- excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum they are the only archaeological sites in the world that make a clear picture of how an ancient one was structured Roman town, thanks to their exceptional state of conservation.
Through the excavations, from over 6 meters of layers of ashes, lapilli and pumice in Pompeii and from over 15 meters of boiling mud flows in Herculaneum, a city that seems fixed as in a photograph, a snapshot of society and culture of 79 AD
La visit to the archaeological excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum it is not just one of the many journeys you can take, but a real experience: stroll and linger in the narrow streets, the domus, the gardens to relive what the Romans who populated these places once felt.
- Where they are and how to get there
- Hours and prices
- Tours, guided tours and tickets online
- How to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum
- Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
- User questions and comments
Where they are and how to get there
Pompeii in Herculaneum they are about 20-30 minutes away from each other by road. The most convenient way to move from one place to another is by train (the daily Pompeii-Herculaneum route takes an average of 30 minutes, with a ticket cost of around € 2,00).
The archaeological excavations are also well connected to the city of Naples and Salerno.
- From Salerno to Pompeii - SITA bus line 4, leaves from the Salerno bus station at 6:45 am (passes through Nocera and Scafati) the route costs € 2,20 and takes 1h 24m. Get off at Pompei Porta Marina stop. Alternatively, Busitalia Campania SpA of line 50 leaves from the Salerno bus station (also passes through Angri and Scafati), the route costs € 4,00 and takes 1h 16m. Get off at Pompei - via Giuseppe Mazzini.
- From Naples to Pompeii - SITA bus of the Circumvesuviana Naples-Poggiomarino line, leaves from Porta Nolana Station at 5:55 am (also passes from Ercolano and Oplonti) the route costs € 2,00 and lasts 1h-1h 15m. Get off at the Pompei stop.
- From Naples to Herculaneum - Circumvesuviana Naples-Poggiomarino line, leaves from Porta Nolana station at 5:55 am (but also passes through Pompei and Oplonti) the route costs € 1,00-1,50 and takes 20 minutes. Get off at the Ercolano Scavi stop. There are other routes offered by ANM and CTP companies.
- From Salerno to Ercolano - Busitalia Campania Spa leaves from Salerno Vinciprova station, get off at Pompei Porta Marina. From Pompeii - Scavi Villa dei Misteri take the Tr3 train and get off at the Ercolano Scavi stop. The route costs € 5,00-6,00 in total and lasts 2 hours, 2 hours and 30 minutes.
On the train:
- From Naples to Pompeii - Circumvesuviana Naples-Sorrento, trains departing from Naples Porta Nolana, cost € 3,60 for a 30-40 minute journey. Get off at Pompei Scavi - Villa dei Misteri stop (250 meters from Porta Marina entrance)
- From Salerno to Pompeii - trains departing from Salerno towards Naples, cost of the route € 2,00-3,00 and travel time 40 minutes. Get off at Pompei stop (1,8 km from Porta Marina entrance)
- From Naples to Herculaneum - trains departing from Naples towards Sorrento, cost of the route € 1,00-2,00 and travel time 10 minutes. Get off at the Ercolano Scavi stop (7-800 meters from the entrance).
- From Salerno to Ercolano - trains departing from Salerno, cost € 3,00 and travel time 50 minutes. Get off at the Ercolano Portici stop (1,7 km from the entrance).
- From Naples to Pompeii - about 27 km, reachable in 23 minutes via the A3 Napoli-Salerno motorway (Pompei exit)
- From Salerno to Pompeii - about 29 km, reachable in 35 minutes via the A3 Napoli-Salerno motorway (Pompei exit)
- From Naples to Herculaneum - about 10 km, reachable in 20 minutes via the A3 Napoli-Salerno motorway (Ercolano exit)
- From Salerno to Ercolano - about 46 km, reachable in 38 minutes via the A3 Napoli-Salerno motorway (Ercolano exit)
- Directions: Get directions to Pompeii Excavations - Get directions to Herculaneum Excavations
Hours and prices
- from 1 November to 31 March every day 9:00 - 17:00 / From 1 April to 31 October every day 9:00 - 19:30 / Saturday and Sunday open 8:30. Last admission one hour and thirty minutes before closing time.
- Closing days: 1st January, 1st May and 25th December.
- Best time to avoid queues: early in the morning
The ticket for one or two archaeological sites is valid for a full day, while the cumulative ticket for Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplonti, Stabia and Boscoreale is valid for 3 consecutive days with only one entrance per site.
* for visitors from 18 to 25 years old and teachers
Free: free admission for under 18 and first Sunday of each month
Tours, guided tours and tickets online
How to visit Pompeii and Herculaneum
As you can imagine, the visit to the Pompeii and Herculaneum excavations takes a lot of time, as there is so much to explore and, above all, you will have to walk a lot.
