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02 April 2017

How to Visit Pompei - Some Advices

Some years ago, when tourists asked me what to visit: Ercolano (Herculaneum) o Pompei, I had not doubts advising Ercolano. Why? 
Herculaneum was good conserved and good restored excavation site when Excavations of Pompei could provoke only tears in that period. With 44 ha of territory there were only some houses and places to visit. 

Today, excavations of Pompei became a place you want to return every time you can. In the competition between all open for tourists excavation sites: Pompei, Ercolano, Oplontis, Boscoreale, Castellammare doubtless
wins Pompei.

Pompei, one of the houses (still visible from the street)

If you have not too much time, you have to visit Pompei, today. 
Other sites I mentioned are fantastic, but this one presents the essence of all of them. 
If you have more days, go to visit other places.

How to Plan a Visit of Pompei

Before you go, visit this official site of the archeological autorities in Campania. You will find all the actual information about the timetable, prices and many other useful things.

You will find the list of the Exhibitions that are open in the period you have to come. Now, when I write this post, for example, it's possilble to see an interesting collection with pieces from museums from all the world about Greeks culture in the Roman towns. BUT there are other 3 or 4 exhibitions, too.

I'll write a special post about the planning a visit, but if you go without a guide, you have to understand how much time you have, what do you want to see, first of all. 
Than take a map and trace the itinerary. Want to Repeat: there are 44 hectares to cross. It's practically impossible to see ALL the houses, places that are open now. So, understand what you want to see.

Pompei, new houses open for visitors

Some advices to take in mind:

Pompei has 44 ha of the excavated territory. And dozens of open beautiful houses. 
You need all the day to visit them, with calm.

How Much Time I Need To Visit Every of Excavation Museums?

For your visits you need: 
Ercolano/Herculaneum - 2-2,5 hours for a visit, 
Oplontis about 1 hour, 
Antiquarium di Boscoreale about 1 hour + time to reach it.
Pompei - all the day
Castellammare (2 villas in 2 different places) - at least half a day with the time to reach them
Quisisana - museum in a royal villa with roman objects (a carriage etc) - 1 hour + time to reach it

What Can I Visit in One Day?

You can plan to visit in one day

Attention! Plan to visit FIRST Vesuvius, than other places. It's hard to go to the crater when you are just tired

1 - Vesuvius from Ercolano (bus from Circumvesuviana Ercolano Scavi 10-13:00, more or less, about euro 20) and 
2 - Excavations of Ercolano (14:00-16:00) euro 11 
This prices can change.

or you can visit Ercolano, Oplontis, Boscoreale in one day (the sites are not too far from Circumvesuviana line except Antiquarium di Boscoreale

Castellammare (2 villas + Quisisana + termal sources) + Oplontis/Boscoreale/Ercolano in the afternoon

FREE Entrance in the Museums of the State in Italy

If you can choose the date of the visit, 
remember that the FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH the entrance in most state museums in Italy is FREE
It's better to pay a good guide that will show you the best, most interesting open places in less time, will tell you many particular things no one other information source can tell you.
He/she will show you the shortest way to go out to the place where you have your car, or to the train, too.
If you contact him/her some time before you come and tell about your problems, he/she will be ready to assist you.

Why I advice it?
I worked with tourists, and many persons I know tell me they visited Pompei in 1-2 hours and did not see anything special except forum, maine street and some houses.
It's a pitty, believe me. Pompei deserves more time dedicated to it's beauties.

When Visit Pompei?

The last advise is about the period of your visit.
Try to avoid summer months. Specially July and August.

+40°C and more
there is nothing that can cover you good enough. Even if you have the veil.
it's a period of the cruises. Hundreds and tousands persons rise this dust and you become like those poor victims of eruption, inhaling this dust all the period of your visit.

The visit becomes really hard if there is wind, too.

My photos show you some houses I could visit today. Some of them were opened after the restoration some days agou for the first time.

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