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Most interesting facts


Chronology of the Death of Pompeii


Roman House and Street


The cost of living and life in the Roman Empire


Pompeii for kids


Pompeii or Pompei








Travel Tips


How to get to Pompeii






Location: Pompeii, Campania   Map

Destroyed: August 24th, 79 AD (LXXIX AD)
Open: 8:30am- 7:30pm Apr- Oct
8:30am- 5pm Nov- March
Closed: Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25
Tel. 081 857 5347
Entrance Fee: €11 adult; €5.50 EU citizens
Pompeii is an ancient archeological site situated South- East of modern day Naples, Campania region in Italy. It is one of most famous Roman cities largely due to its destruction then volcano Vesuvius erupted and buried it under 20 meters (70 feet) of ash and pumice thus preserving as it existed on August 24th 79 AD. Unlike many other ancient cities it was not resettled or covered over by later structures and most of the city escaped looting after its accidental discovery in 1748.

Travel Tips
You might want to take sunscreen, water and some food as you go and explore the city. It is large and deserves a whole day to explore. Keep in mind that the weather in summer months in Italy are very hot. Keep well hydrated and cover your head if you can. The only way to travel around this extensive site is my foot or my getting a bike. Either way its can be challenging at times to cover an archaeological site that covers over 163 acres of land.




Pompeii Italy Travel Destinations

Pompeii by regions (regio)

Pompeii regions

 Early archeologists divided Pompeii archeological site into regions or regio in Italian. These groups of buildings are divided by the largest streets of Pompeii. Each part of the city has its own unique set of buildings. It is hard to visit the whole site in one day so it can be handy to plan your visit by visiting regions of the city.


Pompeii Forum (Regio VII)

The Forum of Pompeii was originally the central open space in the settlement. The city spread and grew in size. By the time of the eruption it was located in the South- West corner of the settlement. It measured 157 meters by 38 meters. It was lined by commercial, public and religious buildings important in the daily lives of common Roman citizens. The central plaza was lined by two rows of colonnade. The bottom row consisted of Doric columns, while the top row was lined by Ionic columns. Additionally there were several statues that graced this important part of the city. Unfortunately many of them were destroyed by an earlier earthquake of 62 AD and were never rebuild. The only thing that reminds of their former existence are pedestals that were left abandoned. Two main entrances were located at the north of the plaza with two triumphal arches. The bigger eastern arch was dedicated to Germanicus, step son of emperor Tiberius who made his name by defeating Germanic tribes in 12AD just few years after these tribes under leadership of Arminius dealt a humiliating blow to the Roman Empire by exterminating three Roman legions under leadership of Publius Quinctilius Varus in Teutoburg Forest.


More On Ancient Pompeii Forum





Press for the description of all the buildings in a particular region (regio).

Regio I

Garden of Fugitives (Insula 21)


Insula 4 (Pompeii)

The House of the Citharist (25)


Insula 6 (Pompeii)

House of the Cryptoporticus (2)

House of the Lararium (4)

Laundry of Stephanus (7)

House of the Ceii (15)

House of P. Casca Longus


Insula 7 (Pompeii)

House of Paquius Proculus (1)

House of the Fabius Amandus (3)

House of the Priest Amandus (7)

House of the Ephebus (11)


Insula 8 (Pompeii)

Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus (8)

House of the Four Styles (17)


Insula 9 (Pompeii)

House of the Beautiful Impluvium (1)

House of Ceres (13)

House of the Orchard


Insula 10 (Pompeii)

House of Menander (4)

House of the Lovers (11)

House of the Cabinet Maker


Insula 11 (Pompeii)

House of Venus in a Bikini (6)

House of the First Floor


Insula 12 (Pompeii)

Bakery of Sotericus (2)

Garum Workshop (8)


Insula 15 (Pompeii)

House of the Ship Europa (3)



Regio II

Pompeii Amphitheater (Insula 6)


Insula 2 (Pompeii)

House of Octavius Quartio (2)


Insula 3 (Pompeii)

House of Venus in the Shell (3)


Insula 4 (Pompeii)

House of Julia Felix (3)


Insula 7 (Pompeii)

Palaestra of Pompeii (1)


Insula 8 (Pompeii)

The House of the Garden Hercules (6)



Regio III

Insula 2 (Pompeii)

House of the Trebius Valens (1)


Insula 4 (Pompeii)

House of the Moralist (3)

House of the Pinarius Cerialis (B)



Regio IV



Regio V

Insula 1 (Pompeii)

House of the Bronze Bull (7)

House of the Epigrams (18)

House of L. Caecilius Jucundus (26)


Insula 2 (Pompeii)

House of the Silver Wedding (THE)


Insula 4 (Pompeii)

House of Marcus Lucretius Fronto (TO)


Insula 5 (Pompeii)

House of the Gladiators (3)



Regio VI

Insula 1 (Pompeii)

House of the Vestals (7)

House of the Surgeon (10)


Insula 2 (Pompeii)

House of Sallust (4)


Insula 6 (Pompeii)

House of Pansa (1)


Insula 7 (Pompeii)

House of Adonis (18)

House of Apollo (23)


Insula 9 (Pompeii)

House of Meleager (2)

