Here are 10 Things to Do and Not To Do When Visiting Pompeii

Pompeii is one of the most well-known Ancient Roman cities. It has been synonymous with tragedy and history. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1979 AD left the town and its inhabitants buried. However, Volcanic debris preserved the remains of many of their residents. It was frozen in time until archeologists discovered it during the 18th century, and excavations into its complex history began.

The Tracing of Ancient Steps: All you need to know to make a successful trip from Pompeii to a tourist destination

The tragedy of life is the beginning of knowledge. Now Pompeii gives us a rare glimpse into the past. Pompeii offers a unique insight into human history, whether you are interested in archeology, art, or anthropology. It’s like walking through the past. To make the most of your trip to Pompeii, you need to plan. These 10 steps will help you make your Pompeii trip stress-free.

To learn more, visit our complete guide to Pompeii.

1. Don’t go in blindly

The site provides very little information once you are inside Pompeii. This helps preserve authenticity but it is also crucial to understand what you are looking at to make the experience more enjoyable.

Do not let the Ancient roads sweep your feet!

No audio guide is included with your ticket. However, an audio guide can be purchased at the entry for a small fee. It will give you a solid foundation of information about the places you visit. You can also use some apps as audio guides while you’re there. Discover Pompeii is the most highly rated app. It has six hours worth of audio content as well as an offline map that you can use during your visit.

You can also opt for , a guided tour through Pompeii that will take you to the most important parts of the Ancient city and give you historical information and stories. Although guides are often found at the ticket counter, it is a good idea to book ahead to ensure the tour’s quality and guide’s knowledge. A reputable tour operator is the best way to guarantee quality (such as Walks of Italy).

You are looking for an easy way to visit Pompeii? This Best of Pompeii Tour is a great option. If you’re traveling from Rome, why don’t you take a day trip to Pompeii through the Amalfi coast?


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2. Be open to following the flow

Planning is important, but any trip to Pompeii requires spontaneity. This is an archeological site that can be closed or opened at will. Without warning, areas can be closed or opened without notice. Be aware of graffiti and other ancient carvings on many town walls. Also, be open to walking through any unlocked doors. There are many options, from intricate paintings to ancient mosaics. Audaces fotuna iuvat, as the Romans said, is luck that favors the bold.

3. Do visit Mount Vesuvius

A trip up Mount Vesuvius to fully grasp what occurred on that fateful day in August 79 AD is essential. You can see the magnitude of the Volcano and appreciate the devastating event it caused for those living nearby. Despite Vesuvius being listed as one the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, this shouldn’t deter you. It is due to the large number of people who live in its vicinity. This means that if it erupted, it would have a greater impact than a volcano with a smaller settlement (even though that one is more likely to become active). Vesuvius’s activity is monitored by the Vesuvius Observatory, which alerts them to any unusual sounds in the volcano’s depths. Vesuvius is closely connected to the myth of Hercules. It has been long believed to be the home of gods and monsters from Roman mythology.

Learn more about Why Mount Vesuvius should be on your Pompeii itinerary.

A view into the crater of Mount Vesuvius View into the crater at Mount Vesuvius

4. Herculaneum is also important to remember

People automatically think of Pompeii when they hear the name “Mount Vesuvius”. Many other ancient Roman settlements and towns were also destroyed by the volcanic eruption of 79 AD. Herculaneum was Pompeii’s small but wealthier rival. Herculaneum was closer to the volcano so it was covered with moltenlava instead of thick ash (pumice), which Pompeii had. Both sites are extremely well preserved, but Herculaneum was more heavily covered in mudflow, which made it more durable and therefore, more easily excavated for its original archeologists. It was eventually excavated, and today provides another fascinating insight into the history. The upper-class Herculaneum is an economic rival to Pompeii’s middle-class Pompeii. It boasts many luxurious houses and marble-work that are not found in other towns. Because it is less well-known, it is often much more crowded. Combining both towns into one day is possible with public transport. This makes it easy to access for Ancient Roman odysseys.

Wall Mosaic of Neptune and Amphitrite from Herculaneum The Wall Mosaic of Neptune & Amphitrite From Herculaneum

5. Take in both the architecture and the art.

It is a wonderful experience to step back in time and walk the same streets as Ancient Romans. You should take advantage of this unique opportunity. The temples and old restaurants that are preserved in this port town also contain masterful pieces of art that depict everything, from daily life to epic myths to legends. Many villas built in ancient Rome were named after the magnificent works of art inside. This is a testimony to their importance. This Ancient Roman town is filled with amazing art, including depictions of Alexander the Great and the legend of Hercules. It’s a rewarding experience to take the time to appreciate the entire collection of Pompeii. It’s important to understand the context of any piece art. For a deeper experience, you can research the history behind the artwork or book a guided tour.

