What To Do In Pompeii

Exploring Pompeii

Pompeii is a unique archaeological wonder located on the Italian coast of south western Italy. It is an ancient town frozen in time by its volcanic eruption in 79 A.D. The city, engulfed in the volcanic pyroclastic ash of Mount Vesuvius, remained buried until its rediscovery in 1748. Since then it has served as an incredible window into Roman life 2,000 years ago. Today, it is a must-see UNESCO World Heritage Site and Italy’s third most popular tourist destination, enjoying millions of visitors each year.
Upon arriving in Pompeii one is immediately struck by its size and vastness. The Preservation of Life in Pompeii, written by Rodolfo Lanciani depicts this perfectly, “The city actually measured 1,990 acres, and was built on such a grand scale that one can still form an adequate notion of its vastness”. The ruins of the city still host streets, houses and public buildings, giving visitors a glimpse into the daily life of Ancient Rome. The city’s public buildings like the Temple of Jupiter, the Forum, and the Amphitheatre showcase the ingenuity and grandeur of the Roman Empire.

Pompeii’s Impactful History

The history of Pompeii casts a powerful spell over its visitors. In 79 A.D. the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius caused the city to be frozen in time, preserved beneath its thick ash layer which allowed so many objects, homes, and even people to still exist as they did over 2,000 years ago. The plight of the people trapped in Pompeii’s walls is both cause for admiration and pathos. Despite being evacuated in time, the people of the city were empty of life and the things they left behind found their place in time.
The archaeological work in the city has yielded a large collection of artifacts, allowing visitors to admire the artistry of the Roman Empire. One of its more famous exhibits is a sculpture of a dog on a leash which was dug out of the ashes due to its incredible level of preservation. It has since become a symbol of the tragedy of Pompeii. The skeletal remains of people, frozen in time in the ruins of their homes, further add to the solemn atmosphere of the ancient site.

Educational Opportunities in Pompeii

Pompeii is home to a plethora of educational opportunities. The city houses many information centres, scattered throughout the old city. There, visitors can learn about the city, its culture, and history, as well as pick up maps, pamphlets and audio guides.
The city also offers archaeological sessions, wherein experts explain the layout of the city and major archaeological findings. Visitors get to explore the ruins under the guidance of experts who bring to life stories of the city. Visitors get to explore places like the remains of the former forum, several streets, public buildings and some private homes. Some of the city’s more extraordinary and detailed works, like the ones in the Villa of the Mysteries, are explained in detail by knowledgeable guides.

Cultural Highlights within Pompeii

Pompeii offers a large range of cultural highlights, and should definitely be included in a traveler’s itinerary. The city was home to one of Ancient Rome’s largest arenas, the Amphitheatre. This spectacle of a theatre was built in the first century B.C. and has since become a major tourist attraction and a symbol of the incomparable architectural prowess of the Roman Empire.
Those interested in the culture and life of ancient Roman people should definitely visit the many incredible mosaics adorning the walls of the ancient city. Artistic renderings of daily and mythical life, varied in quality and taste, show a unique and fascinating view of the culture of the time and the imagination of the citizens.

Pompeii’s Nightlife

Pompeii has many activities to do in the evenings and the night. The city has a few dining options available to visitors, ranging from traditional Italian dishes to pizza and seafood. One of the most popular restaurants in the city is La Locanda, which serves typical Italian dishes. It’s close to the ruins and comes highly recommended.
For those looking for a more lively experience, there are several bars and clubs that stay open late into the night. La Notte cafè is known for a lively atmosphere and its delectable cocktails. It offers all sorts of events like live music, DJs and artist showcases and enjoyed by travelers and locals alike.

Adventurous Activities in Pompeii

Adventures abound in Pompeii, from exploring the ruins and its city streets to taking helicopter rides over the area. One of the more popular activities for travelers is Vesuvius, the famous volcano that has been dormant for centuries. The volcano’s crater can be explored and gives visitors an incredible if slightly chilling view of the devastation it has inflicted in the years past.
A popular way of exploring the region is by bicycle. This can probably be attributed to the size of the city and its various attractions. The ruined areas’ flat terrain allows for a surprisingly… comprehensive exploration of the area in just a few hours. Another popular activity is the guided boat rides to the nearby island of Capri.

Shopping Opportunities in Pompeii

Shopping is an essential part of any trip to Pompeii. The city has a lot to offer in terms of shopping experience. For souvenirs and trinkets, tourists can explore the ancient city’s many souvenir shops, which offer a variety of sculptures, paintings, pottery and other artifacts from the Roman Empire. These items are often quite affordable and make great souvenirs to take back home.
Souvenir items aside, Pompeii is home to many unique boutique shops, like Le Grazie, which offers handcrafted items. It serves as a fantastic place to explore and purchase unique, handcrafted items like jewelry, clothes, and pottery. Moreover, the city center is thronged with galleries displaying artwork from renowned Italian artists.

Other Attractions in Pompeii

Apart from its renowned ruins, Pompeii has plenty of other attractions to offer. The Eastern side of the city is where most of the modern-day lifestyle can be witnessed. It’s home to several parks and gardens, which provide a great opportunity to escape the hustle of the ruins.
The city is well connected by roadways, making it easy to sight-see around. The nearby port of Naples provides ferry services to nearby islands like Ischia, Procida and Capri. The nearby beaches provide a great escape from the ruins and tourists can lay out in the sun and relax.

A Wealth of Activities

Pompeii is an incredible experience that is enjoyed by both locals and travelers alike. The city is packed with varied attractions, from its well-preserved ruins to its vibrant nightlife. It is an incredibly unique city, with a wealth of activities for everyone to enjoy. From guided tours of the ruins to relaxing on the beach, there is something for everyone in Pompeii.


The city of Pompeii is an incredible and unique wonder that offers one of the most unique archaeological experiences in the world. Visitors will be amazed at the preserved ruins on view and how much the city itself has to offer. With its vibrant culture, spectacular nightlife, and educational opportunities, Pompeii is a must-visit destination in Italy.

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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