You’ve decided to give yourself a holiday to Pompeii to visit its beauties, discover even the history, to savor its essence. The soul of this city are the archaeological excavations, and if you’ve decided to stay in town they are a must to not to miss. But you can’t let yourself be driven by the case, right? In other words: which route to choose in the excavations of Pompeii? It all depends on how much time you have available. I want to give you some advice: in Pompeii throw off the clock. The time does not exist here. When you’ll walk the entrance of ancient Pompeii, you will see it. And you will discover that two hours to devote to the exploration of the excavations are very few, but it’s up to you to choose according to your needs. Before to leave you I want to give you some information about the routes to follow inside the archaeological site, I want to refresh your memory with a little history.
Did you know that the ruins are in the UNESCO world heritage list since 1997? The exceptional state of preservation of the city is due to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD when ashes and lapilli buried people and homes under a thick layer of dust to a depth of about 6 meters. Pompeii was buried for 1,700 years, wiped off the face of the earth. Protected from the weather of the time, the shape of the bodies still intent in their daily activities has remained intact till today. The first findings of coins and objects took place at the beginning of 1748 and lasted until the twentieth century with the archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri who created one of the first maps of the archaeological area. And yet there is to find out why Pompeii lives, never died, new remains are unearthed. Pompei annually attracts over 2 million people, and in 2013 has received 2,457,051 visits becoming the second Italian site for visitor numbers, preceded by Rome. To know more: a little ‘history of Pompeii. You still have many questions about the ruins of Pompeii, right? What is the most interesting route, the shortest or the most exciting? Calm down, breathe and carefully choose the path that best suits your needs and especially your time. Here are two itineraries tailored to you. A little tip: wear comfortable shoes and bring along a bottle of water. Need to walk, are you ready?
This first tour lasts about 2 hours and touches the main places of the city life. It could be the ideal solution if you have little time or you are in Pompeii for work. The entrance for this route is piazza amphitheater that takes its name from the famous Amphitheatre. Here’s what you can visit: Amphitheatre, Large theatre, thermal baths, Government Buildings, Basilica, the Temples of Isis, Jupiter and Apollo, Sanctuary of the Public Lares, Macellum, brothel, House of the Faun, House of the Ancient Hunt.
This walk takes about six hours, my advice is to choose the longer and comprehensive route starting from the entrance of Porta Marina and Piazza Anfiteatro. With this long journey you can admire quietly all the attractions of ancient Pompeii, also enjoying the landscape and immerse yourself in a timeless place. Although this route is around Via Abundance. Through this long street you can visit Amphitheatres, Necropolis, Garden of the fugitives, House of Hercules – Small and large theatre, Thermae Stabiane, building of Eumachia, Government Buildings, Temples of Jupiter, Isis, Vespasian, triangular Forum, Temple Doric Temple of fortune Augusta, The house of Castor, the House of Meleager, The House of the ship Europa, The house of Lararium Achilles, The House of the small fountain, The house of Sallustio, The Bakery, Villa of the Mysteries. Here is some information about the most important monuments to visit:
Following the main road, once you pass the entrance, you will find the amphitheater along the way. Did you know that this building is perhaps the oldest in the world? It’s dated back to 80 BC, was the arena of bloody battles between gladiators, and it can accommodate 20,000 spectators. You were breathless, right? In 1971, Pink Floyd recorded a concert without an audience in this timeless place. Live at Pompeii is one of the most beautiful pages of Rock music.
Large and small theater
At the end of the road that runs alongside the amphitheater you connect to Abundance Way, the most important of the country, from which wind all the others. Follow it, you will get two more points of interest include the Grand Theatre and the Little Theatre, both connected to each other. The Grand Theatre is still very active today, it was built in the second century BC and can accommodate 5,000 people. [info_box color=”blue” width=”100%” float=”left” text_align=”left”]Curiosity: in this place were staged comedies of Plautus and Terence. The Small Theatre instead was used primarily for music performances. Subsequently returning via dell’Abbondanza can reach the Forum.[/info_box]
True heart of ancient Pompeii, this imposing square housed public buildings, businesses and was the setting for policy debates. Here you will have the sensation of feeling really a citizen of another age. The area surrounding the hole is full of buildings to visit.
The Lupanare and the ancient domus
You will find within a little walking distance: the Basilica, the Temple of Jupiter, Apollo and the Sanctuary of the Public Lares located east of the Forum and of the Macellum and the Temple of Vespasian. Via dell’Abbondanza links to many secondary roads from the Forum. Turning right you will endorse the brothel, the first case of appointment from the Roman period. From here you can move toward and away from via degli Agustali and reach northward in a short time the majestic House of the Faun and House of the ancient hunting. As I mentioned earlier, the visit to the ruins takes time. Two hours are few and only takes if you want to give yourself a short visit: it doesn’t really make justice to these places.
Garden of the fugitives
This cultivated space is a place of great beauty, and it is not a coincidence: here, in this magical corner of the excavations of Pompeii, you can observe the casts of some victims intent to flee after the sudden eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD
Building of Eumachia
It was built by the priestess Eumachia, patroness’ of the fullonicae. The niches on the front welcomed statues of the imperial house and the interior is characterized by a columned portico. The building was perhaps the wool market or the headquarters of the corporation of fullones.
House of Sallustio
It was built in the second century BC, this building offers important elements on the development of residences that housed the upper classes. It is located on the eastern side of the Consular Way and owes its name to enrollment election that is on the facade. Was hit by a bomb during the Second World War and restored only in 1970. Built in tuff blocks, he had six shops on the western side and a hallway entrance to the center.
Villa dei Misteri
This villa is located slightly out of the ruins, it shows a series of frescoes that depict a woman about to be initiated into the cult of Dionysus. Some scholars believe that the young man portrayed is however prepared for the wedding. On this point there are disputes. It consists of over 70 rooms, all decorated and painted. If you love the mystery that is the right place for you.