House of the Dioscuri (6)


Insula 10 (Pompeii)

House of Zephir and Flora (11)


Insula 11 (Pompeii)

House of the Labyrinth (9)


Insula 12 (Pompeii)

House of the Faun (2)


Insula 15 (Pompeii)

House of the Vettii (1)

House of the Prince of Naples


Insula 16 (Pompeii)

House of the Golden Cupids (7)

House of the Ara Maxima (15)


Insula 17 (Pompeii)

House of the Library (41)

House of the Golden Bracelet (42)



Regio VII

Stabian Baths of Pompeii

Forum Baths of Pompeii (Insula 2, 5, 7, 24)

Lupanare or Brothel (Insula 12, 18)


Insula 1 (Pompeii)

House of Siricus (47)


Insula 2 (Pompeii)

House of Gavius Rufus (16)

House of the Bear (45)


Insula 4 (Pompeii)

Temple of Fortuna August (1)

House of the Colored Capitals (31)

House of the Figured Capitals (57)

House of the Wild Boar


Insula 16 (Pompeii)

House of M. Fabius Rufus (22)



Regio VIII

Suburban Baths (Pompeii)


Gladiators' Barracks

Odeon Pompeii

Triangular Forum

Doric Temple

Temple of Isis

Sarno Baths


Insula 1 (Pompeii)

Samnite Palaestra

Temple of Venus

Temple of Asclepius


Insula 2 (Pompeii)

House of the Geometric Mosaics (16)


Insula 4 (Pompeii)

House of Holconius Rufus (4)

House of Cornelius Rufus (15)



Regio IX

Central Baths (Pompeii)


Insula 1 (Pompeii)

House of Epidius Sabinus (22)

House of the Diadumeni


Insula 3 (Pompeii)

House of Marcus Lucretius (5)


Insula 5 (Pompeii)

House of the Restaurant (14)

House of Jason (18)


Insula 7 (Pompeii)

House of Fortuna (20)


Insula 8 (Pompeii)

House of the Centennial (6)


Insula 9 (Pompeii)

House of Sulpicius Rufus (C)


Insula 12 (Pompeii)

House of the Chaste Lovers (6)

House of the Painters at Work (9)

House of C. Julius Polybius


Insula 14 (Pompeii)

House of M. Obellius Firmus (4)



Pompeii Gates and Streets


Pompeii Gates and StreetsLike any other major city in the ancient Roman Empire, Pompeii was protected by towers and defensive walls. The city walls that reached 3 kilometers (3220 meters) in length with 12 towers defended the weakest regions in the defense of the city. Many of the city’s towers were built back in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Later, the Romans rebuilt some of them. As a material for the construction of the fortress walls, the inhabitants of Pompeii used tufa (light, porous rock) for the exterior cladding. The space between the stone walls was filled with earth. The walls were strong enough, and construction accelerated significantly.

There were seven gates through which it was possible to get into the city. These were the Porta Marina or the Sea Gate, the Herculane Gate, the Vesuvian Gate, the Nola Gate, the Sarno, the Nuceria Gates and the Stabiae Gates. Some guides talk about the gates of Capua, but in fact no evidence about the existence of these gates was found during archaeological excavations. Between the Herculane and the Vesuvian Gate, we can see the damage. These are the consequences of the bombing of Roman siege weapons during the siege of Sulla.

The Vesuvian Gate and the Gate of Sarno are in poorest state of preservation. A 62 year earthquake caused serious damage to the entire city. Since the Romans were accustomed to living in a world without invading barbarians from the North, the municipal authorities were not in a hurry to repair the military fortifications.


Pompeii City Walls and Towers


Stabia Gate

Nocera Gate

Necropolis at the Nocera Gate

Sarno Gate

Nola Gate

Vesuvius Gate

Herculaneum Gate

Porta Marina (Marina Gate or Sea Gate)


Main Streets of Pompeii

By planning the streets of Pompeii, you can easily recognize the original settlement of the Oskan people from the districts of Pompeii that were added later. As the Roman way of life gradually became established in the city, the layout acquired the strict direction of straight streets, which intersected at right angles. The irregular arrangement of the streets is still evident around the territory of the Forum, but such chaotic buildings were replaced by the Roman tradition of building the city. The grid of roads of Pompeii consisted of streets that went from east to west (Decumani) and from north to south (Cardi). We will discuss some of the main streets in more detail here. All street names are modern, but the ancient names of some Pompeii streets are known.

Via delle Abbondanza (Decumanus Maximus)
Via delle Abbondanza was one of the two main cities of Decumani (the other Via di Nola was almost parallel to its continuation of Via Dell Fortuna and Via delle Terme). This street has an orientation from east to west. The street got its name thanks to the fountain at one of the intersections, which was mistakenly identified with the personification of the Plentiful gifts. Abbondanza in Italian means "abundance". Later it became clear that the image had nothing to do with abundance, and most likely had a simple decorative purpose. However, the name of the street decided not to change.

The western part of Via dell 'Abbondanza connected the streets of Stabiana, Cardo Maximus, with the Forum, after which the street continued under the name of Via Marina or Sea Street. The first segment of Via delle Abbondanza belongs to the very early stage of development of Pompeii, which grew up around the Forum. As the city continued to expand, the street was expanded beyond the Via Stabiana until it reached the Sarno Gate.

