You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate incredible ruins of Pompeii. The ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii literally take one back in time, to the moment when an entire community ceased to exist! Buried for almost 1,800 years under volcanic ash, the ruins of Pompeii tell stories of the people, their culture and lifestyle. A mere 250 KM from Rome, it forms the perfect destination for a day trip from Rome. The nearby Naples and the Amalfi coast complete the ideal Mediterranean getaway with picturesque views!
What Makes Pompeii Special
It was the year 79 AD, the earth rumbled and the Pompeians watched the mighty Mount Vesuvius spew and froth with hot lava. Very soon, the idyllic city Pompeii in the bay of Naples was engulfed with volcanic ash killing more than 2,000 people and snuffing out any sign of life. It was left unaffected by the ravages of time till it was unearthed in 1748. The entire city was preserved well under the volcanic ash and remains the best place to understand the Roman culture and lifestyle.
Today Pompeii is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the area is still being excavated to find archaeological treasures. Tourists can walk along the town’s roads, elegant villas, shops, cafes, bathhouses and even brothels, just as the ancient Pompeians must have done! The buildings have spectacular artwork including mosaics and graffiti.
Choosing Between Self Visits & Guided Tours
There is never a ‘real’ or ‘authentic’ way to travel. While the goal is always the same – to explore and experience, the means change. Depending on your budget, fitness, time and interest, you can choose to explore a destination on your own in a self-tour or opt for a more holistic guided tour. Before you make a decision take a look at these factors –
Cost of tour
There are several factors that go into a tour – transportation, tickets to attractions and food. While a self-tour may seem slightly cheaper there are hidden costs which are not accounted for. For instance the time you waste while waiting in queues, bargaining and finding the right public transport as well as finding the right places to eat and buy tickets etc. On a tour time equals money and if you are on a short vacation then a guided tour is best.
Local guidance and expertise
All the tours are curated and designed by locals with the support of tourism offices. On the guided tours you will enjoy the services of a local guide who will be able to give you the right information about the attractions and history. They will also be able to guide you to other experiences which you may miss out on otherwise.
You shouldn’t have to go through the stress of organizing and planning your tour on a holiday, especially if you are traveling with kids or family. A guided tour will help you include all the specialties of a destination and plan everything. Of course, if you are certain about what you wish to see or check out the offbeat places then you can opt for a self-tour.
On a guided tour you can depend on the guide to have organized everything for you, from booking your skip the line tickets to organizing lunch where included or suggesting places where you can eat! On a self-tour you will have to rely on review websites or waste time in asking for suggestions from locals.
A foreign country can be an overwhelming experience, especially if you are unfamiliar with the language. A guided tour will allow the safety of a group, the local connection of the guide as well as safe transport in a private vehicle. You don’t have to be worried about being taken for a ride, especially in high tourist locations!
Fear Of Missing Out
You certainly don’t want to return home and have your colleague point out on a major experience you missed out on while on a vacation! A guided tour will include all the highlights of a destination, however if you are on a self-tour who knows you may stumble upon some exotic experiences yourself!
Best Day Trips to Pompeii from Rome
Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius Volcano Day Trip from Rome
Go on a classic tour of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius in this day tour from Rome.
• Trek up to the ridge of the crate of Mount Vesuvius in summer and soak in the incredible views of Pompeii and Campani region.
• Visit the Archaeological Museum of Pompeii in the winter and learn of the fury of Mt. Vesuvius and the incredible city of Pompeii.
• Savor an authentic Neapolitan Pizza, Naples is world renowned as the birthplace of the pizza.
• Explore the ruins of Pompeii – UNESCO World Heritage Site - with a local guide.
• Marvel at the unique city preserved under volcanic lava for over a millennium and get a peek into the prosperous city that Pompeii was.
Pompeii & Amalfi Full Day Tour from Rome
Tour the two UNESCO World Heritage sites – Pompeii and Amalfi Coast – that have put Italy on the world tourist map.
• Visit Pompeii and explore the city that stood still in time after facing the wrath of Mt. Vesuvius.
• See the exquisite architecture and artwork in Pompeii all of which remained well-preserved under the volcanic ash.
• Wind down the narrow roads of Amalfi coast which throws up stunning vistas at every turn.
