Located south of Naples on the Western coast of Italy, Pompeii began as a resort town. Originally settled by the Greeks, the beautiful landscape and warm sun attracted wealthy vacationers. During Roman control aristocrats filled the city, building up its infrastructure with massive villas, an aqueduct, and a huge amphitheater with seating for 5,000 people. Many of Rome’s wealthy citizens escaped to Pompeii, where their villas could be considered the equivalent of modern day “second country homes.”
Agriculture and The Port:
Pompeii's favorable climate and rich, volcanic soil made it ideal for growing staple Italian products such as grapes and olives. These products, along with many others, traveled through the Pompeii port on to the rest of the Empire. As a port city, Pompeii had one of the most important ports in the Bay of Naples, and most goods that went to the rest of the Roman Empire first came through Pompeii.
Services at or near the historical site of Pompeii:
(Recommended Route) Pompeii
Of the three entrances that will get you in to the excavation site, Porta Marina is the best one to use and our recommendation. At the Porta Marina entrance you can get a free map of the excavations. Cost of admittance to the site is €11 per person, which can be paid when you pick up a map. Contact information and their hours of operation and listed at the end of this chapter in the additional resources section.
Pompeii wasn't the only city destroyed on that fateful day the Mt. Vesuvius blew her cool. Herculaneum was another of the ancient Roman towns buried under mounds of ash, and a wealthier city (but smaller) than Pompeii. Archeological diggings have uncovered that Herculaneum was even more of a resort town compared to the commercially orientated Pompeii. Cost of admittance to the site is €11 per person.
*If you plan to visit both sites (and make this day trip a multi day trip) then the global ticket is the way to go. You get access to 5 sites and a 3 day pass to wander at your pleasure.
Observation Museum of Vesuvius:
This museum is located near the Porta Marina Pompeii entrance (another reason to use this entrance) and contains a variety of artifacts from the 79AD period. In addition, you can view the plasters of the men, women, children and animals that suffocated and died by the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius. Seeing the last minutes of those who died here is surreal.
Get Here From Rome:
(Recommended Route) By Train:
Hop on the train from Roma Termini to Naples (a 2 hour ride), departing at 9:25 AM. Once in Naples get on the Pompeii local train (Naples-Sorrento Line) to the Pompei Scavi- Villa dei Misteri stop. The local train from Naples to Pompei is just 15 miles and runs every half hour throughout the day.
Take the Pompei exit on the A3/E45. Trip one way is about 2 1/2 hours, and does require tolls.
Viale Mazzini 63 (Near the center of Pompeii)
A quintessential Italian eatery, moderately priced. Here you can experience not only traditional Roman food, but also meals from the region. Stop by for a meal, appetizers, dessert, or just a glass of wine.
Via Sacra 10
No trip to Italy would be complete without healthy dosages of espressos. I have never tasted a finer coffee in the world than in Italy. Amato is renowned for their smooth, rich tasting coffee and baked-fresh daily pastries. Price is reasonable and on par with other coffee bars in the area.
Via Sacra 32
A reasonably priced restaurant with high-quality service, good music and atmosphere and excellent food. You can expect an infusion of Northern Italy style into the food and atmosphere. While the place may not be steeped in the Napoli traditions it is a jack of all trades: wine bar, restaurant, coffee bar, and nightclub.
Cost of Recommended Route:
Admittance to Pompeii Site: €11
Total cost for Visiting Pompeii per person: €53
*Note: For the full experience this trip should be paired with the Mt. Vesuvius portion as well.