Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I definitely didn't expect to have my Italian travel stories on the blog six months (!) after I left the country, but that's life. Today I'm bringing Pompeii photo diary. If you're anywhere near Naples, you don't want to miss this famous ancient city. Actually, you can even visit from Rome on a daily trip. I would recommend this even if you're not really into ancient history, because it's a really unusual experience to roam the streets of a city that was alive two millennia ago. As you probably know, the city was destroyed in the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius. It was buried in 4 to 6 meters of ash and stayed like that for 15 centuries! Now, I know these facts and I've seen photos of Pompeii in my history textbooks in school, but what I somehow failed to realize was that it was indeed a city. Not just a random excavation site that can be seen in half an hour, but an entire city, with streets, roads and squares, houses, villas, backyards, public baths... I may sound silly, but there you go. :)

If you wish to visit Pompeii from Naples, take Circumvesuviana train from the Napoli Centrale train station (but make sure to go one level below the intercity trains - and those platforms are called Napoli Garibaldi, don't be confused, it's still the same building). The line you need goes to Sorrento, and you should get off at the Pompeii Scavi (Villa dei Misteri) station, it's close to the entrance of the site. Trains go twice an hour between 6 AM and 9:30 PM. Tickets are bought at the station; Naples to Pompeii one-way ticket costs around €2.90 and no cards are accepted. The trip takes around 45 minutes and be warned - the Circumvesuviana trains are crowded and not at all a pleasant experience. 

If you wish to visit Pompeii from Rome, take a train to Naples (possible to buy tickets in advance online) and then follow the steps from the previous point. Rome-Naples trip, depending on the type of train, takes between an hour and three hours. I used fast trains (Le Frecce) and if booked well in advance, they offer great deals. You can also take a tour - for example, including Mount Vesuvius or including Naples.

Be aware that the lines at the entrance are huge around 10-11 AM, but several hours later (2-3 PM) they're non-existant. If you're a student younger than 25, you can get a discount for the ticket. It's possible to hire an audio guide. I, however, only relied on a map and a booklet.

The whole site has minimal shade so don't forget sunscreen and a hat! There is a cafe there but I'd avoid it and just have a sandwich with me because the food they offer is nothing special, yet it's very commercial, meaning much more expensive than in the regular places.

Have you ever been to Pompeii? If not, would you want to?


  1. Oh, how gorgeous! I'm beyond jealous of all your lovely travels.

  2. Haha, don't be - I could say the same to you for living 20 minutes away from NYC, and I'd die to visit the US. Well not die, but you get the idea. Have you been planning any Euro trip anytime soon? Thanks for the comment btw :)

  3. I would love to see Europe—all of it!—but no real plans yet. Maybe in the next few years but it's more feasible for me to work my way around the U.S. first! :)


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