Pompeii: Small-Group Tour with an Archeologist
- Skip the 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.
Want to discover all there is to do in Pompeii? Click here for a full list.
Paolo was a great guide. Very interacting and knowledgeable. Personalized our tour so we could get to the most important stops in an efficient manner. Made sure everyone’s needs were met along the way. He took photos of each person/couple at the best spots! At the end of the tour we asked him for a recommendation for dinner somewhere close by since we did not have a car. He was so very gracious. Not only did we get a great recommendation, he offered to drop us off in his own car with a little extra sightseeing along the way. What a perfect evening we had! Thanks for the memories Paolo! Joe and Maggie from Florida
Pompei archaeological site is incredibly fascinating and our guide, Sasa, made it even more special. So knowledgeable and rich of details that you will never forget. The afternoon 3 hrs tour went so quickly, but we will come back for there is so much to see....
Robert, our guide, was super knowledgeable! He was also very funny. Although there was a hiccup with our Pompeii tickets (main office’s fault) that was cleared up and Robert communicated with us really well about how the rest of our day would flow.
We absolutely loved our guide! Ricardo was very informative and passionate about Pompeii. Even at the end of the tour he suggested things to see that he thought was interesting. You’ll be lucky to have him as a guide!
Awesome tour. Tour leader, local leader and driver were amazing. Worth the money