central forum of Pompeii

Perusing the Past: A Comprehensive Guide to the Ruins of Pompeii

When a traveller thinks of Italy, we can normally assume that the Roman Colosseum will be one of the first things that come to mind. For it is in Rome that they can walk around the ruins of the grand Colosseum or take a stroll past the awe-inspiring Pantheon while enjoying a delicious gelato. Moreover, with the best family tours in Rome, or the inimitable Vatican Tours, they can expect to experience the trip of a lifetime.

However, there aremany more aspects to a trip to Rome than you might know about. Just 150 miles to the south of the Eternal City lies the breathtakingly beautiful ruins of Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins of the ancient city, destroyed when a volcano erupted in 79 AD, give us a glimpse of ancient Roman life and a view of the cityscape frozen in timeless limbo. Here is a handy guide to the ruins of Pompeii.

How to reach the ruins

There are local trains that can take you to the ruins. The station you need to get off at is Pompei Scavi – Villa Dei Misteri. Remember, the Pompeii station caters to the townsfolk of the modern city called Pompeii! So do not make the mistake of getting off at Pompeii. While the local Circumvesuviana train service is the most economical means to reach the site, you can also opt for the more expensive but air conditioned and spacious Campania Express (that stops only at popular tourist spots like Naples and Herculaneum). A ticket to the ruins costs 11 euros.

Please follow the link below for the train schedule which froms from Naples to Rome, or viceversa and stops at Pompeii Scavi – Villa Dei Misteri.


What to carry

Well, small bag packs are welcome but large rug sacks are not. Expect the security personnel stationed at Pompeii to bar you from taking heavy bags or luggage to keep you from causing damage to the ancient site. Carry a bottle with you and you need not worry about preserving water because there are several drinking water taps along the thoroughfare for tourists to refill for free. Under the strong Italian sun, expect to consume lots of fluids. Also, do not forget to wear walking shoes as you can only tour the ruins on foot.

What to see

When you enter the ruins, make sure you are equipped with a map. Opting for a guided tour is a good idea but ample research on your part can add to your experience. To begin with, watch a few documentaries on Pompeii and read up on the Internet. The best attractions of the ruins are the lupanar brothel, the forum baths, the amphitheater, and the garden of the fugitives. There is much more to see than this list but it all pivots on how much time you have. A window of 2-3 hours is time enough for you to explore most of the regions of the ancient city. A trip to Pompeii means you have the opportunity of a combined trip to Herculaneum (a quieter site of a city also destroyed by Mount Vesuvius’ eruption) and Mount Vesuvius itself. If you are planning a stay in the region, Sorrento or Naples are good choices as your base. And just so you know, the ruins of Pompeii attract over 2.5 million tourists, both domestic and foreign, each year. So make that trip as soon as you can.