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Pompeii is known for an ancient city that is frozen in time. Once a vivid city that got buried in 79 AD under pumice and volcanic ash after Mount Vesuvius erupted.
What is Pompeii
Pompeii is an ancient Roman city located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, that was believed to be dormant. The city is known for the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that happened in 79 AD. This catastrophe darkened the sky and buried the city.
In 79 AD the eruption buried the city of Pompeii in several layers of lapilli, volcanic sand and pisolite ashes. You can now visit the destroyed city in Pompeii’s archaeological excavations.
Tip: If you want to visit the Mount Vesuvius (the volcano) you need to book your visit in advance online. Make sure you book in time because it’s almost every day fully booked.
Must know before visiting Pompeii’s history
You need to know that before you enter the Pompeii’s archaeological excavation, there are tourist offices that offer guided tours or audio guides. They will approach you to sell a guided tour. You decide if you want a guided tour or not. It’s also possible to buy a book with all the information of Pompeii and walk around yourself.
Tip: I recommend you buy a book with the information of Pompeii before you enter the archaeological excavations. In the book you can read everything about the ancient city and there is a map with all the explanations that you need to know. If you prefer a guided tour, then there are also many options available.
You can wander around this place for hours, so make sure you calculate enough time to visit the Pompeii’s archaeological excavations. There are different tours described in the information books. You can do a tour of 2 hours, 4 hours and even 6 hours depending on what you want to see and how much time you spend at each monument.
Tip: Start your visit at opening hours because it will get crowded and make sure to calculate enough time. Make sure to also wear decent shoes, bring sun protection and enough water.
Visiting the archaeological excavation
Visiting Pompeii offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the remarkably preserved ruins of this ancient Roman city. Here are some must-see attractions in Pompeii:
- The Forum is the centre of the ancient Pompeii. The square was the heart of the city, surrounded by temples, markets, and important buildings. On the square you will find the Basilica, the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Apollo and much more.
- The Villa of the Mysteries has many preserved frescoes. It’s located outside the city center.
- The Amphitheatre of this kind is one of the oldest that survived. It’s built in 70 BC and could hold around 20 000 spectators. They used it for gladiatorial contests and many other public spectacles.
- Teatro Grande is a theatre that was used for many performances like musical events and plays. There is another smaller theatre called Teatro Piccolo which was more for intimate performances.
- House of the Vettii shows the daily life of how the wealthy elite lived.
- The oldest and complete bathing complex in Pompeii is called Stabian Baths.
- Via dell’Abbondanza was one of the main streets in Pompeii.
- The garden of the Fugitives contains several casts of the victims that tried to escape the eruption.
- Many other places like Villa of the Papyri, and House of the Faun.
- In the Antiquarium you will find victims who perished in the eruption. The casts were made with pouring plaster.
Remember to take your time as you explore Pompeii. The site is extensive, and there’s so much to see and absorb. The best way is to wander around and imagine how life was during this time.
If possible, consider hiring a guide or using an audio guide to get a deeper understanding of the history and significance of the various sites. Enjoy your visit!