This long street linked the most important areas of the city from the Forum in the west to the Stabina Banya and the amphitheater with the Great Palestra in the east. The intersection with Via Stabiana was known as the intersection of Holconius, in honor of the statue of M. Holconius Rufus, who once stood here. Not far away was the Holconius Rufus House itself.

Via Stabiana (Cardo Maximus)
Via Stabiana or Cardo Maximus as it was called by the ancient Romans, is one of the three main roads of Pompeii, which were oriented from north to south. The rest of the cardo roads were Via di Mercurio, Via del Foro, Via delle Scula and Via di Nozera.

The Via Stabiana road in antiquity was one of the oldest. It led outside the city to the neighboring city of Stabia and Sorrentum in the South. Hence the modern name of the street itself. As the city developed, the road became the main artery with the axis from north to south. The road ran from the Vesuvian Gate in the north and united the parallel streets of Decumani Via dell Abbondanza and Via di Noli. These streets thus form the pattern of the street grid.

Pay attention to the stones on the roads. These are pedestrian crossings. During the rains, the drainage system could not cope with all the water and the streets often flooded. Pedestrians could cross the roads on these stones without wetting their feet. At the same time, carts and carriages could pass between the stones.

Via Consolare (Via Consolare)
Via Consolare forms the northwestern boundary of the street network of Pompeii. Part of the street runs parallel to the city walls. It was one of the most ancient roads of the city. She led to the nearby city of Kuma. Its obvious cultural and commercial significance was complemented by the fact that it led to Salina Hercules or the salty lagoon. This region was located on the coast near the town of Torre Annunziata. Here salt was mined for citizens. Hence the ancient name of the street Via Sarina or Salt Road. By the way, the Gerkulan’s Gate, through which Via Consolare passes, was also called Vera Sarina or the Salt Gate.

Around the middle of the 2nd century BC Via Consolare, like other city streets, was paved with polygonal basalt blocks. The road stones (cippi), written in Oscan, testify to this and say that the aedils of the Samnite period paved this road.



Country Villas in Pompeii

Outside the city of Pompeii (in the north-west) you can see several villas that belonged to the richest and most influential people in the city. People who lived here did not want to hustle and walk through the narrow streets of the city. They preferred to live in nature. Pax Romana or the Roman world, begun by Emperor Octavian Augustus, convinced the Romans that their empire was invincible and that power over the conquered nations and tribes was unshakable. They were not afraid to settle outside of the defensive walls of the city of Pompeii. Here you can see the most beautiful frescoes, which in many ways became a symbol of ancient Roman art. In order to get here you need to get out of the Gate of Herculanum. On the left were the Villas of Diomedes and then Villa Cicero.


Villa Imperiale

Villa of Cicero

Villa of Diomedes

Villa of the Figured Capitals

Villa of the Mysteries



The last day of Pompeii. Karl Brullov

The last day of Pompeii. Karl Brullov

The painting "The Last Day of Pompeii" by the great Russian artist Karl Bryullov largely shaped our understanding of the last hours of the city of Pompeii and its inhabitants. However, the dramatic canvas has little to do with the historic truth of the last hours of Pompeii. The fact is that Pompeii was destroyed in almost 24 hours (for a detailed description of the death of the city, see the link to the Pompeii Last Day chronology). Those who tried to escape immediately began to leave the city in the afternoon. They have escaped and made it to safety. Those who decided to wait out, took refuge in the houses. They heard with horror how small, light pieces of pumice fell on the houses, forming a thick layer. Some large houses could not withstand the weight of rocks and collapsed, burying all households under the tones of volcanic rocks. It is worth noting that not all the inhabitants of Pompeii remained at home. Some decided to visit the local baths in the morning. What they thought is hard to say. Apparently they tried to keep calm members of their household and neighbors. The streets of the city were almost empty. Only some thieves decided to take to the streets in search of easy prey. Thus, in the house of Menander, a whole gang of thieves, who, armed with picks, shovels and a lamp, wandered around Pompeii and were buried by a collapsing building.

There were those who tried to escape in the last hours, in the morning. So in the Garden of the Fugitives, archaeologists found three groups of runaways who died only meters from the city gates.

By the way, the image of a Christian priest on a canvas is remarkable. In the section on Christianity (see above) we gave some evidence about the existence of the Christian church. But that's not all. In the section on the most interesting facts about Pompeii, you can find out who among those mentioned in the New Testament perished in Pompeii.

The canvas itself can rather be used as an allegory of unsuccessful relations between Karl Bryullov (in the picture in the upper left corner with a box of brushes and paints on his head) and Julia Samoilova. By the way, the artist embodied her features in three women on the canvas, and her adoptive daughters were also represented.



Pompeii and the Coliseum

It would seem strange that destruction of Pompeii have anything to do with the construction of the main arena in Rome and the whole empire. However, the connection is quite straightforward. New Roman Emperor Titus ascended (23 June 79) throne just two months before the eruption. The death of a large city and many small settlements severely hit the image of the new emperor. Of course, he did his best to help the surviving inhabitants of Pompeii and other citizens of the region financially. He also visited the region twice. The lunar landscape he saw made a heavy impression on him.

