Pompeii: Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist
- Skip the line
- Duration: 2 hours
In 79 AD, torrid volcanic ash and pumice raced down the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and smothered Pompeii to death. Since excavations began in the mid-18th century, the city has yielded a bounty of cultural treasures and insight into the life of the ancient world.
Built in 80 BC and considered the earliest of its kind in the world, this grand venue hosted gladiator games and seated up to 20,000 fans in three sections based on social class.
Considered Pompeii's oldest religous building, a replica of the bronze statue of the god of prophecy stands poised, as if holding a bow and arrow, amid a row of Corinthian columns.
Mount Vesuvius looms in the background of the temple dedicated to the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Romans revered Jupiter as the most supreme of their deities.
It's one of the largest residences of Pompeii, housing the replica of the famed Alexander Mosaic, which depicts Alexander the Great battling Persian king Darius III.
This opulent abode with frescoes and mosaics takes its name not from its original owners, the Poppaeus family, but from the striking fresco portraying the Greek poet Menander.
After becoming freed slaves, the Vettii brothers spared no expense highlighting their nouveau-riche status, boasting exquisite frescoes and lustrous wall paintings.
Nine painted scenes on the walls of the Initiation Chamber reflect a bride's ceremonial passage into womanhood and the cult of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility.
Admission into ancient Pompeii costs €11, but it's free on the first Sunday of the month. It's not necessary to purchase tickets in advance online, and you can enter at one of three entrances: Villa dei Misteri, Porta Marina and the Anfiteatro. For those who want to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Boscoreale and Stabia, a 3-day pass costs €20.
Pompeii is open from April to October from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM, and from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM from November to March.
The Circumvesuviana departs on the Naples-Sorrento train line every half hour and takes 30-40 minutes to arrive at Pompeii-Scavi - Villa dei Misteri station. The SITA bus operates Monday to Saturday only. It leaves from the Port of Naples and Naples Central Station and stops at Piazza Esedra in Pompeii (entrance to the site from here is at Porta Marina). If you're traveling by car, take the A3 highway (autostrada).
In southern Italy, spring and fall offer pleasant temperatures, while summer is quite toasty. Pompeii isn't small in area, and you should expect to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours exploring. It's best to bring a bottle of water, and don't forget to wear proper shoes and sunblock.
Want to discover all there is to do in Pompeii? Click here for a full list.
Being such a huge history and archeology geek, visiting Pompei, the city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, has forever been high on my list of places to see. After what looked like a lifetime of waiting, I finally got to view it, walk the ancient streets and absorb the history of this legendary city. After the delightful lunch, climbed to the top of Mount Vesuvius which was an iconic experience! Francesca, our guide, deserves the first place! She’s very detailed in her explanations about the history of Pompeii and her enthusiasm for what she does makes the tour fabulous. She knows everything about any monument or general building or that you might stroll past on the tour. She’s an illustrated, great guide, deliciously funny and I’ve been lucky to have her! It was an unforgettable trip!
Despite the torrential level of rain, our guide Danielle was outstanding. Full of passion and deep knowledge about the tour, she made the 2 and a half hours fly by and would highly recommend her as a guide.
The tour was great. Alisa was very nice and informative. She knows how to tell the story of Pompéi in an interesting manner. The trip to Vesuvius was excellent as well. Overall, it was a great experience.
Excelent organisation, great guides, good food at lunch, great price for the experience
Diego was great, his guidance and explanations were very interesting