Pompeii: Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist
- Skip the ticket line
- Duration: 2 hours
In 79 AD, torrid volcanic ash and pumice raced down the slopes of Mount Vesuvius and smothered Pompeii to death. Since excavations began in the mid-18th century, the city has yielded a bounty of cultural treasures and insight into the life of the ancient world.
Built in 80 BC and considered the earliest of its kind in the world, this grand venue hosted gladiator games and seated up to 20,000 fans in three sections based on social class.
Considered Pompeii's oldest religous building, a replica of the bronze statue of the god of prophecy stands poised, as if holding a bow and arrow, amid a row of Corinthian columns.
Mount Vesuvius looms in the background of the temple dedicated to the Capitoline Triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Romans revered Jupiter as the most supreme of their deities.
It's one of the largest residences of Pompeii, housing the replica of the famed Alexander Mosaic, which depicts Alexander the Great battling Persian king Darius III.
This opulent abode with frescoes and mosaics takes its name not from its original owners, the Poppaeus family, but from the striking fresco portraying the Greek poet Menander.
After becoming freed slaves, the Vettii brothers spared no expense highlighting their nouveau-riche status, boasting exquisite frescoes and lustrous wall paintings.
Nine painted scenes on the walls of the Initiation Chamber reflect a bride's ceremonial passage into womanhood and the cult of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility.
Admission into ancient Pompeii costs €11, but it's free on the first Sunday of the month. It's not necessary to purchase tickets in advance online, and you can enter at one of three entrances: Villa dei Misteri, Porta Marina and the Anfiteatro. For those who want to visit Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Boscoreale and Stabia, a 3-day pass costs €20.
Pompeii is open from April to October from 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM, and from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM from November to March.
The Circumvesuviana departs on the Naples-Sorrento train line every half hour and takes 30-40 minutes to arrive at Pompeii-Scavi - Villa dei Misteri station. The SITA bus operates Monday to Saturday only. It leaves from the Port of Naples and Naples Central Station and stops at Piazza Esedra in Pompeii (entrance to the site from here is at Porta Marina). If you're traveling by car, take the A3 highway (autostrada).
In southern Italy, spring and fall offer pleasant temperatures, while summer is quite toasty. Pompeii isn't small in area, and you should expect to spend a minimum of 2-3 hours exploring. It's best to bring a bottle of water, and don't forget to wear proper shoes and sunblock.
I'm not one who usually does overpriced tours but after reading many reviews I decided that this was the type of trip that warranted a guide, transport and local knowledge. I wasn't disappointed. Hugo was very informed, had an excellent command of English and seemed genuinely delighted to be hosting our tour. Coach pickup was precise, and we arrived at Pompeii 9:01. Our journey through the vast site was informative and enjoyable. Hugo was able to truly portray the events of the time and the pre and post history that accompanied the event. We were fortunate with the weather and light crowds due to Covid but nonetheless, Hugo was able to convey and show us a true sense of history on the tour. Vesuvius was likewise a wonderful experience. No opportunity for Hugo to accompany us but drop off and pick up was on spot and we arrived back in Sorrento fully appreciative if the whole day event. Would highly recommend the tour. Money well spent.
We covered a lot of interesting sites, but didn’t feel too rushed. I liked that we had earpieces so even at the back of the crowd we could hear everything he was saying. The guide was engaging and entertaining, and did a good job of keeping certain topics “PG” for my younger children (phallic symbols and brothel). Fascinating and well organized. Would recommend.
It was fantastic, it was three of us of different ages and we all deeply enjoyed. It was the right length, content, pitch--the guide Ilaria was very well prepared, with excellent material, funny and humorous at the right level. Highly recommended!!
A great trip. Well worth the early start and great value for money. Our guide and driver were both excellent. A different guide took us through Pompeii and showed us a lot of things we would otherwise have missed. The Amalfi coast is stunning.
Our Driver Paulo was great and patient. Our tour guide Iliria in Pompeii was so knowledgeable and again so patient with our 3 year old. Definitely recommend this day trip to anyone and everyone! Wonderful memories made here!