To improve his personal popularity, he ordered the construction of the Coliseum to be accelerated. Many private businesses were invited to complete the lining of the amphitheater. Due to the great haste, these groups began working without checking their rulers and measurement units. As a result some layers are uneven. You can see where these layers meet. These are exactly the places where the groups of workers met. But the Romans were pragmatic people. They were concerned about function, not accuracy. Moreover, these irregularities are not very significant.



People and animals of Pompeii


Pompeii Archeological site is one of the most unique places in human history. It offers a rear snapshot of lives that people lived, their clothes as well as various items of everyday life. Many bodies were destroyed in the process of chaotic eruptions, however they left empty niches and fragments of the skeletons. Archaeologists poured plaster inside those spaces to get a shape of a person that was killed by the volcano. There have been found over 1000 bodies in the city of Pompeii. Many more are awaiting their discovery in the regions of the city that are yet to be uncovered. They tell about appearance of the people, their last seconds and in some case reveal interesting details of their personal lives.


More on Pompeii victims



Christianity and Judaism in Pompeii

Christians lived in Pompeii and one of the graffiti on the wall of the House of Christians tells us about it. This is the oldest mention of Christians and Christianity in the Roman Empire. You can read more in the article at the link above (Christianity). Therefore, the Christian priest in the picture of Karl Bryullov "Last Day of Pompeii" is quite realistic. The first Christians in this region apparently appeared after the preaching of the Apostle Paul, who visited the neighboring town of Puteoli at the northern end of the Gulf of Naples.

The Jews also lived in Pompeii. At least the history has kept us the name of Drusilla, who died with her son Mark Antony Agrippa. Herod Agrippa’s daughter and wife of Judea’s prosecutor Anthony Felix, she was the granddaughter of Herod the Great himself. That same Herod, who tried to find and execute Jesus Christ shortly after his birth. Herod also restored the Second Temple. By the way Drusilla herself is also mentioned in the Bible.

Acts of the Holy Apostles (24:24): "Several days later, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and listened to him on the subject of faith in Christ Jesus."

However, archeologists have not yet found any artifacts associated with Judaism. This is quite understandable. At the time of the eruption only 9 years have passed since the destruction of Jerusalem. Therefore, local Jews (if they really were free people, not slaves) hid and did not flaunt the signs of their religion.



Public Buildings and Crafts of Pompeii

The houses of the ancient Romans did not differ in diversity. It cannot be said that they were built under one carbon copy, but in general they followed the same plan. For more information about everyday life and Roman houses, see the links above (House and Street) to learn about Roman architecture and general city planning. Many aspects of the city will become clearer.

Under the Romans, Pompeii underwent an extensive process of urban development, especially during the period of Augustus. Public buildings include an amphitheater, a palestra with central sodium (cella natatoria) or a swimming pool and an aqueduct providing water for more than 25 street fountains, at least four public baths, and a large number of private houses (houses) and businesses. Modern scholars have called the amphitheater a model of sophisticated design, especially in the area of ​​crowd control.

In addition to the forum, many other service areas were found: Makellum (excellent grocery market), Pistrinum (mill), Thermopolium (fast food place serving hot and cold dishes and drinks) and cauponae (small cafes) with a bad reputation, habitat for thieves and prostitution services. An amphitheater and two theaters were found, along with Palestra or the gymnasium (sports complex). Hotel (1000 square meters) was found near the city; It is now called the Grand Hotel Muretsin. Geothermal energy is supplied with channel heating for baths and houses. At least one building, Lupanar, was dedicated to prostitution. First floor had small rooms for common citizens. While the second floor was more open and held lavish sex orgies. Unfortunately second floor is usually closed to tourists.

Modern archaeologists excavated gardens and urban areas to identify the main agricultural products in the economy of Pompeii. Pompeii was fortunate to have a fertile, fertile patch of soil for collecting various crops. It was found that the soil around Vesuvius, prior to its eruption, has good water-holding properties, which means access to productive agriculture. Winds from the Tyrrhenian Sea provided soil moisture, despite the hot and dry climate. Barley, wheat and millet were produced together with wine and olive oil, abundant for export to other regions.

Evidence of the importation of wine from Pompeii at the national level in the most prosperous years can be found from artifacts found, such as wine bottles in Rome. For this reason, the vineyards were of great importance for the economy of Pompeii. The agricultural politician Columella suggested that every vineyard in Rome should produce a quota of three sorts of wine per yagerum, otherwise the vineyard would be uprooted. Nutrient-rich lands near Pompeii were extremely effective in this regard and could often exceed these requirements by a wide margin, thus creating incentives for local wineries. While wine was exported for the economy of Pompeii, most other agricultural commodities were probably produced in quantities corresponding to the consumption of the city.

The remnants of large formations built wineries were found in the forum Boarium, covered with cemented casts from the eruption of Vesuvius. It is assumed that these historic vineyards are strikingly similar in structure to modern vineyards throughout Italy.

Charred remains of food plants, roots, seeds and pollen have been found in the gardens of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Roman villa in Torre Annunziata. They found that wheat, Italian millet, common millet, walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, olives, figs, pears, onions, garlic, peaches, carob, grapes, dates, and more were consumed here.



