8:30 AM to 7:30 PM
Nov-Mar (November 1 to March 31)
8:30 AM to 5 PM
On the morning of 23 August 79AD, Vesuvius erupted, covering the Roman city of Pompeii, which lay to the south, in a choking cloud of ash and stone. Dating back to the seventh century BC, the city in its heyday was a busy commercial center and home to 25,000 people. The vast complex of streets laid out in grid pattern reveal secrets at every turn, too vast to describe in detail. Instead, here’s a list of highlights, mostly found in the western area of the ruins, entranced through Porta Marina. The Forum was the focus of Pompeii’s civic life, surrounded by temples and administrative buildings; a giant statue of Jupiter still guards the temple remains, and in the granary there are gruesome plaster casts of bodies frozen where they fell 2,000 years ago. In the Forum Baths explore the bathing rooms, the hypocaust that warmed the water, and the gymnasium. The House of the Faun, north of the Forum, was the grandest villas in aristocratic Pompeii, impressive for its size and statue of the bronze faun in the doorway. The House of the Vetti and the Brothel both boast bawdy mosaics and statuary, while the Amphitheater, one of the best preserved in existence, could seat 20,000.