Top 10 Things to do in Pompeii, Italy

December 21, 2017 Kelli Reichel

Pompeii is a Roman town frozen in time, thanks to a devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Explore houses from modest to majestic; see Roman shops, baths and brothels; or apply your high-school Latin to the graffiti that's still visible on some of the walls. End your visit at the Villa of the Mysteries, and try to interpret its amazing, bizarre frescoes—scholars have debated their meaning for years.
Restaurants in Pompeii

1. Scavi di Pompei

Porta Marina Superiore (Via Villa dei Misteri) | Piazza Immacolata, Piazza Porta Marina inf., 80045 Pompeii, Italy +39 081 536 9869
Excellent
70%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
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4.5 based on 16 reviews

Scavi di Pompei

Home of the world's most famous volcanic disaster when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., Pompeii is now a significant archeological site that provides an amazing glimpse into the daily life of an average Roman town over two thousand years ago.

Reviewed By Viorel M

The site as a whole is fantastic considering its history however it was incredibly tourist unfriendly. Access is terribly poor if you go with a buggy or wheelchair and make sure that you book a guide as there is no information whatsoever on what you are looking at. We managed to cover quite a lot of ground with the buggy however but we were knackered by the end of the day.

2. Forum

Pompeii, Italy
Excellent
72%
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23%
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4.5 based on 900 reviews

Forum

Reviewed By Titus D - Sri Lanka

This cannot be missed when visiting the Pompeii. It gives a good idea about the greatness of the ancient city. The forum in Rome seems crowded with buildings but here there seems to be a great central public gathering space with important public buildings surrounding it.
If you already visited Herculaneum you should expect to be impressed. You need at least two hours. This is the real Centre of old Pompeii - big square with everything you expect from Antique Roman life. As the center of social and governmental function, the forums in ancient Roman cities functioned as parade grounds, execution site, elections and more. Flanked by the remains of temples and other buildings, the Forum in Pompeii is a great example of this. Vesuvius stands ominously.
When you reach the forum, you cannot help it to be impressed by its size: It is a grand forum indeed with many of the original features still standing. The site was way beyond what we had expected. Much of the ruins is still in good shape. You have a clear view of Mt. Vesuvius. Take a guide.
The history and the architecture were amazing. The place was packed the day we went but it is so big it's not really a problem. Nobody visiting the site should miss it. It's one of the main draws of the ruins.
We timed it perfectly at dusk and got lighting that was unique and fewer people. From the time you set foot in Pompeii you feel in awe of just how much history has taken place here. The cobblestones are so warn down from thousands of years use. This is a must see in Italy! It's one of the dozen spots you will need to visit.C1What a great place. The forum is where everything happened and to be able to stand in the middle of it where people walked over 200 years ago is wild.

3. Villa dei Misteri

Via Villa Dei Misteri 2, 80045 Pompeii, Italy +39 081 857 5347
Excellent
75%
Good
20%
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4.5 based on 889 reviews

Villa dei Misteri

Reviewed By JnVSydney - Sydney

A decent walk down tomb alley, brought us to the outskirts of the excavation, to a grand villa, seeing the magnificent frescoes was well worth the walk. We especially loved the brilliant colours of the many scenes, (mysteries of initiation). Definetly the highlight of the visit.

4. Teatro Grande

Pompeii, Italy
Excellent
71%
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4.5 based on 661 reviews

Teatro Grande

Reviewed By Titus D - Sri Lanka

A formidable size reconstructed theatre complex in Pompei. A real great feature of this theater lies in fact that it has got one very nice natural background which could be used as scenery, like the ring of Mountains behind Pompeii.
Probably quite sizable for the population of Pompeii before the Mt Vesuvius eruption. Configuration of the theatre and acoustic wise, the Greeks and Romans had it all thought out.
This is the one where Pink Floyd played a few years ago. This is an interesting section of the magnificent remains of ancient Pompeii. It is amazing how this theater is big, with remarkable capacity of holding up to five thousands spectators in those ancient times.
Very atmospheric for a concert and it must have been inspiring for a modern day audience. Feat to ancient sound engineering (and older than the Coliseum in Rome), our tour guide demonstrated how the voices of the actors on stage amplified so that all theater goers 2000-years ago could hear them from the front row to the upper seats.
It is a must when in Pompei to visit this nice spectacle theatre, very well reconstructed and also the little Odeon: the theatre is immense over 3000 places and they have spectacles in summer times.
Our group would shout or sing and the echo and acoustical elements of this area are still in-tact which was incredible given how open it is
The theatre is again being put to use, yet its architecture alone is inspiring enough to spend time simply sitting and admiring it. Photographers will love it.
Very interesting to sit in the audience seats and contemplate how well everyone could see and hear the productions. Better seen with a guide or audio guide to appreciate construction nuances colour walkings through the different sites of old Pompeii, we simply couldn't miss this magnificent building constructed in the 2nd century B.C. It is located a little bit toward the east from the Scavi di Pompei and Foro di Pompei.
Very imposing is also the Colonnade, set aside, which serves as the place to be within for the spectators during the intervals or at the end of the performance.
There is a marked spot in the center of the stage (marked by a small different colored marble stone) where the acoustic effects of the theater design can be personally experienced.
Here, there was no canopy as the permanent covering like it was the case at the Small Theatre.

5. Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Rosary

Piazza Bartolo Longo 1, 80045 Pompeii, Italy +39 081 857 7111
Excellent
73%
Good
21%
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4.5 based on 1 reviews

Sanctuary of the Madonna of the Rosary

Reviewed By Titus D - Sri Lanka

Beautiful church that will amaze you. If you fancy the styles of gorgeous decoration and sumptuous coloration that followed the Renaissance, this Neapolitan Baroque church will be a favorite. The entire interior is exquisite. You can get a sense by pictures. But it has to be seenV
The entry fee is €2 . This majestic Cathedral is the biggest one in Pompei and is looking fabulous from outside and inside
What a beautiful church. We were blown away at the beauty of this sanctuary. We went to see the church, but became a part of the ceremony in the church, it was like hearing angels singing. We are so happy having this fantastic day here. Thank lord it was possible to come here this day
Having queued across Italy for this type of experience before i was shocked that there were no lines and relatively no hype about going up this bell tower. We ventured up for one of the best views of Italy. I have had and an amazing view across ancient and contemporary Pompei.
Explore the architecture that you just don't see in the US.
A funny thing, I think it's a popular place for the local street dogs to go and sunbathe. I talked to a few people that mentioned the sleeping dogs in the sun, which we came across, as well.
The main entrance outside is very deceiving and looks somewhat of a government building however as soon as we entered, both our mouths were wide open in ore because this church is so beautiful. We have been to many churches in Italy and this is definitely up there with the most beautiful. We sat down for 10 minutes and there is a very relaxing atmosphere. A must do when in Pompeii.
The detail, the color tones, the altar, side chapels, you name it and all are good.
I've seen maybe more impressive architecture, artwork or other singular details. However, as a unity of effort, in its entirety, this one is the most pleasing.
A great atmosphere in this church, beautiful ceiling. Situated on the main square it is well worth a visit for a little, quiet sanctuary time. The interior is striking beautiful and it can be compared with the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.
Such a beautiful surprise in a city known for its ancient ruins. It is a very nice Cathedral in Pompeii. Worth a visit while you are there, after visiting the ruins, it is a walking distance.
The paintings on the ceiling are amazing, and very details. We complete the tour with a visit to the bell tower, in which we can see beautiful city of Pompeii from above. It costs only 2 EUR per person. Another thing worth to mention is the store manned by the sisters of the basilica. We managed to have a chat with them, and purchase some souvenirs. A very memorable experience.

6. Stabian Baths (Terme Stabiane)

Pompeii, Italy +39 081 857 5347
Excellent
75%
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24%
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4.5 based on 322 reviews

Stabian Baths (Terme Stabiane)

Reviewed By JnVSydney - Sydney

We have visited a few roman baths, these have been the highlight so far, giving you a good idea what the bath houses were like back in the day, it was fun walking around taking it all in, hardly anyone around during our visit.

7. House of Menander (Casa del Menandro)

Pompeii, Italy
Excellent
73%
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4.5 based on 131 reviews

House of Menander (Casa del Menandro)

Reviewed By Ignotus - Long Branch, NJ

Visit to Pompeii (guided tour) was superb. So many houses, streets, ruins ... and much remains to be uncovered. Discovered that the frescos - which seem dim and faded to the naked eye - come alive when photographed with a good digital SLR, and even with a high-res smartphone. Take two lenses, snap away, get the right settings, and you'll be amazed by the results. But please, no flash. Ever. OK? Also - there is no shade, so wear a hat, use sunscreen, and take water along.

8. Odeon - Teatro Piccolo

Pompei Scavi, Pompeii, Italy +39 080 045
Excellent
64%
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33%
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4.5 based on 218 reviews

Odeon - Teatro Piccolo

Reviewed By B1714D - Belgrade, Serbia

From two Pompeii Theaters, Grande and Piccolo, this the small one, is much better preserved and endured lower damage than the bigger one. It could accommodate 1000 people for music and theater shows. During it's usage it was roofed.

9. Terme del Foro

Pompei Antica, Pompeii, Italy +39 081 857 5111
Excellent
70%
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26%
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4.5 based on 288 reviews

Terme del Foro

The largest baths of Ancient Pompeii

Reviewed By lollygal - New York City, New York

The ruins are restored so that you can walk the ancient streets as the Pompeii residents did before the eruption on 79 AD, that destroyed their city. The frescos are still vibrant and beautiful. The walkways and hime remain to be viewed and enjoyed.

10. Casa del Fauno

Pompeii, Italy
Excellent
66%
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28%
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4.5 based on 392 reviews

Casa del Fauno

Reviewed By B1714D - Belgrade, Serbia

Compared to nowadays standards this would be a villa overlooking the ocean with private access, park, pool,....
The house of Faun is the most palatial mansion in Pompeii. Apart from the famous statue (replica), little can be seen as all treasures are now housed in Naples museum.

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