Toilets, pipes and everything related to water and sewage

Undoubtedly, the Romans were gods of engineering. They managed to build entire underground labyrinths to supply water to the city, as well as the drainage system (pictured above) in order to drain this water from the city. Surprisingly, the system of Pompeii still works. It is also almost surprising that Roman roads have been used for over 2000 years and there are no potholes in them, but Roman roads are a separate topic.

If you go home to private shops in Pompeii, you will notice that there is a small room in all of them. It is usually far away at home or under the stairs. They did their business in the toilets in the houses. Separate underground system brought these impurities out of the city. By the way, these moves became an interesting source of knowledge about the diet among the inhabitants of Pompeii.


Roman toilets Pompeii

The largest public toilets on the Pompeii Forum.



Restaurants in Pompeii

Citizens of Pompeii lived in a large metropolis for its time. Unlike rich families, poor people huddled in small houses in which there were no kitchens. Fires were frequent, and homeowners sometimes simply did not want to risk their homes for the sake of the comfort of those who “had come.” Therefore, they did not allow anything to be fried or cooked at home.

The Romans were an enterprising people and many taverns or thermopoly (Greek: "warm city") prepared cheap food for the citizens of Pompeii. The food was cooked in large kitchens, and stored in large amphoras, which kept warm. When visitors came, the host put out a meal on the "tavolta calda" or a hot table in front of the guest.



Pompeian paintings

In more detail you can get acquainted if you pass to the detailed description of these or those buildings.

Before the discovery of Pompeii, information about Roman painting was scarce and fragmented, and rare examples were limited to fragments of frescoes found in isolated cases. However, the discovery of the city with its rich, picturesque heritage made it possible to begin a new discussion on the whole question of Roman art. Based on the research and classification made by Vitruvio, the paintings are usually divided into 4 styles:
1 style: known as "inlay" or "structural" style. This was a common occurrence between the 2nd century and the middle of the 1st century BC. This is a simple and modest painting style: thanks to the use of plaster and colors, which are dominated by black, yellow and red, it tends to imitate marble panels.
2 style: it existed until the middle of I century AD. It is known as perspective architecture or simply architectural because, in addition to artificial marble facings, it reproduces colonnades, arches and buildings that are visible in perspective. The result is an imaginary space with increasing or decreasing effects. The great cycle of the Mysteries in the eponymous villa belongs to this period. At its most advanced stage, glimpses of the countryside are drawn between imaginary buildings.
3 style: called "real painting" and refers to the I century AD. He sees a return to a simpler style. The background becomes flat and displayed in one color: the figures are decorated, and the decorative elements are underlined. Painting III style is also known as "Egyptian", as the ornament often resembles the ancient Egyptian motifs.
4 style: known as “architectural illusionism” or “ornamental”. Its characteristics resemble a picture of the second period, but the composition is becoming increasingly exaggerated and unreal. It was an attempt to expand the walls by creating imaginary spaces.



Mosaic in Pompeii

Mosaic ornaments were widely used in decorating houses in Pompeii and saw different stages of development. The oldest examples are works made with simple motifs, using a tesser from coarse work and modest material; on the other hand, those that were in later eras demonstrate sophistication in their composition, taste, color and jewelry used by tesser. In the first period, the works are characterized by repetition of simple geometric motifs or repetition of pictorial drawings of the second, third and fourth stages. Mosaics are often used as floor coverings. There are several remarkable examples: the famous Canum Canem, installed at the entrance to many houses, is perhaps the most famous of many that survived. Literally, it means "beware of the dog." Sometimes it was written simply "hello" in Latin. The panel depicting the Battle of Alexander, located in the Archaeological Museum in Naples and originating from the House of the Faun, is, however, one of the most important and magnificent examples.



Sculpture in Pompeii

The sculptures that have been preserved show that in Pompeii there was a preference for small statues, given that they were designed for decorative purposes in order to be built into rooms and gardens, for the decoration of fountains, atriums or table-rails. Large statues, those that had a memorable function, were mainly located on the Forum. The favorite material was bronze, although there are many small masterpieces of marble, tuff and terracotta. “Dancing Faun”, “Drunk Silen” and “Wild Boar Under Attack” are some of them that combine refined craftsmanship with the freshness and immediacy of their design. Particular mention should be made of "Dorifor", an excellent copy of the magnificent Greek sculpture. There are various fragments of statues originating mostly from the Forum area and from the temples dedicated to the Capitoline Triad.

Unlike our statues, the Romans painted their statues in bright colors. Just over time, the colors were erased so that our imitation of Roman culture turned out to be somewhat inaccurate.



Graffiti in Pompeii

The walls of houses in Pompeii are often covered with inscriptions: these are election campaign messages that encourage citizens to vote for one candidate or another. Sometimes whole categories of workers (jewelers, bricklayers, bakers, blacksmiths) supported the candidacy. In other cases, the novice judge nominates his candidacy for a specific position. They are written in red or black and mostly in capital letters. They were made by professional scribes, who also dealt with official reports, court sentences, buying and selling slaves, and public decisions.

