Lying at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii is an ancient, ruined city known for its historic volcanoes covering the city in pumice stone and ash. Pompeii stands out among the fine examples of a true Roman town and its amazing lifestyle as part of the erosion process over centuries. We bring you some of the best things to do in Pompeii that can help you uncover the hidden facets of this antique ruined city.
Ultimate Guide To Visiting Pompeii
You can count it among the best things to do in Pompeii. Amphitheatre has a rich history dating back to 80 BC. The massive theatre is one of the architectural marvels built by the Roman Empire, housing easily 12000 attendants. Explore this place early morning or during the late afternoons.
This amazing museum is your answer to what to do in Pompeii if you are a history lover. Browse through the intense collection of interpretive displays, artefacts discovered during the excavations, and many art collections before the Roman era. In addition, it’s fascinating to discover daily lifestyle items like vessels, small household items, furnishings, and rows of the amphora.
Exploring Forum is one of the best things to do in Pompeii as it is surrounded by colonnades and the Temple of Jupiter towards its north. A hot favourite here is the Macellum, which sells local delicacies for visitors. The Temple of Vespasian, Curia, and the Shrine of the Lares are other tourist hotspots.
Garden of the Fugitives
Placed at the backside of Pompeii, the Garden of the Fugitives features an ancient vineyard where you will find 13 body casts of the local population which unfortunately couldn’t make it alive. So instead, these body casts are frozen in a grotesque and agonizing tableau that displays the true picture of the last final moments in the city.
House of the Faun
This large house in Pompeii got its name derived due to the incredible statue in its front courtyard that was built during the 2nd century BC and detailed an intense artwork of a battle scene. This structure has undergone several rounds of weathering but still stands strong even today, better than many ancient Roman sites built during the same era.
House of Menander
One of the well-preserved buildings in Pompeii is the House of Menander, where you get to see the wealthy nature of the house owner right from the entrance through the flanker pillars with Corinthian capitals. This historic site is the perfect answer if you ever want to know what to do in Pompeii. In addition, there is a small temple where rainwater collects to form a beautiful pool. A gorgeous painted colonnade decorates the interiors making it more appealing to the entire tourist population.
House of Sallust
This house easily counts among the oldest preserved houses in the entire city of Pompeii. Built in the 4th century BC, the House of Sallust encompasses royalty due to its privileged location and gigantic size. The upper floors have operated as an inn at some point in history. During your exploration journey, don’t miss out on browsing through the small garden, a fresco of the goddess Diana, the covered porch in the backyard, and the tiny treat shop.
House of the Small Fountain
This gorgeous house features among the best things to do in Pompeii with its large back rooms, a marvellous artwork fountain, spectacular frescoes, and beautiful interiors displaying loud and clear opulence. The house uses several innovative and creative examples as part of its construction during their era with rainwater harvesting that can get converted into a beautiful fountain.
House of Venus in the Shell
Witnessing the colourful fresco of the goddess Venus among very few crowds counts among the best things to do in Pompeii. The house also features a detailed statue of Mars and a few gardens that were renovated and restored in the 1950s post the damage in World War II and when Vesuvius erupted.
House of the Vettii
This house was owned by two middle-class brothers who were doing well for themselves and lived in this charming well-decorated home that is visible through the displayed artefacts. It features some of the best frescoes, marble interiors, a fresco painting, a replanted garden, some small cooking utensils in the kitchen, and a long frieze of cupids covering the walls.
Wall paintings and furnishings decorate the interiors of this new excavation. The balconies of the houses belonging to the merchants have been well preserved by girders giving a perfect sense of how houses looked two decades ago. You can look to explore the furnishings, frescoes, mosaics, election posters, statues, and simple inscriptions on the walls. The dyer’s workshop, an ironmonger’s shop, and fullers are something that you should miss out on during your visit.
Street of Tombs
Imposing funeral monuments decorating the road from Herculaneum Gate on the road leading to Herculaneum along the borders of Pompeii is among the most impressive surviving example of the Roman era. The large Villa of Diomedes, among the most popular ones, features towards the northwest end and is decorated with an intense garden surrounded by a long portico. The Villa of Diomedes featured several bodies of the people who couldn’t survive during volcanic eruptions.
Temple of Isis
The cult of an Egyptian goddess was well renowned during the Roman era and is placed on the east of the Little Theatre. This temple was renovated in the second century BC. Unfortunately, a massive earthquake in AD 62 destroyed the structure, leading to massive restoration efforts to what is evident today. Don’t miss the courtyard centre nestled by porticoes and the inscriptions painted on the walls by a popular French novelist, Stendhal, in 1817.
The largest well-preserved baths in Pompeii city are the Stabian Baths. You are welcomed into a collonaded palaestra, a luxurious swimming pool, and separate male and female baths separated by the stoves that heat the water. You will get provisions for cold baths, changing with clothing racks, warm baths, and a hot bath heated by air ducts on the walls and the floor, making it among the best things to do in Pompeii.
Villa of the Mysteries
Counted among the finest surviving structures built in the second century BC and is featured among the UNESCO World Heritage sites. This villa features several well-preserved wall paintings, frescoes, and original vibrant colours decorating the interiors with the 17-meter-long gigantic frieze remains the highlights. Unfortunately, you will have to pay an admission fee to explore this historic destination.