I wish I’d done more research before heading to with the . On , on blogs. Blogs like this! I made so many mistakes. Mistakes you don’t need to. Heed my warning.
Like most ancient sites can find a little bit boring, although climbing over rocks and running through dirt can be exciting.
Is there aof this ?
To make 2-hour . like this one come alive I would recommend a
What age isfor?
good walking shoes are needed. Our were 3 and 4 at the time and were not overly excited. I’d recommend 8+. under 18 are free at , however, please keep in mind it is not stroller friendly and some
Are strollers allowed in?
They are, but I do not recommend bringing one. Not even my good travel stroller was up for the challenge. See why below.
How many hours do you need in?
We spent a good three hours there, but I think it was because of the kids we left so early. The ruins of Pompeii cover 44 square hectares, and it would take at least two full days to tour the entire park.
Realistically, you can see most of the highlights in 4 hours without kids. Longer visits will have you acting like the little ones, especially on a hot day.
was just another before August 24th, .
The ground rumbled, the sky grew dark and a cloud of flowed vertically out of the majestic .
The the below, scorching everything in sight. Houses were engulfed. And any who escaped the heat gradually suffocated from the fine ash. then caused hot molten to flow over the edge of the and down the slopes to
In just 18 hours almost 3 meters of ash covered the entire city.
Where is Pompeii?
How do I get to Pompeii from Rome?
You should leave at least 2 ½ – 3 hours of travel by train both to and from Pompeii. Taking the train from Rome to Pompeii is one of the quickest and most comfortable options for traveling between the two cities.
If you’re thinking about driving from Rome to Pompeii, you might want to consider staying overnight. With 241 kilometers between the two cities, the drive will easily take two and a half hours (three if traffic gets heavy) one way.
Alternatively, you can get a Rome to Pompeii day trips tour.
Why did we visit?
We were in Mediterranean Coast road trip. We departed our stunning home in Praiano, on our way to Matera, and planned a special stop for . at the beginning of our 18-day
I had read about this as a young and it captured my imagination. I found anything related to the fascinating, so you can imagine how excited I was to see come alive at and .
Perhaps I set my expectations too high, but I’m sad to say it turned out to be a disappointing experience.
In hindsight, there are undoubtedly some things I could have done differently, so learn from my mistakes, and when you visit hopefully you will have a much better time.
1. Do NOT rely on your GPS
The first tricky part about SIM card in our phones for mobile Internet access we were relying on our Citroen’s in-car GPS to get around. was finding . Since we didn’t have a local
Unfortunately, it guided us to the modern sprawling town of . I expected that it should be fairly easy to see signage to the , but I was wrong.
There was some signage in Italian to 2 different sites with very similar names, which added to the confusion. Using my walkie-talkie (and its limited range) I drove around until I finally picked up a signal from my parents who had driven in with their car.
2. Do NOT park outside the entrance
Using a little trial and error I eventually found my way to a parking lot on the main road near , several hundred meters from the main park entrance. Parking was 5 Euros for the day.
This is a much better option than the tourist trap immediately opposite the entrance, which was 2 Euros per hour.
3. Do NOT buy tickets at the entrance
Walking past numerous stalls at the entrance to the archeological park, we waited in line for over 20 minutes to purchase .
Tickets are €16 per adult and my kid’s tickets were free.
On the Sunday of every month they did give out free tickets, but it can be madness and you need to arrive early as there is a cap on entry numbers.
If you buy Pompeii tickets online you save money and skip the queue.
4. Do NOT bring a stroller
Without knowing much about the actual park I opted to take the stroller for the . Even though it saved them a lot of walking, it was a big mistake.
Most of the are not pram-friendly. The majority of the site, as you expect is dirt tracks, cobble-stone roads, and steps.
Using a baby carrier for my son probably would have been a smarter move.
The previous few days had been very tiring for the , so Caius was already worn out by the time we started, resulting in more-than-usual crying and screaming. He did not have a good time and although the stroller saved him, it did not make life easy for me.
5. Do NOT pass up a
My parents and I also declined the offers for audio guides and professional guides available at the entrance.
Having been to many other ruins and ancient sites we figured we could just read the signage and get a good idea of what was what.
That was our next mistake. There was almost non-existent signage around the grounds. There was more signage around the recycling bins than explaining what each building was.
