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Remains of on of the old Pompeii's palaces.


Pompeii - Pompeii visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Pompeii' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Campania.

Pompeii is the ruin of an ancient Roman city, which was destroyed by the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius volcano in 79AD. It is situated near to Naples in the Campania of southern Italy. While it was not the only town affected by the eruption, it is the most famous. Stories of the eruption and destruction of Pompeii can be found in various writings of the time, including those of Pliny. At the time it was destroyed, Pompeii is thought to have been a town of some 20,000 inhabitants, and well known as a kind of Roman holiday resort.

Buried under layers of ash and pumice, Pompeii lay hidden from view until it was accidentally rediscovered in 1748. Since then interest in Pompeii has been huge. The ruins were in extraordinarily good condition, with very well preserved frescoes and mosaics. Buried in an instant and left for centuries under the ash, Pompeii provides an almost unique snap shot of Roman daily life. The structure and layout of the town have not been obscured by later modifications, and it has provided a wealth of every day artifacts, inscriptions and other material from the time.

One of the most striking sites is the plaster casts made by the body cavities of buried victims of lying in the ash. It is thought that many of those who died may have been killed by a catastrophic pyroclastic flows caused by the collapse of the ash column at various points during the eruption of Vesuvius. Today over 2.5 million people a year visit the site, which puts an enormous amount of pressure on it. Since being exposed to the elements and to people, the ruins of Pompeii have deteriorated rapidly, and there is grave concern that this unique site may be destroyed.

Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, drawing over 2.5 million visitors a year. Visitors can stroll down 1st century Roman roads, looking at remarkably preserved Roman buildings and even individual artisanal workshops.

Pompeii has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is now managed by the Archaeological di Pompei, who have begun a ticketing system to try to raise funds. These tickets also allow tourists entry to other sites affected by the 79 eruption, including the Roman towns of Herculaneum and Stabiae, and the Villa Poppaea. It is hoped that this will help reduce the pressure on Pompeii itself, but may simply increase the number of visitors to the other sites without affecting the popularity of Pompeii. After all, ask most people about Mount Vesuvius, and they will remember Pompeii first and foremost.


Pompeii Information Office
Pompei Scavi
Via Villa dei Misteri 2 Pompeii
Phone: +39 081 8575347


Bus: SITA Napoli-Salerno service to piazza Esedra stop
Road: Pompeii is about 30km southeast of Naples just off the A3
Train: Pompei, Circumvesuviana Pompei Santuario stations

Peter Watts - 17 May, 2008 12:43
It has always been a childhood dream to visit Pompeii one day - hope I have the chance to in the future. Your picture gives a good feel of the place.

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