Pompeii is one of the four cities that didn’t survive the famous volcano Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD and has become a place of pilgrimage for history lovers all over the world. The city was covered with volcanic ashes within hours after the eruption, and everything on the surface got buried inside at the moment of the catastrophe. Then lava, lack of light and moisture have been preserving everything from the houses and goods to the citizens of the ancient city for more than 2300 years. For long centuries the place was hidden from the eyes of people and completely forgotten. Only at the end of the 16th century people ran into Pompeii while digging a channel. But the older layers of the city were excavated only in 1920 by Amadeo Maiuri.
Unfortunately, together with the discovery of Pompeii its fast decay started. Weather conditions, earthquakes, exposure to the light and other reasons influence this place in a bad way, causing damages to this unique historical site, which belongs to UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For those of you who want to go to Pompeii from Rome, the journey may appear a bit more sophisticated as you need to change trains. There is no direct train like the super comfortable one to Florence. Therefore, a good guided excursion with zero chances to mess it up is greatly recommended. Otherwise, a tour to Naples is worth considering as an interchange destination on the way to Pompeii. So much the same that Naples is a wonderful Italian city that can’t be missed if you are a true fan of Italian culture.
From the Garibaldi railway station in Naples in the direction of Sorrento there is a train Circumvesuviana. If you take this train, then the stop you need is called Pompei Scavi/Villa dei Misteri (Pompei). After getting out of the train you should turn right and go about 5 minutes until you reach one of the main entrances into the archaeological site - Porta Marina.
Don't miss out on my new article if you need more detailed information about how and when to get from Rome to Pompeii.
Keep in mind that Pompeii works year around, but its schedule changes for summer and winter seasons. The official Pompeii website is http://pompeiisites.org/. In order to find the most updated information about the working hours and the prices, choose the preferable language in the right upper corner of the site and then go to Timetables and Tickets category.
As you probably heard, not only Pompeii was ruined by the Vesuvius eruption, but two other cities as well, including Herculaneum. Herculaneum is not as vast as Pompeii, but it is better preserved and has significantly less tourists, which makes it a perfect ancient place to visit. Walking around it, you have a chance to look through centuries and see how people lived 2000 years back in time from now in details. You can spend in Herculaneum either 3 hours or a whole day. In any case, no way this visit will ever make you feel disappointed. Looking at this city will help you imagine and value the magnitude of the civilization of those times.
Unlike Pompeii Herculaneum is situated in the center of a modern city - Ercolano. That means that we have more transport in order to reach this destination and it is also more frequent than in the direction to Pompeii. You can get there either by bus, or by train for 2.50 euro if you start off from Naples. It takes Circumvesuviana train 25 minutes to get you to Ercolano Scavi station from Naples. Otherwise, you can take ANM bus - 157 Naples (Via Brin) - Ercolano (corso Italia).