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How long to spend in Pompeii?

Philadelphia, PA
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How long to spend in Pompeii?

I am trying to plan a day trip to Pompeii from Rome and I was wondering how much time to give us in Pompeii? We will be going in mid July, so it will be hot. Just wondering how long it takes to see.

In addition, what sites are the most important sites to see there?

Norwich, United...
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1. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

Almost too much has been made recently of how hot it is at Pompei and of course nothing makes it particularly warmer than anywhere else up or down the Bay - there's no localised pool of magma warming those ancient stone street or whatever! (Oh, actually there is of course, but let's forget about that!)

Indeed, you can see what TA itself thinks of the climate etc here....

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187786-s208/Pompeii:…

Top monthly average temperatures of 84F / 29C in July and August...

Instead what happens is that many people will do the exact opposite of all that makes sense - stomping around in the midday sun, fully clothed, long before they've properly acclimatised to Italy's summer, dragging bags of picnic and/or camera equipment, spurning the opportunity to sit and rest in the cafetieria..... need I go on?

Do the obvious stuff - stop to read your guidebook in the shade, not out in the sun - wear a hat - take your time, and remember it's not a race.

I'd say you're likely to have had enough before four hours are over, though making a stop for lunch may well gain you a second wind - but it's not unknown for people to get round and see all they want to in two hours.

Tucked away on the Pompei site there's some fairly useful stuff..... though you may find its arrangement a little odd - particularly...

themed itineraries:

www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp…

recent developments etc:

www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp…

And you may care to download and print the maps here...

www.unicocampania.it/index.php…

Peter

Houston, Texas
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2. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

We just visited Pompeii and would recommend that you visit

the National Archaeological Museum in Naples before you visit the ruins in Pompeii. Our visit was enhanced by having a professional guide to give us insights to the deeper meaning of the artifacts. We used Dr. Pina Esposito, who has a doctorate in Greco-Roman studies (contact via email annamariaesposito1@virgilio.it). Dr. Pina was recommended in Rick Steves’ Italy travel guide. Many of the artifacts that were found in Pompeii have been moved to the museum in Naples.

I don't know how much money you are planning spend on your trip to Pompeii but having a guide was very useful since the guide was able to use her connections to have us visit a house in Pompeii that was not open to everyone. We know this because a guard unlocked the gate to the home and stayed with us during the entire visit. I have an interest in history and had read several books on Pompeii and Rome. During the guided tour, I asked many questions which were answered knowledgeably by Dr. Esposito. We spent about 2 hours in the museum and another 3 hours in Pompeii.

Have an enjoyable visit in Pompeii since it is one of the wonders of the world.

Osaka, Japan
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3. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

"stomping around in the midday sun, fully clothed"

Something like 'only mad dogs and Englishmen', except I guess the mad dogs are not fully clothed.

St Paul, MN
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4. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

It is very hot all over Italy in July. In Pompeii itself there is very little shade.

The Naples Archeological Musems is at least out of the sun. What you do and do not see there can vary a lot depending on what is begin restored, what they are currenlty just keeping locked up (2 years of Pompeii fresco wing being locked up), and what chunk of the collection is currently on tour somewhere else. There is really no reason to see the musuem "first", since in my case I have spent a total of 4 days at Pompeii and didn't get to see very much at the Museum when I did go. I had already seen some of the artifacts stored in the Archeological museum in coffee table books and Archeology books. I have seen more Pompeii frescoes in those books and in exhibilitons in Rome and St Paul, MN than I actuallly saw in the Naples Archeological Musuem when I went there. Next time the collection tours the Field Museum in Chicago, I will have to make a point of seeing what else I missed out on.

If you prepare ahead of time, there are many archeology books that you can buy on Amazon.com to more than adequately prepare oneself for Pompeii and Herculaneum if one puts in some prep time.

5. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

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Texas
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6. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

I think the most important thing is to be there when it opens to enjoy the cooler and quieter part of the say - when Pompeii is at its most magical I think.

It's impossible to give an answer to "how long" because people's interest level varies so much.

Please note that you do not need to hire a guide to see the locked houses - any visitor can book a tour of a locked house ahead of time - search "locked" on this forum and you'll see detailed instructions about how to do that yourself.

Ditto on no need to go to the Naples museum first.

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
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7. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

Only you can say how long you'll spend--and I wouldn't make that call til you're on the ground in Pompeii!

We saw Ercolano and Pompeii in one very long day. (A wonderful day, I might add) We thought we'd "only" spend a few hours in Pompeii, but ended up leaving at closing time. We just kept finding so many things that fascinated us.

There are good podcasts for Pompeii that you can download on your ipod.

You'll never forget this visit.

Toronto, Canada
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8. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

based on all this talk about the heat, do they have any facilities there for getting drinking water and using the restrooms, etc or is the sight just pure historical and nothing else? I assume that since it's a very famous sight that they would have some sort of facilities there?

Norwich, United...
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9. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

2 million visitors a year, of course they do!

For getting to, and around, the site there are a couple of useful maps, here...

www.unicocampania.it/index.php…

(very slow to download for me just then!?)

The main cafetiera/restaurant is near numbers 15 & 69 on the site map, and there are several drinking taps - maybe take at least an empty plastic bottle?

Peter

St Paul, MN
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10. Re: How long to spend in Pompeii?

What I would recommend is visting Pompeii in the off-season when it isn't so hot. If you don't work at a school or are taking school children, this is a great option. I have been to Pompeii twice in Feb/March and it's very pleasant then. I was in the Bay of Naples in May of 2008, and by the end of May after an 11 day stay it was getting too warm for us.

There are a lot of people (myself included) who even after a week in Italy don't acllimatize to the sun and the heat. last time I was in Rome at the End of March I got sunburned just sitting in the sun on a bench on the Palatine deleting pictures on my digital camera. I hadn't considered this possibily and had to go out to and Italian pharnmacy and buy sunblock.