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Visiting Pompeii

Some tips on when to visit the ancient ruins


Pompeii is one of the most fascinating areas of Campania in southern Italy. It’s practically a time capsule of 79AD, the year when Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying the town. Volcanic ash smothered the area – instantly killing those who had not managed to escape and preserving the ruins. The devastating eruption was unexpected and caught the locals off-guard; all that remains now are destroyed houses frozen in time. The location is an amazing Roman ruin unlike any other and has been documented as a World Heritage Site, attracting tourists from all over the globe for 250 years.

September is a great time to visit as a relief from Pompeii’s stifling temperatures of the summer months. Many tourists hire guides to talk in detail about the history of the ruins, whereas others are keen to explore and experience the site for themselves at a leisurely pace. The site attracts 2.6 million tourists a year, marking the spot as one of the most popular tourist sites in all of Italy. It is a vast location, with an estimated 20,000 inhabitants at the time of the destruction (so expect a lot of walking on your visit!).

Overtime, less of the town has become accessible to the public due to deterioration of some of Pompeii’s structures. In order to preserve the site, less than a third of the buildings which were accessible in the ‘60s are accessible today. The mosaics which decorate the building walls are a distinctive feature of Pompeii architecture and are high in the priority list for preservation for the future.

Planning a day trip to Pompeii is simple, with the Circumvesuviana trains running twice an hour between Naples and Sorrento. Be sure to book your train and visit the site at the best time of the year this month!


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