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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Pompeii, the city buried alive

Updated: Jan 6

I think we can all agree that Italy is a beautiful country, which has a lot to offer in terms of tourism. The ancient city of Pompeii is certainly one of the most important treasures of Italy, both in terms of tourism and history.

Old Pompeii is one of the cities discovered in the volcanic ash of Vesuvius, being in the archaeological site of the nowadays Pompei.

HOW TO GET TO THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF POMPEII: The nearest airport is the one in Naples, where frequent flights are operated by Wizzair and Ryanair. From the airport there is a bus to Naples. To get to the city of Pompeii, there is a train from Naples Central Station. Once you arrive in town, either call a taxi or walk to the archaeological site. If you come with a personal or rented car, there is paid parking near the archaeological site.

Another option to reach the Archaeological Site of Pompeii is as part of a trip departing from Naples and which you can purchase here. You can also opt for a trip to visit Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius, tickets here.


The archaeological site is actually an ancient city in natural size. Entrance tickets can be purchased at the counter or if you want to avoid standing in line, you can purchase them online. You can opt for a simple ticket, with a guide, with a visit to Herculaneum, with a visit to Vesuvius and wine tasting.

A map taken from the entrance desk or a guide, comfortable shoes and a full day reserved for exploring are my recommendations for a visit to this place, to which, if you choose to come here in the summer, we add sun protection and enough drinking water.

The ruins were discovered at the end of the 16th century by a well digger, but no archaeological excavations were carried out until 1748, when these ruins were identified as belonging to ancient Pompeii.

What happened to the city of Pompeii?

Vesuvius volcano, at about 14 km from Pompeii and Herculaneum, erupted in late summer in 79 AD. The eruption lasted only two days, but long enough to end the lives of more than 1,500 people and wipe important cities off the map.

In the first hours, the eruption was not considered dangerous, so many people did not leave the city. At that time, together with Herculaneum, Pompeii had a population of about 20,000 people. Many of them, however, managed to leave the area and escape with their lives.

Initially, the 1,500 people found by archaeologists were believed to have died from inhaling toxic gas. Subsequently, it turned out to be a wrong theory, the real cause of death being the heat emitted by the lava of the volcano, which would have made the atmosphere of the place reach temperatures of 300 degrees C.

The history of the ancient city of Pompeii and what we can see at the archaeological site:

It is one of the few cities of that time that was built of stone and not wood, as usual. There were impressive theatres, bars and villas here.

The soil of the area where the city was located was quite fertile, making it ideal for agriculture. The fact that it was quite close to the sea helped the trade. These two advantages made Pompeii one of the most prosperous cities of the time.

The city buried alive of Pompei, Italy

The streets of the city were built in such a way that the rainwater and the dirt of the city flowed through, and the sidewalk was built higher so that the inhabitants could walk without getting dirty. In some places, there are stones that help to cross the street.

Pompeii was known as the city that exported olive oil and wine, also representing the vacation spot for the Romanian aristocracy. Many of these aristocrats have chosen to move here, and the "Fortuna Augusta" and "Eumachia" temples are just two of the buildings that attest to this.

The volcanic ash preserved the city extremely well, in some places being visible even the paintings on the walls and the mosaic details on the floor. An example can be found in the photo below, which is not the only place of its kind in Pompeii.

The city buried alive of Pompei, Italy

The city's amphitheatre, built about 150 years before the Colosseum in Rome, was used by the population to admire gladiatorial fights, which were very popular at the time.

The amphitheatre from the city buried alive of Pompei, Italy

The villas of the aristocrats of the time were most often decorated with paintings and sculptures, they had vast gardens of fruit trees and panoramic views over the city. The one in the image below can be visited near the amphitheatre of the city. Unfortunately, it is not 100% authentic, in some places it has been restored so that there is no risk of it collapsing. Even so, it is very impressive.

Villas at the city buried alive of Pompei, Italy

During the excavations, air cavities were discovered in the volcanic ash, which were formed following the decomposition of the volcano's victims bodies. One of the archaeologists came up with the idea of ​​making molds by pouring plaster into these cavities. One of the places where you can see these molds is the Garden of the Fugitives. In this place were discovered the remains of 3 harnessed horses and fleeing people heading towards the Nocera gate, one of the exits of the city.

The city buried alive of Pompei, Italy

WHAT OTHER LOCATIONS YOU CAN VISIT IN THE AREA: During the vacation in which I visited this place, I also visited the city of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and the Island of Capri. In the area you can also visit; - Herculaneum archaeological site; - the Vesuvius volcano; - Ischia Island; - Procida Island; - Vale dell' Orso, which is a water park; - The sunken Roman city of Baia; - Torre del Greco.


Of the options available on Booking, the ones that caught my attention and are not very expensive either, I have left them below:

  • Sweet Country Home - Casa LuMePa - accommodation unit with double rooms, kitchen and free parking;

  • Domus Annae B&B - accommodation unit that has both double rooms and apartments that can accommodate up to 4 people;

  • Villa Julia - accommodation unit with double, triple or even quadruple rooms. It has parking, a terrace and room service.

CONCLUSIONS ABOUT THE CITY BURIED ALIVE OF POMPEII: The buried city of Pompeii is one of the greatest treasures discovered by archaeologists and is worth visiting even if you are not passionate about history. I am very happy that there is such a place in this world and that I had the opportunity to visit it. I recommend that you also take a guide, either audio or a tourist guide, from which you can find out certain information and details about each place you see inside the site, I am convinced that this will make the experience much more pleasant.

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Read also about other locations in Europe: 3 locations in Andalucia, Spain, Boat tour in Mallorca, Veliko Tarnovo, Faro, Portugal or Frankfurt, Germany.

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