins. With this day tour you can visit mount Vesuvius as well
Opting for a day tour is an excellent idea, especially if you don’t have enough time. The cost is 100€ but includes transfer from and to Naples, lunch, guided tour and entry tickets! It is a very good option especially if you hate being squished in the public transport!
EXPLORING THE RUINS OF POMPEI
Once you arrive at Pompeii, you’ll be transported back in time to a city that was once a thriving commercial and residential hub. The extensive ruins of the city, which have been preserved for centuries, provide a glimpse into daily life in ancient Rome.
As you wander through the streets of Pompeii, you’ll come across well-preserved buildings, temples, public bathhouses, and homes, as well as colorful frescoes, mosaics, and other works of art. Some of the most popular sights in Pompeii include the Villa of the Mysteries, the Temple of Jupiter, the House of the Faun, and the Forum.
One of the most interesting things about visiting Pompeii is that it provides a unique opportunity to experience ancient Roman life as it once was. The ruins are so well-preserved that it’s easy to imagine what it would have been like to live in Pompeii 2000 years ago.
HOW MANY HOURS TO DEDICATE?
The time required to explore Pompeii can vary depending on your interests and pace of travel. I spent more than 4 hours exploring the site. My big mistake was that I did not opt-in for an experienced tour guide.
I saw the main highlights of Pompeii, including the forum, the baths, the theater, and several houses but it is not the same without the guided tour. You cannot really understand what is what, what you are actually seeing and to be honest I regretted it when I saw the tour guides explaining many interesting things from the daily life other people of Pompei.
Pompeii is a large site, and some areas can be quite spread out.
TIPS FOR VISITING POMPEII
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat, as much of the site is exposed to the sun.
- Consider taking a guided tour of the ruins, as this will provide you with a deeper understanding of the history and significance of Pompeii.
- Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack, as there are few opportunities to purchase food and drinks within the site.
- Be mindful of the rules and regulations of the site, and do not touch or climb on any of the ruins or artifacts.
- Get a tour! I cannot stress this out, you can enjoy Colosseum without a tour guide but with Pompei is not the same. You will have a completely different experience if you explore the city with a small private tour and a licenced guide.
Visiting Pompeii is a journey through time, and a chance to witness the incredible history and culture of ancient Rome. With its well-preserved ruins, fascinating history, and stunning location, Pompeii is a must-visit for anyone traveling to Italy. So pack your bags, grab your tickets, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!