This was incredibly frustrating as it seemed to be a money-grab, forcing visitors to hire an audio guide (€8 each) or a paid .
For discounted Pompeii tickets and tours click here.
6. Do NOT forget a map from the stalls
We didn’t receive a paper guide/map when we entered, which is usually a standard form of direction given at most any site in the world.
So not only did we have no idea what we were seeing but we also had no idea where we were going. Not ideal in a place this size.
I did find out later that there were maps for sale before the entrance at the stalls we saw. Not at the entrance! So pick up a map there.
Alternatively, print out a free map from Google Maps (which is surprisingly detailed) in advance.
7. Do NOT forget to bring water
We brought a couple of bottles of water in the pram as always, but Italy is hot and we drank through those fairly quickly.
Unfortunately, there was no water to be bought within the park.
Randomly scattered around the park were a couple of open taps flowing with smelly water that I wasn’t game to try. But it’s supposed to be potable. Maybe with a good travel water bottle filter.
But my tip is to stock up with lots of water before you head in. Don’t with this easy afterthought.
8. Do NOT forget to bring food
Likewise, there were no food/drink stalls anywhere in the park (that we could find). And if traveling with is one thing it’s not fun without snacks.
Bring some substance to avoid exiting the park, because even the restaurants around the park are tourist-made. That is high prices, low quality food since you aren’t likely to keep returning.
Without any food on site, we opted for a restaurant opposite the main exit, across the road. 2 adults and 2 set us back €50. The food was fairly average.
What isreally like?
Let’s take a break from my long list of complaints and highlight the entertaining bits.
The buildings and ruins themselves were quite fascinating, having been carefully unearthed in the last few decades after almost 2000 years of being underground.
This, of course, provides valuable insight into how people lived 2 millennia ago. It also makes this one of the best-preserved cities in the world.
We managed to overhear several stories from guides as we walked around and began to pick up bits and pieces of information.
As we walked around we bumped into a lovely couple we had met several days before on the Amalfi Coast. They were kind enough to share some tips they picked up from their and also gave us one of their maps so we could work out where to go. This was a lifesaver otherwise we may have been trapped in there all day.
8. Do NOT mistake the mummies for real
The couple kindly pointed us in the direction of the iconic “mummified” bodies that resulted from the .
These images have been seen all over the world, printed in National Geographic, beamed on countless TV documentaries about , and essentially represent the entire city of .
My parents kindly kept an eye on my while I raced over to the small hall containing these 2 bodies surrounded by clear Perspex. My first thought was ‘wow.’
Then as I stood studying the mummies I overheard a say something that completely shocked me. They weren’t mummies!
It turns out these 2 bodies are . These molds were made based on skeletons that were found during archeological digs.
That means they were pretty much faked, or imagined, depending on how you look at it. It was just another disappointment along the trail of broken dreams on the streets of .
9. Do NOT underestimate the crowds
Some 2.5 million tourists visit Pompeii each year, making it one of Italy’s most popular attractions, and also a rather disheveled site. Do NOT underestimate the number of people walking through the ancient ruins, just like you. Be patient. Be kind. Leave when your patience wears thin.
10. Do NOT miss the amphitheater
Once we had a map in our hands we could see that the whole city was much larger than we anticipated.
Being long past lunchtime without a food stall in sight, we started heading towards the exit. But not before we saw a massive, partially-restored amphitheater. Now that kind of lights my fire.
Unfortunately, my son also thought it was the perfect opportunity for a toilet break and spontaneously dropped his pants – a lighthearted way to finish our visit.
Explore With Erin Wrap Up
Our day in was over and we were a little wiser for the experience. We made the mistake of not doing enough (or any) research in advance about what to expect. This could have easily been avoided if we had just read an article like this first.
Perhaps a visit to click here to see the cost. would have been more exciting. You can do that too,
Thankfully the next destination on our road trip was also a mystery to us. I had never been and never really heard about it, and it also left a lasting impression. Fortunately this time it was a pleasant one.
LOOK HOW EASY IT IS TO PIN THIS!
DON'T MISS ANYTHING!
FOMO - do you have it? Well there is no need to Fear On Missing Out here at Explore With Erin. Sign up to receive updates directly to your in box. I won’t spam you, but I do promise a whole lot of awesomeness. What are you waiting for? Join Me!