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.
This was absolutely an excellent experience. Lello, our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. He taught us so much about Pompeii and Vesuvius. There is no way we would have ever known what we were looking at, or known all the small details if we hadn’t taken a guide… and Lello is the best! The driver was also very courteous and safe, and he got us to all our destinations very quickly. I highly recommend this tour to anyone who wants to visit the Pompeii ruins and Vesuvius while learning from a subject matter expert.
Manuel looked after us beautifully. He engaged with the whole family, drove safely, arrived promptly and spoke good English. He ensured we had a great day, supported by wonderful Elena our pompeii guide, very knowledgeable and patient. Probably need more than 2 hours at pompeii next time, but we had a busy day. Wine tasting lunch was nice, no pressure to buy. Definitely recommend.
The experience was amazing we saw so many little towns and an in-depth tour of pompeii in our language. We got chance to take so many pictures and the driver was really experienced! Serena was amazing explaining everything and informing us all. We went to the top of with the elevator at Amalfi and the lunch was incredible!
A great tour of Pompeii. Our guide, Antonella Frezzetti, was very knowledgeable and clearly enjoyed the subject matter. She also took time to answer any questions we had. We had been to Pompeii before but we found it a much better experience this time with a qualified guide. Highly recommended
Maria Laura was all you could ask for in a guide..informative, passionate about her subject and friendly. A great experience.