• Head to the colorful and picturesque town of Positano and indulge in shopping and relaxation.
• Live the idyllic Italian life and stay high spirits with wonderful food and the glorious Mediterranean sun and sea.
Guided Tour of Pompeii & Naples from Rome
Head out of Rome for a day of exploration at Pompeii and relaxation at Naples on this guided tour.
• Visit the birthplace of Pizza, Naples, and experience the indulgent Italian way of life.
• Go up to the Vomero Hill and look over the panoramic views of the city of Naples and the imposing Mt. Vesuvius in the background.
• Savor lunch in a decadent natural setting in the city of Ercolano.
• Head south to Pompeii and explore the ruins and the city that lay still under the volcanic ash from Mt. Vesuvius.
Multi Day excursion to Naples, Pompeii and Sorrento from Rome
Buy tickets for the multi-day tour across South Italy and enjoy the perfect Mediterranean holiday.
• Drive down the ‘Sun Highway’ through the picturesque countryside of Campania & Lazio region.
• Head to the top of Vomero Hill and take in the panoramic views of Naples and Mt. Vesuvius.
• Visit the ancient city of Ercolano and dine at one of the best local restaurants.
• Explore the ruins of Pompeii and see the destruction caused by Mt. Vesuvius and the tragedy of a wealthy and cultural city.
• Relax in the scenic coastal town of Sorrento and stay overnight in a luxury 4 star hotel.
• Extend your holiday and tour the cliffs of Amalfi Coast or island of Capri on your own (Read more about Rome to Capri day trips here.)
Must-see Attractions in Pompeii
Easily the most visited building in Pompeii, the ruins of the the brothels consist of a tiny house with stone beds and paintings of sexual acts on the walls.
Situated near the main gate, the forum was the most lively place in ancient Pompeii and the hub of day-to-day life before the fateful explosion of Mt. Vesuvius.
The Forum Baths
The baths near the forum in Pompeii are remarkably well-preserved and one of the most popular ruins in Pompeii
Some of the oldest forms of graffiti that have been translated, reading them makes one realise how little has changed between the thoughts of men and women, today and 2,000 years ago.
Garden of the Fugitives
The final remains of a group of Pompeians, the Garden of Fugitives is an old vineyard with preserved casts of people who died with the city.
The ruins of the large amphitheater are also pretty well preserved. The amphitheater was the scene of many ancient Roman games.
Things to Consider Before Selecting Your Tour
You will have to consider many variables before picking a tour that will be perfect for you. Here are some points you should keep in mind before booking a Pompeii Tour.
Sights covered on the tour
There are many destinations in the South of Italy that are covered in these tours including Naples, Pompeii, Ercolano, Sorrento, Positano and the coast of Amalfi (UNESCO Heritage Site). Depending on your interests of history, culinary exploration, adventure and culture, you can take your pick of these sights. You don’t have to worry about choosing Pompeii because it is covered adequately in all the tours!
Pompeii is about 250 KM away from Rome, making it an ideal day tour. However, a full day is the minimum required to explore Pompeii because travel itself takes about five hours to and fro. If you have additional time then you can extend your tour and go on the multi-day tour.
The Pompeii tours are across a range of prices from €179 to €347.80 which are all inclusive and most of them even have lunch as a part of the tour. You can choose a tour depending on your budget without worrying about spending overheads once on the tour. You also have the opportunity to upgrade the multi-day tours depending on your budget and time.
The summer in Naples and the Campania region is generally from May to October, followed by rains and the onset of winter. The average temperatures in summer are about 23°C making it the perfect sunny Mediterranean holiday. You can climb atop Mt. Vesuvius only in the summer so if you are keen on that then make sure your trip is scheduled in the summer.
Tips To Enjoy Your Pompeii Visit
- Get lots of water with you as Pompeii gets extremely hot in the summers.
- Start your tour on the outskirts and make your way to the center. A lot of people start their tour at the gate and stop at the center, making the experience rushed and crowded.
- Avoid the audioguide and go for a guided tour. There is so much to learn from guides and historians, you can also get your questions answered.
- Some attractions in Pompeii close before the others. Make sure you check them out before they close for the day.