Want to learn more about Pompeii’s amazing artwork? Read our Art Lover’s Guide to Pompeii.

Mosaic of Alexander in Pompeii Mozaic of Alexander in Pompeii

Source: Wikicommons

6. It’s still active as an archeological site.

It is something that many tourists forget to mention, but excavations in Pompeii are continuing. The area is constantly receiving new discoveries that give us more insight into Roman life as well as the history of the seaport town. Researchers believe that , an inscription could have indicated the total population of Pompeii. They now believe that the city once had over 30,000 inhabitants.

Plaster casts capture the last moments of Pompeii's citizens Plaster castings capture the last moments Pompeii’s residents

Source: Wikicommons

To preserve the archeological site, visitors must follow a few rules. has a complete list of all these rules.

Here are some restrictions you should be aware of:

  • You can’t bring large bags inside.
  • It is against the law to use professional equipment
  • It is against the law to eat outside of these zones.

Remember that Pompeii was a final burial ground. Although it may have occurred thousands of years ago but more than 2,000 people, including children and men, died when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Streets are lined with death casts that depict the last moments and expressions of the condemned. Respect is important when you are inside.

7. Think practically

While it is easy to be engulfed in the excitement of visiting Pompeii, there are some logistical details that will make your trip even more enjoyable.

Tips for Pompeii:

  • Take a water bottle, especially if it’s hot in the summer. But this advice is applicable all year. Pompeii is large and takes about 3-4 hours to complete. So keep hydrated!
  • Wear flat shoes There’s a lot to cover in Pompeii, and you don’t want to get left behind because of your footwear. Flat shoes can help prevent damage to ancient streets from being caused by so many people walking through it. Bring food – As you may have guessed, the archeological site doesn’t offer many options or aren’t able to accommodate large budgets. Although there is a cafe/restaurant available, we recommend that you bring your own food. Porta Nola in Pompeii is designated for picnicking. You are prohibited from using any other areas on the site.
  • Use Sunscreen. You will need to bring along a good SPF, as the town has very few shaded areas. It’s best to bring along lightweight covers and protective clothing if you visit during summer.
  • No Large Bags Large bags larger than 30x30x15cm cannot be brought into the station. Bags larger than these can be kept at the station. For smaller items, there is a cloakroom available on-site.
  • This ancient city offers very little shade so be ready

    8. Choose the best entrance

    There are three entrances into Pompeii. Which one you choose depends on your requirements. The Porta Marina is the main entrance. This is the main entrance. If you need an audio guide, have questions at an information point or want to purchase souvenirs, you can use this gate. The Piazza Anfiteatro is the second-largest entrance. This stop is also where the public bus takes you to Mount Vesuvius. There is free luggage storage available here, as well as proximity to the Forum and amphitheatre. It has audio guides that can be hired, but you cannot purchase a guided tour. This is the best option for anyone who wants to explore the site by themselves. The Piazza Ezedra is the smallest entrance, and it is located next to the Porta Marina. Although it isn’t equipped with many facilities, it is often much less crowded than other entrances.

    Pompeii's ancient amphitheatre Pompeii’s amphitheatre is closer to the Piazza Anfiteatro

    9. Know when to go

    The archeological site at Pompeii can be accessed every day of the year, except for December 25, January 1, and May 1. The site is open from 9am to 7.30pm during the summer schedule, which runs from the 1st of April through the 31st of October. The last entry at 6 pm is the time. The site is open from 9am to 5.30pm during the second half of the year. If you plan to visit the site in the afternoon, the last entry is at 3.30pm (two hours before closing).

    Pompeii’s entrance is free on the first Sunday of each month. It’s no surprise then that this is the busiest time to visit Pompeii. We recommend that you visit on a less crowded day if your budget is not tight. This will allow for a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.

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    10. Do not worry about how you will get there

    It is easy to reach Pompeii by public transport. It takes approximately 40 minutes to get the Circumvesuviana Train from Naples. The train runs twice an hour, sometimes up to three times. You can take the Villa dei Misteristop , to access the Porta Marina or Piazza Esedra entrances. For the Piazza Anfiteatro, you will need to go to Pompei Santuario. The train ride from Sorrento will take you only half an hour.

    Visiting Pompeii is like taking a trip through time Although it may seem like you are traveling through time, Pompeii can be reached relatively easily.

    You can also visit Pompeii or Herculaneum by train from Rome. From the Termini station, take a high-speed train towards Naples. Then go underground to Circumvesuviana to catch a train to Pompeii. Depending on the train times, this will take approximately 2 hours.

    You don’t have to worry about the logistics of getting there, so you can book a day trip to Pompeii from Rome that includes the Amalfi Coast.

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