You shouldn’t visit the Amalfi Coast without adding the ancient city of Pompeii to your itinerary. Hidden under lava and ash for more than 1500 years until the 16th century when it was rediscovered, the ancient city is a real architectural jewel.
A visit to this archaeological site seems to be a mysterious return in time. In order to have a great experience there, I thought the following tips could be useful:
1.The history of the ancient city of Pompeii is really interesting and tumultuous. Before you visit this site, try to read a few books or articles about this place because this way you will better understand the history behind the ruins. I also recommend the movie “Pompeii”, which presents the story of the ancient city in a very emotional way.
2.The archaeological site covers an area of 66 hectares and it shelters the ruins of a lot of buildings, houses and gardens. Taking into account the large area you have to visit, make sure you have almost a day to spend there, in order to have enough time to admire the entire site.
3.The Pompeii Excavations is an open air museum and if you visit it in summer, take into account the fact that there will be just a few places where you can shelter from the burning sun. On this note, you will need water, sunscreen and a hat or a scarf. You should also wear comfortable shoes because almost all the streets are cobbled and you’ll have to walk a long distance.
4.The ticket price is 11 euros, excepting the first Sunday of every month, when the entrance is free of charge. This will help you save a small amount of money, in case you are in the area at the beginning of the month.
5.Marina Gate, Exedra Square and Amphitheatre Square are the three entrances you can use to get to the ruins. You can find ticket offices at each entrance and this is a good tip to avoid standing in line. If it’s not very crowded, my advice is to choose Marina Gate because this way you will start your visit with the Forum and its lively square.
6.Take a map with you in case you don’t want to get lost through the ruins. If you are a technology lover, it’s good to know that you can download an application on your phone which will provide you with all the necessary information. Another option is to choose an organized tour with a professional guide. These guided tours can be requested only if you enter the site using Marina Gate or Exedra Square.
7.The ruins of the ancient Pompeii are a feast for the eyes. Make sure you will not miss the area of the Forum with its temples and basilicas, the old Amphitheater, the controversial brothel Lupanar, the richest houses and properties and the beautiful gardens. In my opinion, the most touching place is the Gardens of the Fugitives, a sad area which reveals the petrified bodies of 13 victims. An embracing family who were waiting for the end, a baker who was taking the bread out of the oven and a few painters who were painting a wall are just a few examples.
8.There are a few restrictions inside the archaeological site of Pompeii, which you should keep in mind. Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the excavations, but you can use one of the few smoking areas specially arranged for the tourists. In case you are going to take luggage with you, you should know that there are not allowed handbags, backpacks, suitcases or any type of luggage which exceeds the dimensions of 30x30x15 centimeters. Another restriction is that big pets are not allowed inside the site. Animals must wear a leash in case they enter the site.
9.A few buildings might be closed during your visit. It’s important to know that some of the buildings are open during the first part of the day and others during the second part. This is why I advise you to spend an entire day there.
10.Near the Forum you can find a restaurant and a first aid service. There are also picnic areas near Amphitheater Square and Casina dell’Aquila. There will be no problem to rest and have a snack .
All things considered, there is only one thing left to do. Plan your trip to the ancient city of Pompeii and enjoy it to the fullest!