In Pompeii, there are about three thousand electoral inscriptions, and most of them can be dated to the last year of the city, given that it was decided to erase the old inscriptions in order to make room for new ones.

Graffiti, on the other hand, are messages that were made by scratches on the walls of houses: they relate to the most diverse topics and paint an extremely vivid and frank picture of modern public life: they include risky jokes, comments on a particular person or event, caricatures on famous people, thoughts of love, as well as grateful remarks about a beautiful woman or pleasure, experienced in the solitude of one of the rooms in a brothel. In addition, there are several that are associated with the purchase and sale of materials or livestock, as well as with the calculation of goods. Many refer to recreational activities offered in the city, or praise the champions experienced in gladiator games.

In the description of each building a more detailed description of these graffiti.



Pompeii conservation

The objects of Pompeii, buried underground, have been well preserved for nearly 2,000 years. The lack of air and moisture allowed objects to remain underground with virtually no damage. After the excavations, the site provided a variety of source materials and evidence for analysis, detailing the life of Pompeians. However, after exposure, Pompeii is exposed to both natural and man-made forces, which are quickly aggravated. For example, during the war, American planes bombed the ancient city.

Weathering, erosion, exposure to light, water damage, poor excavation and reconstruction methods, introduced plants and animals, tourism, vandalism and theft - all of this somehow damaged the object. Two thirds of the city was excavated, but the remains of the city are deteriorating rapidly.

Concern for the preservation of constantly troubled archaeologists. The ancient city was incorporated in 1996 by the World Monuments Observation World Monuments Fund, and again in 1998 and 2000. In 1996, the organization declared that Pompeii "is in desperate need of repair," and called for a general plan for restoration and interpretation. The organization supported the preservation in Pompeii with the financial support of American Express and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Today financing is mainly aimed at preserving Pompeii; however, due to the magnitude of Pompeii and the magnitude of the problems, this is not enough to stop the slow decay of materials. An estimated $ 335 million is needed for all the work needed on Pompeii. A recent study recommended an improved strategy for interpreting and presenting an object as a cost-effective method for improving its conservation and preservation in the short term.

In June 2013, UNESCO stated: “If restoration and conservation work does not bring significant progress over the next two years,” Pompeii may be included on the List of World Heritage in Danger.



Tourism in Pompeii




Information  about Pompeii
PompeiIn +39 3284134719 offers several itineraries in ancient Pompeii lasting from 1 hour to 6 hours. The guides are local, licensed and graduated in archeology; they are able to provide children and visits adapted for the disabled, and with their vast knowledge of ancient history and society they are able to make ancient Pompeii come to life. The most outstanding aspects of the city are covered, such as the Forum, the Baths, the brothel, the bakeries, the House of the Faun and the House of the Tragic Poet, the amphitheater, the theaters, the Villa of the Mysteries, the cemeteries and The fortifications of the city.


Geographical overview of Pompeii
The city of Pompei rises on a volcanic plateau 30 meters above sea level, on the southern side of Vesuvius, and a short distance from the mouth of the river Sarno.


The excavations in Pompeii
Pompeii was first discovered between 1592 and 1600 during the construction of the Sarno Canal that had to bring the river's waters to the nearby Torre Annunziata. However, the official beginning of the excavations took place only in 1748, under the reign of Charles of Bourbon, ten years after the first investigations in the soil of Herculaneum. Initially the excavations were carried out in a non-systematic way, with the simple objective of recovering valuable objects and decorations. It was only in 1763, when an inscription bearing its name was found in Porta Ercolano, that it was certain that those remains belonged to the ancient Pompeii and not, as some hypothesized, to Stabia. With the French domination, in the middle of the Enlightenment period, the research was aimed at reconstructing the topography of the city through extensive excavations. With the return of the Bourbons, the excavations continued especially in the north-western part of the city, where there were sensational discoveries such as the House of Faun.


With the Unity of Italy Giuseppe Fiorelli was appointed superintendent, and the excavation works had a fundamental change. The city was divided into regiones and insulae, the cast technique was introduced that allowed, pouring liquid plaster into the voids of the ground, to fix the last moments of life of men and animals. In the twentieth century with Amedeo Maiuri the extension of the excavations reached 44 hectares, and numerous facilities were built to facilitate the tourist use of the site. Following the terrible earthquake of 1980, the cataloging of the decorative heritage intensified,

Costume and society
The peculiarity of the site of Pompeii lies in the possibility of reconstructing with certainty the life in Roman times, along roads, visiting public buildings and private homes, entering the markets, and magnificent paintings, mosaics and everyday objects.

The rhythm of the sun marked the daily actions of the inhabitants of ancient Pompeii, the shops opened at dawn, and the Forum was filled with travelers and buyers, we went to the baths, also accessible to slaves, and frequented taverns, very numerous, for a hot meal or a game of dice. The amphitheater was the major attraction in the city, although fights between residents of Pompeii and their neigbours was a source of civil unrest. Widespread were also the lupanari, places dedicated to sexual pleasure, located in different parts of the city, to satisfy both the inhabitants and foreigners passing through. The cosmopolitan environment dictated by the presence of an active commercial port, led to the mixture of different religious beliefs, from oriental cults to Jews and even first Christians.


