Pompeii, the Movie
By Viator, January 2014
The challenge, however, is that the blast from Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. did more than just bury Pompeii – it ripped through streets and buildings, destroying much of what was in the way. So while the city is marvelously intact compared to some ruins elsewhere, it still requires a vivid imagination (and the help of an expert tour guide) to recreate images of what the city must have looked like before the eruption.
The film “Pompeii,” scheduled to be released in February 2014, will give you some mental pictures to take on your trip – beautiful computerized renderings of the bustling city, used as the backdrop for a fictional love story. After seeing the movie, a visit to the excavated city will be even more meaningful, as you will likely be more able to picture people walking down the streets, living in the buildings, and talking in the forum.
Pompeii is a massive archaeological site – it can easily take an entire day's worth of sightseeing on a day trip from Naples or Rome if you let it – and sometimes it's difficult to know why one building is more important than the others around it. Going on a guided tour of Pompeii means you'll be led to the most important finds at the site, and you'll have a picture painted for you of what the ruined buildings once looked like. And since you can't watch the “Pompeii” movie while you're taking the tour – or any other documentary recreating the ancient city, for that matter – the descriptions provided by a good guide can be especially helpful.
Pompeii is an ideal day trip from Naples. You can combine a visit to Pompeii with a stop at nearby Herculaneum (a wealthier Roman city also buried by Vesuvius, it's a smaller site that is better preserved and less touristy) or even a hike onto Mount Vesuvius itself. In nice weather, you may want to go with a tour of Pompeii followed by a trip to the Amalfi Coast before heading back to Naples.
Taking a day trip to Pompeii from Rome is a longer excursion, but it can definitely be done with a well-organized tour – and if you don't plan to go south of Rome on your trip, this may be your only opportunity to see the ancient city. And if you're aching to try modern Naples' claim to worldwide fame – pizza – then choose a tour that combines a visit to Naples with a walk through Pompeii.
There are plenty of options for guided tours of Pompeii, either on its own or in combination with another nearby attraction – and you won't regret the investment of time to see one of Italy's most famous sights.
Tours & Tickets
Location: Sorrento, Italy
Duration: 4 hours
Location: Rome, Italy
Duration: 12 hours