Pom­peii was one of the largest and most col­or­ful Ital­ian cities built dur­ing the Roman era. Thanks to the large pro­duc­tion and export of oil and wine, Pom­peii became a very wealthy city and a tourist cen­ter for the Roman patri­cians.


In AD 79, Vesu­vius destroyed the city with a vio­lent erup­tion, cov­er­ing the Roman city in a 12-meter lay­er of fine ash, which pre­served the city and its suf­fo­cat­ed inhab­i­tants for near­ly 1,700 years. Ongo­ing exca­va­tions, begun in the 18th cen­tu­ry, have unearthed many arti­facts, as well as reveal­ing intri­cate details of the dai­ly lives of the doomed inhab­i­tants of Pom­peii.

The city attracts mil­lions of tourists every year also because of the pres­ence of the Church of the Blessed Vir­gin of the Holy Rosary. He is revered by Catholics all over the world. On the days of prayers to the Vir­gin Mary (May 8 and the first Sun­day in Octo­ber), the city receives about six mil­lion pil­grims who reach Pom­peii in pri­vate cars and bus­es. Between the exca­va­tions and the Sanc­tu­ary of Pom­peii hide oth­er beau­ties that deserve atten­tion. Below we will tell you about the sights worth vis­it­ing in Pom­peii, with­out miss­ing any­thing about its thou­sand-year his­to­ry. You can find more inter­est­ing infor­ma­tion about var­i­ous places of inter­est in Ital­ian cities on the Guide Tours por­tal.

Sights of Pompeii

1. Forum

The Forum, locat­ed at the archae­o­log­i­cal site of Pom­peii, was the eco­nom­ic, polit­i­cal and reli­gious cen­ter of the Ital­ian city. It was the place where all pub­lic dis­cus­sions and reli­gious events took place, and it was the real heart of the city.

In the begin­ning, it was not a very large area, and there were sev­er­al shops where goods were sold. In the sec­ond cen­tu­ry BC, the inhab­i­tants of Pom­peii decid­ed to give the Forum a more appro­pri­ate struc­ture, based on the task assigned to it. The square was enlarged, shops were re-clad, walk­ways were added to pro­tect pedes­tri­ans from the rain, and pub­lic build­ings were built on the sides of the square. The dec­o­ra­tion of the Pom­peii Forum was com­plet­ed by replac­ing the old tuff floor with a more beau­ti­ful traver­tine floor, the remains of which can still be seen today.

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Once in the cen­ter of the square, the ruins of the Tem­ple of Apol­lo attract atten­tion. It is the most impor­tant ancient reli­gious site in Pom­peii.

2. Lupanar


The inhab­i­tants of Pom­peii, like good pagans, loved car­nal plea­sures and eas­i­ly demon­strat­ed their pas­sions. In many hous­es of Pom­peii there were secret rooms in which slaves of wealthy mas­ters for­ni­cat­ed. You could buy a small com­pa­ny for any­where from two to eight “assis” (the cur­ren­cy of Pom­peii at the time), an afford­able amount for almost every­one, giv­en that the aver­age price for a glass of wine was one “assis”.

Lupa­nar (from “Lupo” mean­ing wolf, because “wolf” is Latin for “pros­ti­tute”) is the only build­ing in Pom­peii built specif­i­cal­ly for this pur­pose. The broth­el, locat­ed in the ruins of Pom­peii, was divid­ed into two floors, each of which was reserved for a cer­tain type of clien­tele. The first floor, con­sist­ing of five bed­rooms, a cor­ri­dor and a bath­room, was intend­ed for low­er class clients. How­ev­er, the first floor was reserved for upper class clients. A pri­vate entrance and bal­cony roof gave access to the rooms and were dec­o­rat­ed with exquis­ite taste. On the walls, you can still see small pic­tures depict­ing insa­tiable lovers in var­i­ous erot­ic posi­tions, ide­al for lazy lovers look­ing for inspi­ra­tion.

3. House of the Faun

The own­er of the “House of the Faun”, in the archae­o­log­i­cal site of Pom­peii, would def­i­nite­ly be one of the most envi­able men in the city. The ruins of the house resem­ble a huge com­plex with rooms and areas designed for var­i­ous pur­pos­es. The own­er of the prop­er­ty could not be iden­ti­fied from the remains. This build­ing was called the “House of the Faun” because of the bronze stat­ue of a danc­ing faun, which was in the cen­ter of one of the main halls.

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4. Amphitheater


The amphithe­ater, locat­ed at the end of Via del Abbon­dan­za, in the archae­o­log­i­cal site of Pom­peii, is the old­est stone build­ing of its kind ever dis­cov­ered. In fact, its con­struc­tion dates back to 80 BC, and Rome’s first amphithe­ater, the Sta­tilio Tau­ro, was built in 29 BC.

One of the fea­tures of the amphithe­ater dis­cov­ered dur­ing the exca­va­tions of Pom­peii is that this struc­ture did not have a cel­lar under the floor of the are­na, as was the case ear­li­er in the same build­ing of the impe­r­i­al era.

At the top of the amphithe­ater you can see the large open­ings used to rein­force the roof of the are­na to pro­tect the spec­ta­tors from the scorch­ing sun, wind and rain. Thus, per­for­mances could take place at any time of the year, regard­less of weath­er con­di­tions.

5. Temple of Apollo


The Tem­ple of Apol­lo, fac­ing the Forum of the city, is the old­est build­ing in Pom­peii and illus­trates the changes in archi­tec­tur­al styles that have tak­en place since its incep­tion in the 6th cen­tu­ry BC. until its destruc­tion in 79 AD. The orig­i­nal Etr­uscan design was mod­i­fied by the Greeks and then expand­ed by the Romans by adding the perime­ter of the out­er columns. Although most of the orig­i­nal bronze stat­ues of the tem­ple are now in the Nation­al Archae­o­log­i­cal Muse­um of Naples, a copy of Apol­lo and a bust of the god­dess Diana stand in their place.

6. Villa of Mysteries


The Vil­la of the Mys­ter­ies in Pom­peii is an ancient Roman house locat­ed near the city and the archae­o­log­i­cal site. It is impos­si­ble to estab­lish the own­er of this mag­nif­i­cent build­ing, but some ruins sug­gest that some wealthy Roman patri­cian may have been the own­er. Some argue that the vil­la belonged to Livia, the wife of Emper­or Augus­tus, as a stat­ue depict­ing her was found in the ruins. The Vil­la of Mys­ter­ies takes its name from a series of paint­ings dis­cov­ered in one of the rooms of the house, the mean­ing of which some experts are still try­ing to deter­mine.

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7. Runaway Garden

runaway garden

The Gar­den of the Run­aways is by far the most heart­break­ing site of the end of Pom­peii with the erup­tion of Vesu­vius in 79 AD. Dur­ing the exca­va­tions of 1961–1962 and 1973–19774, the bod­ies of 13 vic­tims of the erup­tion, affect­ed by lava and lapil­lus, were found. Men, women, and chil­dren from one or more fam­i­ly groups were suf­fo­cat­ed by gas­es and then slow­ly cov­ered in ash.

The fig­ures that you see today in the gar­den of the fugi­tives are per­fect plas­ter repro­duc­tions that allow us to under­stand the last moments of the life of these inhab­i­tants of Pom­peii.