Permits / Rates

from 1 November to 31 March: every day from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm (last admission at 3.30 pm)
from 1 April to 31 October: every day from 8.30 to 19.30 (last entry at 18.00)

Entrances to Pompeii
Port Marina (Marine gate)
Piazza Anfiteatro
Piazza Esedra

Tickets  to Pompeii
Single (valid for 1 day)
Full € 11.00
Reduced € 5.50
With access to 5 sites (Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplonti, Stabia, Boscoreale) - (valid for 3 days)
Full price: € 20.00
Reduced: € 10.00

Free admission for citizens of the European Union, and of states subject to conditions of reciprocity, under 18 (not completed) and over 65 years (already completed) of age.

Reduced admission (50%) for citizens of the European Union and of states subject to conditions of reciprocity between the ages of 18 and 25 years.

Reduced admission (50%) for teachers and presidents of the European Union (when they do not accompany school groups) with permanent assignments of state schools. Free admission for principals, teachers and students of the Faculties of Architecture, Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Education Sciences and degree courses in Literature or literary subjects with archaeological or historical-artistic address of the Faculties of Literature and Philosophy of the Universities and of the Academies of Fine EU Arts + ERASMUS in the aforementioned subjects.

Free admission for MIBAC staff, ICCROM Members, ICR, ICOM, ISIA, Mosaic Restoration School of Ravenna, Pietre Dure Opificio of Florence + Central Institute of Restoration of Rome. Disabled people UE + guide. Journalists registered in the Italian national register. Citizens of states with special agreements of reciprocity (Law 27.6.1985, No. 332) as indicated by the agreement itself.

Free and reduced tickets can only be issued upon presentation of a valid identity document.

For the visit to the Archaeological Excavations of Pompeii it is advisable to rely on an authorized guide +39 3284134719


Audio guides available either at the InfoPoint train station or at the official entrance of € 6.50, € 10 for two people, ID is required. They are not available at the east side entrance of the Amphitheater - which is the entrance closest to the center of the city today, if you are walking. Unofficial audio guides offered at one of the market stalls near the entrance. Take into account that the audio guide maps are not the same and the official audio guide comes with more audio points of interest. It is a good idea to review the two options before deciding. Pompeii can take several hours to explore, so be sure to ask about the duration of the audio guide's battery before your purchase. Tour guides are also grouped near the entrance and offer their services. It is a good idea to speak with one for a couple of minutes before deciding, to make sure that you can understand their accent when they speak English. You can join a group of tourists with the InfoPoint train station for € 12 (ticket not included) or € 10 at the official ticket.


How to get to Pompeii

By bus

One of the easiest ways to get to Pompeii is by hopping SITA bus from Naples, Italy. It costs from €1.80 to €3.20 to hitch a ride here.



You can travel to Pompeii by taking a train via Circumvesuviana Napoli-Sorrento line from Naples or Sorrento, Italy. The ride is fairly short. It takes about 30 to 40 minutes to get here. Its price ranges from €1.80 to €3.20. Get familiar yourself with a map of the train route to make sure you don't miss "Pompei Scavi" stop station, where you need to get off to reach Pompeii Archaeological Site. You can also leave your bags here for a low price of €1.5. As you get off station you can visit Tourist Information Center (50 meters away from station) to get more information about the site. Taking a map might be helpful if you don't want to get lost in this large settlement.


You can also travel to Pompeii from the Italian capital of Rome, Italy. You need to take a train from Termini to Naples. From there you need to changed trains by taking the escalator to the Circumvesuviana Napoli-Sorrento line. It costs €10.50 to get from Rome to Naples in one direction and another €1.80 to get from Naples to Pompeii itself.



If you travel to Italy on a cruise you can take boat to the shore and then get a bus shuttle to Pompeii. Most of tourists who travel here by boat usually include visit to the ancient site as part of the travel arrangements.


Mobility inside the Archaeological site of Pompeii

Pompeii is assessible by foot. However, walking on the ancient Roman roads is tiring, especially in the heat of summer.
For strollers and wheelchair users, as well as people with mobility problems, the visit of Pompeii is only partially suitable. Disabled travelers should aim to enter the Piazza Anfiteatro, where the entrance has been designed to meet the needs of visitors with reduced mobility (and parents with strollers, too). Be careful with the main entrance to the Marine Gate, as it has a lot of stairs.


There are some bikes to rent, but surfaces that are very impractical. Keep in mind that walking the ancient Roman stone roads can be very tiring, especially in the summer heat with a lot of other tourists around. Everyone is going to walk on cobbled and irregular streets. The temperature ranges between 32 and 35 ° C in the summer. Be sure to drink plenty of water and watch your step as the old roads have slots in them where the cars ran. It is advisable to wear good shoes, sunscreen and a hat. There is a lot to see and I could take all day to see everything.

When buying your ticket, you should receive a map of Pompeii and a brochure that lists the main places of interest. However, these can sometimes be out of print or you may find that the only book available is in Italian. A site map is essential if you want to see a large amount in the shortest possible time. Even with a map visiting Pompeii is a bit like a trip to a labyrinth. Many of the roads, apparently open according to the map, become blocked by excavations or repairs, or, as happened in 2010, because a building collapsed. You might think that it is heading towards the exit, but then they have to turn around and retrace their steps to find another path.



