The Ruins of Pompeii is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world today. Together with Herculaneum, the Pompeii excavation site provides the contemporary society a comprehensive look of how an ancient Roman society functioned. This is the rare gift that Pompeii offers to travelers; an excellent glimpse of a very distant past that is far different from the modern living we are experiencing today. Thus, the Ruins of Pompeii deserves to be in your travel bucket list.
A Little History
Pompeii’s history goes way back during the 6th century BC, when it was merely an Opician foundation. Over the years, it had been under the rule of many civilizations including that of the Greeks and Etruscans. By 89 BC, it became a thriving Roman town, until it was completely buried by the eruption of the vicious Vesuvius volcano in the summer of AD 79. The city was rediscovered in the mid-18th century. From then on, it has become one of the most continuously excavated sites in history . In other words, if Indiana Jones is a real archaeologist, then the Ruins of Pompeii would definitely be one of his favorite hang outs. Pompeii and the surrounding communities like Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata are all collectively hailed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Compared to other archaeological attractions, the Ruins of Pompeii has gained fame and distinction because of how it has been excellently preserved. Ironically, the ash and pumice generated from the volcanic eruption provided a protective layer that made the preservation of the city and its structures possible.
Where are the Ruins?
Pompeii is located within the Italian region of Campania, and is about 23 kilometers southeast of Naples. The train line Circumvesuviana Napoli-Sorrento goes to cities like Sorrento and Naples, and also stops at the Pompeii Scavi station, which is only 50 meters away from the entrance of the ruins. The modern town of Pompeii is situated just near the excavation site. There are also regular bus services from Naples to the ruins.
You can purchase a 1-day or 3-day ticket to gain access to the Ruins of Pompeii. There are also ticket options that allow you to access other ancient sites in the vicinity. Organized tours can be arranged near the excavation entrance. The Porta Marina Superiore entrance has an information office that offers various tourist itineraries and a free map of the excavated sections. The other two entrances to the ruins include the Piazza Anfiteatro and Viale delle Ginestre (Piazza Esedra).
Once inside the ruins area, you are free to walk around and see the remains of the fallen city. Expect to see cracked streets, aged pillars and partially-collapsed buildings. You will also see plastered casts of people, which depict how the Pompeii population reacted and tried to flee during the volcanic eruption. Some of the most notable sections of the city that you should take the time to visit include the:
- Amphitheater – The oldest surviving amphitheater used for public gatherings and gladiator battles.
- Temple of Apollo – A religious sanctuary that safe keeps Pompeii’s oldest artifacts, some of which date back to 575 BC.
- Forum – The former city center filled with political, religious, and business buildings.
- Lupanar – an ancient brothel house that has private rooms with erotic images depicted on their interior walls.
Travel Update: Pompeii in Danger In recent years, Pompeii has been experiencing further structural damages and vandalism as the Italian government struggles to set forth sustainable preservation efforts. A UNESCO study on the site reveals serious problems that need immediate solutions. The government has responded by establishing an extensive rescue project, which is being supported by the European Union. This unfortunately does not guarantee that the “Ruins” will still be there for the future generations to see.
For more travel information, visit the official tourism site for Pompeii: http://www.pompeiturismo.it/
Finding the Cheapest Rooms in Naples near Ruins of Pompeii
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