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Pompeii is only a short train ride away from Rome and is a great day trip if you’re looking to escape the city for a bit and take in some more history. For those unfamiliar, Pompeii is an ancient city outside of Rome that was mostly destroyed during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, the manner in which the city was destroyed ended up preserving most of it and it is a famous archeological site. There are similar, less famous sites close by as well that would make for a great multi-day trip.
Although we were only in Rome for a few days, we still decided that it would be worth it to take a day trip out to Pompeii. There are a lot of day tours you can take if you don’t want to organize the transportation and logistics yourself, but being the frugal and adventurous twenty-somethings we are, we decided to just go it on our own and found it quite easy (and more budget friendly).
From our hotel we travelled to the Termini train station in Rome and purchased high speed train tickets to Naples, after a short and fun ride into Naples we transferred to the local train line and headed out to Pompeii, the stop is called “Pompeii” making it nearly impossible to miss. The entrance to the grounds is right next to where you get off of the train. We just went right in after dodging the street vendors who were trying to sell tours to Vesuvius, which did seem interesting, but we didn’t have the time. (Reader Q: Have you ever taken a tour of Vesuvuis? Would you recommend it?)
Travel note: Most people will hear warnings about the trains in Italy and particularly Rome, although I did see people who seemed like they might be willing to cause trouble if given the opportunity, we simply stuck together and didn’t engage with anyone and didn’t have an issue. I did keep a watchful eye on my purse just in case.
Once inside the grounds you need to purchase a ticket to Pompeii (or a ticket to all five sites which would be best for a multi-day tour – Pompeii is huge, by the way). If you’re only visiting Pompeii, the entrance fee is 11 Euros (15 USD) which is quite reasonable. We also picked up a map and booklet that explains the site which goes a long way to helping you understand everything you’re looking at.
We spent the majority of the day walking through the grounds which are located right next to the modern city of Pompeii. The sites are extremely interesting and everything is well preserved – there’s no shortage of things to see at Pompeii. We brought water and I would recommend bringing some food with you if you’re spending most of the day there since the offerings inside the grounds are not very good and definitely overpriced for the quality.
Once you’ve seen all you want of Pompeii, you can head to one of the other sites or check out the modern town and grab a gelato. It’s also highly recommended to stop in Naples and grab some pizza before taking the train back to Rome as they are supposed to have the best pizza in all of Italy.
A day trip to Pompeii is a very rewarding and interesting way to spend your time if you’re in Rome and looking for a great day trip option. Kudos to the train system in Europe for making it so easy to escape the main cities for a day or two!
Have you ever traveled to Pompeii for a day? What do you recommend for the best trip ever?