  • Information about Pompeii is available at the entrances Porta Marina, Piazza Esedra and Piazza Anfiteatro .

  • The wild running dogs belong to the excavation area of ​​Pompeii, they can be sponsored, but the dogs are not abandoned.

  • Weather in Italy can be difficult to bear in summer months. It can easily reach 40C on hottest day. Keep this in mind and make sure you take plenty of water. Additionally you can cover your head and take sun tan to avoid sun burn.

  • The closest ATM to the site of Pompeii is that near Pompei Scavi train station. There is no way to get cash once you enter the site so take as much cash as you might need while you travel to the site.

  • Plan your visit in advance in Google Maps or Google Earth, or relive it later. There is Streetview coverage of part of the city and there are 3D models of many of the buildings. Bing Maps also offers very detailed oblique views of the city.

  • Buy a guide. Get the official guide (Pompeii: guide for the site, edited by Electa Napoli) in the bookstore on the site next to the box office. A lot of guides and maps are available, but this one perfectly combines the two.

  • Visit also the National Museum of Naples, where most of the best preserved mosaics and found elements of Pompeii are kept.

  • Visit also the site of sister Herculaneum, is that only a Circumvesuviana set aside and suffered a fate similar to Pompeii. Although it is a smaller site that was covered by a pyroclastic surge (instead of the ash and lapilli that covered Pompeii). This allowed some second plants to survive.

  • Take a look at random villas outside of Pompeii, as sometimes even small side rooms have incredible frescoes (wall paintings).

  • Do not miss the "Garden of the Fugitives" in the south-east part in plaster casts of several victims (unfortunately, including children) are on display in which they sank The plants in this garden have been reconstructed to match with the ancient growth, based on the study of gypsum models of the roots of plants.

  • Walk outside the gates of the city to the Villa of the Mysteries, one of the largest houses to come to us since ancient times. Even on a very hot day, it's worth the walk.

  • Insert a large memory card into your camera. There are hundreds of opportunities to take photos in Pompeii.



Food and Restaurants near Pompeii, Italy

On the way to the station, the official store entry charges try to sell things at very expensive prices, but the food is not exceptional. Drinks, especially freshly pressed orange and lemon juice, however, are fantastic, especially in the heat, although a bit expensive (€ 3.00 for a glass)
You can get a very good panino (stuffed bread bun) in some of the stands. The one on the closest end of the Porta Marina has fantastic ones.
There is also a cafeteria and a restaurant in the excavation area, north of the Forum. Not surprisingly, this is quite expensive and not very good. However, it is a good place to take a break and recover, especially with your air conditioning. If you do not have time to rest you can grab € 3 ice cream from a service window that faces the street. The restaurant has toilets, apparently the only ones on the site.

Al Gamberone
Location: Via Piave 36
Tel. 081 850 6814
Open: Wed- Mon


Location: Via di Mercurio


Location: Piazza Schettini 12
Tel. 081 850 7245
Open: Tue- Sun
Closed: Mondays and late Sundays Nov- March, 2 weeks in Jan



Ristorante Lucullus
Location: Via Plinio 129
Tel. 081 061 3055
Open: 10:30am- 10pm June- Sept
10:30am- 4pm Tue- Sun, Oct- May



Go out and drink
Remember to bring enough water to drink as it is quite hot in the dusty streets. Keep the bottles empty to fill, as there are occasional water taps from the entire dispensing site instead of strange-smelling water that, however, appears to be drinkable.
Lemon and granita orange purchased from outside the site are a tasty way to cool off.


Hotels near Pompeii

Hotel Maiuri (4 stars), Via Acquasalsa, 20 A few minutes walk from the excavations and the center of the city. Free parking. € 65 - € 130.

B&B villa Rocla, Via S. Antonio, 15, ☎ +39 0815365544, 50 €. Check-in: Flexible hours, check-out: 11:00
B&B Eco, Via Sacra, 29, ☎ +39 327 1368348 , 50 €. Check-in: Flexible hours, check-out: 10:00.
B&B Elena, Via Minutella, 41, ☎ +39 3667425068 , 50 €. Check-in: Flexible, check-out: 10.30.
Hotel Amleto, Via Bartolo Longo, 10,☎ +39 081 8631004 , Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 10:00



Stay safe

Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano and can explode at any time. Scientists have devised a system to detect impending eruptions, though, so feel free to navigate the ruins of Pompeii and fearlessly see falling ash and lapilli (pumice). It is more likely that you should be trying to protect yourself from pickpockets. The site attracts a large number of international visitors every day, and this money attracts thieves, in order to keep their valuables protected, especially near the entrances and the train station.

If you come by car, bear in mind not to park in the parking lot near the entrance to the archaeological zone. It's a trap for tourists! Although there is no price that appears at the entrance of the parking, you will be surprised to learn that it costs € 2 per hour when it comes to leaving, and you can not leave unless you pay. This means that if your visit to Pompeii lasts a whole day (which a site like this undoubtedly deserves) you may end up paying up to € 20 or more. You do much cheaper parking a few hundred meters up the hill in the city, and if you stay in one of the Pompeii hotels that usually have free parking.




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