What to see in Pompeii
- The short route: allows you to visit the Amphitheater, the large and small theater, the public administration buildings, the Baths of the Forum, the Basilica, the Temples of Isis, Jupiter and Apollo, the Macellum, the House of the Faun, the Sanctuary of the Public Lares , the Lupanare (first meeting houses dating back to Roman times) and the Casa della Caccia ancient.
- The long path: to those already mentioned are added the Necropolis, the Villa of the Mysteries, the Garden of the Fugitives, the House of the Garden of Hercules, the Stabian Baths, the Building of Eumachia, the Temples of Isis and Vespasian, the triangular Forum, the Temple of Fortune Augusta, the Doric Temple, the house of the Dioscuri, of Menandro, of the Europa ship, the House of the Lararium of Achilles, the House of the small fountain and that of Sallustio, the House of the Vettii, the Bakery.
- Suburban areas (Oplonti, Boscoreale, etc.): Furthermore, there are areas where other archaeological remains related to suburban areas have been unearthed, in particular the Villa di Poppea in Oplonti; several mostly rustic Roman villas in Boscoreale and other residences, including Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna in Stabia.
What to see in Herculaneum
Smaller than Pompeii, but better preserved. It must be said that, in reality, was unearthed are a part of the city, because there are other districts still hidden under the modern Herculaneum area, namely the Forum, the temples, numerous houses and the necropolis.
The visible part has been divided into several insulae in which there are houses and villas. Among the narrow streets of the so-called "Hercolaneum" are many points of interest and, among others, I point out:
- Villa dei Papiri: an almost magical place, where a library with over 1800 papyri, some marble and bronze statues, floor decorations and mosaics was discovered.
- Casa dei Cervi: it is a very elegant residence and from its terraces you can enjoy a splendid view of the Gulf of Naples.
- House of the Atrium: here there is an entrance with mosaic flooring and you can see a spectacular view of the sea.
- House of Neptune and Amphitrite: in this area two marble slabs painted with the monochrome technique in red and a wall mosaic depicting Neptune and Amphitrite were brought to light.
- House of the Hotel: in a panoramic position overlooking the sea, it is the largest house in Herculaneum found so far. It has a spa district with mosaics and frescoes.
Useful tips for visiting the attraction
- Get up early: the ideal would be to reach the entrance at opening hours.
- Priority ticket: buy the ticket with priority entrance to avoid the endless queues Pompeii: priority entrance ticket.
- Watch out for restrictions: it is not allowed to bring inside the excavations bags, backpacks and luggage whose dimensions exceed 30x30x15 cm. You can leave them for free at the cloakroom service.
- Minimum time: consider that the short path of the Pompeii excavations lasts 2 hours and the long one, instead for Herculaneum you need at least a couple of hours, the ideal would be to dedicate 6. So, to see them both a minimum of 3 hours is appropriate for the short route and at least a full day (even two) to do the complete route, both in Pompeii and Herculaneum, Oplonti, Boscoreale and Stabia.
- For 4-legged friends: large dogs are not allowed. Accepted animals must be kept on a leash and in arms inside the buildings.
- Dress comfortably: wear comfortable clothes and shoes for walking. If the day is hot, bring a hat to cover your head and water.
Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
The archaeological excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum have returned the remains of ancient buried cities by meters and meters of ashes, lapilli and mud during theeruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD., together with Stabia and Oplonti.
As anticipated, Herculaneum it is better preserved than in Pompeii, it has a more collected aspect and has not yet been completely brought to light. It was found by chance in 1709 thanks to excavations for the construction of a well.
A Pompeii the remains of the ancient Roman city have been brought to light since the end of the th century. That of Pompeii is the third most visited site in Italy after the Pantheon and the circuit of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.
Some curiosities about PompeiiI Pink Floyd recorded a concert with no audience in 1971 in the Amphitheater e Mozart he was so fascinated by the Temple of Isis that he was inspired by it to compose the Magic Flute.
To enter the Pompeii site the entrances are three: Porta Marina, Piazza Anfiteatro and Piazza Esedra. I recommend starting from the entrance of Porta Marina and proceed all along via dell'Abbondanza, the main road, to which many minor streets are connected.
The short route is perfect to do if you have little time available, otherwise choose the 6-hour one ... you won't lose anything! To Herculaneum it takes at least a couple of hours and in 3 or 4 you will be able to see everything, focusing on the main places of interest. Let's say that you should get 1 - 2 for both and, perhaps, be able to make a trip to Stabia, Oplonti and Boscoreale.
Finally, I recommend to dress comfortably, wear hiking shoes, a sun hat and bring water especially if you go in the summer. The sun beats down a lot!
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