Italy is simply filled with incredible cities and magical historic sites. From the Colosseum of Rome to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the winding waterways of Venice, the awe-inspiring cathedrals of Milan and Florence, and the picturesque settings of little Tuscan towns, the country has so much to offer, and Pompeii is undoubtedly one of its most famous and impressive sites.
An ancient Roman city that fell victim to a volcanic eruption at Mount Vesuvius back in AD 79, Pompeii is one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in Europe and a highly popular touristic destination. Many visitors to Italy dream of stopping off at Pompeii and try to fit a trip into their travel plans. Fortunately, doing a day trip from Rome to Pompeii is perfectly possible, and here's all you need to know about how to make it happen.
Getting To Pompeii From Rome
Pompeii is located just a short distance south of the city of Naples. It's around 150 miles away from Rome, so the journey is a long one, but you can get there in around two and a half hours. The journey from Rome to Pompeii can be made by car, train, or bus, so you have a lot of options available when planning out this day trip.
Getting To Pompeii From Rome By Car
Getting to Pompeii from Rome by car is a good option for anyone who wants the freedom of being able to pick and choose what time they set off and how long they actually spend at Pompeii. A car also gives you the option to make stops along the way or explore other locations like Naples. The journey takes around two and a half hours and runs along the E45.
It's a relatively straightforward drive, simply following the £45 from Rome throughto Naples and then following the signs for Pompeii. The route does have tolls, so you'll need to be prepared for this, and it's important to note that driving in and around the city of Rome itself can be quite a challenge, so if you don't have too much experience of this or feel nervous about driving in the Italian capital, choosing a bus or train might be a better option.
Getting To Pompeii From Rome By Train
Getting to Pompeii from Rome by train is generally considered the easiest option. Travelers can take a train straight from the center of Rome to Naples Central Station (Piazza Garibaldi). From there, you can hop on the Circumvesuviana railway to a stop called 'Pompei Scavi'.
There's a fast train that runs between Rome and Naples and only takes an hour, but does cost extra, while the slower train takes around one hour and 45 minutes in total but is cheaper. Once you get to Naples, the journey to Pompeii itself takes about half an hour.
Getting To Pompeii From Rome By Bus
Buses are also available for anyone wishing to travel to Pompeii from Rome. These buses are usually slower than cars or trains, taking up to or over three hours in total, but are generally a lot cheaper overall.
Tickets can be bought for less than 10 euros with networks like Flixbus, so young travelers or those on a budget should opt for the bus to save a little cash. Alternatively, various travel companies and tour operators run their own private shuttles and buses between Rome and Pompeii.
Important Information And Things To Do At Pompeii
- Tickets - Anyone wishing to enter Pompeii Archaeological Park will need to purchase tickets. Discounts are available for children and students. You can order your tickets online or buy them on the day, and it can pay off to order online and then skip out on the lines when you arrive, giving you more time to actually explore Pompeii itself rather than having to wait around. Pompeii does offer free admission on certain days of the year, like the first Sunday of the month during the off peak season and on various additional days throughout the year.
- Opening Times - Pompeii is open every single day of the year except the 1st of May, New Year's Day, and Christmas Day. During peak season, which runs from April 1 through to October 31, the site is open from 9am to 7.30pm, and the last entrance is at 6pm. During off peak season, the site is open from 9am to 5.30pm, with the last entrance being at 3.30pm. Visiting Pompeii during the off peak season is a good way to avoid some of the crowds, but you won’t be able to stay there as long.
- Guides - There are many different travel operators offering guided tours of Pompeii, and whether or not you choose to sign up for one of these tours is up to you. Getting a guided tour of Pompeii is a good way to learn about the history of the site and see a lot all in one day, but it does mean you have to stick to the schedule of the tour guide. Choosing an audio guide or guidebook and making your own way around is another good option for people who prefer a little freedom but still want to learn a lot.
- Facilities - It's worth noting that Pompeii is very much a historical site and fully treated as such. You won't be finding commercial stores and restaurants around here, so the facilities are pretty minimal overall, with just one small café and a few restrooms dotted around. This is why it pays off to pack your own snacks and bottled water for your visit, but only bring small bags as larger backpacks and cases aren't allowed at Pompeii.
- What To Expect - Pompeii is a huge site with a lot to see. Some tourists only stay for a couple of hours, while others spend multiple days visiting Pompeii and seeing all it has to offer. You can get a lot done in a single day, but you’ll need to walk a lot on some rough streets, so it’s wise to wear sensible clothing and strong footwear. If you'd like to extend your stay beyond Pompeii, other nearby archaeological sites and historic cities include Herculaneum and Stabiae.