Is Pompeii Free

Is Pompeii Free?

When it comes to ancient ruins, Pompeii is one of the most famous. Located near Naples, Italy, Pompeii was once a thriving city before Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, burying the city and preserving it until its rediscovery in 1738. Since then, countless people have been intrigued and awed by the site, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site visited by millions of people each year.

Although the city is as ruined as any city could get, there is still a lot to be seen, from the well-preserved houses and buildings to the intricate mosaic floors. But is it free to visit? The answer, unfortunately, is no.

The Pompeii archaeological site is owned by the Italian government, and the entrance fees are set to protect the site. The fees vary depending on age and whether you’re a student or a professional. An adult ticket runs at 15€, while a student ticket is reduced to 13€. All children under the age of 18 accompanied by an adult are free of charge.

The fees also differ depending on the type of entrance. There is the basic “Free Visual Admission” ticket, the “Full” ticket which allows access to the 3D audio-guide and the “Full+VR” ticket which grants access to the VR facilities. With the VR experience you can have a “guided tour” without actually being there.

Aside from the entrance fees, visitors can also join a guided tour. This is a great way to get a deeper understanding of the site, as the tour guides are often historians or archaeologists who are experts in the field and can explain the history and the archaeology of the site. Tour prices vary, depending on the type of tour and the duration.

Visiting Pompeii does require an investment of time and money, but for many, it is well worth it. Throughout the centuries, the site has become a symbol of human resilience in the face of natural disasters, and it has inspired countless artworks, books, and movies. Exploring the site can be a unique experience, as it provides a glimpse into a time and place long gone, but never forgotten.

What can be seen?

The ancient city of Pompeii covers an area of about 64 hectares and it is divided into nine regions. Most of the sites open to the public include frescoes and mosaics that adorn the walls of many of the dwellings. There are also theaters, temples, and palaces. One of the main attractions is the House of the Faun, a now-famous structure originally built around the 2nd century BC. The house contains some of the most exquisite and detailed floor mosaics ever found.

In addition to the plethora of art and architecture, a few statues scattered throughout the city have survived to this day, depicting scenes from the Roman gods and goddesses, as well as Roman Emperors. The statue of Hercules, for example, is one of the oldest artifacts still standing at Pompeii, dating from the first century BC.

Other attractions include the Forum and the Temple of Apollo, which together form the center of the city. The Forum was the center of public life in Pompeii, while the Temple of Apollo was a place of prayer and spiritual refuge. There is also the Amphitheater, which is the largest amphitheater in the region and was capable of seating more than 20,000 people.

Are there special events?

Yes, in addition to the regular tours, Pompeii hosts a variety of special events throughout the year. During the annual Ramadan period, the Archaeological Site of Pompeii opens its gates to the local community. Special guided tours are organized for visitors to explore the city at night, with the help of audio guides.

Each summer, the site also hosts a series of cultural and musical events as part of the Summer at Pompeii. This event usually includes performances from world-famous classical music soloists, chamber music groups, and orchestras from around the world, as well as local emerging artists.

The city also hosts a variety of educational events, such as workshops for kids, a variety of archaeological and art lectures and symposiums, as well as special guided tours for the disabled.

Notable Visitors

In the past few centuries, the archaeological site of Pompeii has been visited by some of the most prominent figures in history. From Italy’s former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, to former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and many others, Pompeii has been a prime destination for world leaders and celebrities.

In 2011, UNESCO celebrated the 100th anniversary of the first archaeological works at Pompeii by opening the newly restored Great Palestra, an important structure dedicated to physical training. The event was attended by Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and the Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova.

The most famous visitor, however, was none other than the 16th U.S President, Abraham Lincoln. During a Mediterranean cruise in 1848, he visited Pompeii and made the following note in his journal: “The ruins of Pompeii are worth seeing. Here lies buried cities and empires and here in this valley has been buried more of the gaudy spectacle of human achievement than ever before.”

Conservation & Preservation

Pompeii has a long history of conservation and preservation efforts. The site has been under the administration of the Archaeological Superintendent of Pompeii since 1863. This institution is responsible for the preservation, conservation and restoration of the ruins. They also develop activities for public engagement, education and outreach, such as guided tours and interactive events.

The organization also plays an important role in the development of sustainable management and implementation of new technological advances and methods to ensure the preservation and protection of the site. In recent years, they have developed digital tools and techniques to record, monitor and analyze the conditions of the walls and frescoes, as well as 3D models and virtual reconstructions to create a richer experience and preserve the digital memory of the site.

In 2010, UNESCO was so impressed with the efforts that they declared Pompeii a World Heritage Site, and awarded it with the “Museums in Motion” prize. This award recognizes excellence in the management, preservation, and promotion of cultural heritage worldwide.

Impact of Tourism

The tourism industry is a powerful force in the local economy. For many people living near the city, the influx of visitors is a great boon. According to a survey conducted by the Italian Agency for Tourism, more than 4 million people visited the site in 2018, with the majority coming from Italy, followed by the United States and France.

Tourism not only translates into economic gains for the communities, but it is also a source of employment. On average, every person visiting Pompeii contributes 12€ to the local economy, directly or indirectly. This doesn’t take into account the income generated by the local restaurants, hotels, souvenir shops and other businesses catering to the needs of the tourists.

The income generated by tourists is also used to fund conservation and preservation efforts. The annual budget of the site includes projects such as the restoration of frescoes, the construction of new access routes, and the development of interactive digital tools.

The popularity of the site has also generated a lot of interest in the region. The city of Pompeii has become a symbol of Italy’s rich cultural heritage, and has inspired works of art, books and films throughout the years. The city has a special place in the hearts and minds of millions of people around the world, and it is likely to remain an iconic place for centuries to come.

COVID-19 Impact

Due to the global health crisis, the number of visitors at the site has decreased drastically. This has had a huge impact on the local economy, as tourism revenue is a major source of income for the city and its inhabitants. The decrease in visitors had caused many to worry about the future of the site and its preservation.

Although the health crisis has been devastating, government assistance and the efforts of the local community have helped the city’s recovery. The site has implemented an online ticket system, as well as a digital guide, in order to reduce physical contact and maintain social distancing. In addition, audio-visual presentations have been set up throughout the site to show visitors a more immersive experience.

Furthermore, the city has managed to maintain its status as a cultural heritage site, despite the dip in tourism numbers, and it continues to be a symbol of resilience and strength, inspiring hope and optimism.


Pompeii is a unique and fascinating place, full of history and mystery. Exploring the ancient city can be an awe-inspiring experience, and for many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Although the city was once buried in ash, its story has lived on throughout the centuries, inspiring artists, historians and archaeologists.

The site is an important part of Italy’s cultural heritage and it has become an iconic symbol of human resilience and tenacity. Although there is an entrance fee to visit the site, it is important to remember that the income generated from tourism is used to fund the preservation and conservation of the site.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a history buff, or a curious traveler, Pompeii has something for everyone. Exploring the city is a great way to learn about the past and gain a greater appreciation for the richness of our shared cultural heritage. So, if you ever get the chance, don’t miss out on the experience!

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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