In AD 79 when the volcano erupted, the whole city was buried under six meters of ash and pumice stone. Abandoned ever since, Pompeii started to emerge when excavations began in the 18th century and since then, about three-fifths of the total area have been recovered. Since 1911 artifacts discovered was left in place as previously all findings was taken to a museum in Naples. You will be impressed by the ancient life you get in its homes, shops and public places. It's easy to see why this is one of Italy's most popular attractions for tourists.
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
Your first stop should be this museum with its interpretive displays where you will see many of the artifacts found during the excavations that were either too fragile or too prone to weathering to be left in place. Some of these date to long before the Roman era. Highlights is implements of everyday life, rows of amphora and other vessels, furnishings, and small household, commercial items andthe plaster casts made from almost perfect molds left in the solidified ash bythe bodies of those caught in the sudden destruction. Seeing this is bringing those final moments into grisly reality and make Pompeii more than just an historic relic.
The Teatro Grande was built into slopping ground and is used for Son et lumiere shows during the summers. Amazing views over the city and Vesuvius can be seen from the top rows.
The Teatro Piccolo dates back to about 75 BC and is better preserved than some of the other buildings. It is also the earliest example of a roofed Roman theater and would have been used mainly for musical performances.
3.HOUSE OF MENANDER
This well-preserved house belonged to a wealthy merchant. To show of his wealth the entrance of the house is flanked by pillars with Corinthian capitals. The well-preserved atrium has a little temple in one corner and an intact wooden roof that extends out to the center opening, where water drained to collect in the pool below. Inside the rooms are decorated with scenes from Homer's Iliad, and the peristyle is surrounded by a beautiful painted colonnade. You can also visit the little House of the Lovers and Via dellâ€™Abbondanza close by.
As the oldest surviving Roman amphitheater the massive amphitheater is dating back from 80 BC. The swimming pool in the center of the Palaestra is surrounded on three sides by colonnades. Beyond the Porta di Nocera, outside the city walls, is a cementry, much like those that lay outside the walls of all Roman ancient towns.
Near Porta Ercolano you will find these houses. The House of the Faun is the most palatial mansion in Pompeii, but sadly all its art treasures - including outstanding mosaics - were carted off to the museum in Naples. The House of Marcus Lucretius has well-preserved paintings, and the House of the Silver Wedding has a fine atrium and peristyle. The House of the Gilded Cupids garden still preserves its original marble decoration.
6.VILLA OF THE MYSTERIES
Built in the second century BC, the villa contains the finest surviving ancient wall paintings, preserved in all the brilliance of their original colors. The most remarkable of these is a frieze 17 meters long in the large triclinium, so large that its figures are almost life-size.
The Forum â€“ the principle square of the town, is enclosed by colonnades and bounded on the north by the Temple of Jupiter, rising on a three-meter base. The Forum is surrounded by various shrines, temples and other buildings. Highlights is the Shrine of the Lares, The Temple of Vespasian, the Curia and the temple of Apollo.
8.TERME STABIANE â€“ STABIAN BATHS
The baths is located at the corner of Via dellâ€™Abbondanza and Via Stabina. The entrance leads into the colonnaded palaestra, with a swimming pool on the left; on the right are the male and female baths, separated by the stoves for heating the water. The facilities each consists of a circular cold bath, a changing room with racks for clothing, a warm bath, and a hot bath heated by air-ducts in the floor and walls. Also part of the complex is a gymnasium where the Gladiators trained.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
There is only one way to get around Old Pompeii: on foot, like the Romans did. There is a large lot directly outside the city gates where you can park your car for a flat fee, and then continue on foot.
The weather is Pompeii is Mediterranean. Dry summers and Mild winters make it a pleasant place to visit all-round the year.