Easily one of the most famous attractions in Italy, the ruins of Pompeii have been beckoning tourists the dry and dusty site of one of the most widely known volcanic eruptions that the world has ever known. All that remains now is a strange tangle of half-restored temples and eateries, preserved bodies and a general sense of the power of nature.
Once a thriving resort town where the wealthy lived and played, the remnants of these riches are filthy with ash and exist only to awe visitors taking the prerequisite Pompeii tour when they reach the city. Pompeii Italy could be the epicenter for the next great cultural revolution - and it would still be the ruins of Pompeii that the area was famous for.
But some of these ruins can stand with the best of what Rome has to offer – though there is no Colosseum, no Roman Forum, what is left is a more dynamic glimpse into everyday life in the city of Pompeii Italy, and an evocative look at what the city must have looked like in ancient times. Collectively known as the Ufficio Scavi di Pompeii, most Pompeii tours revolve around the villas that were once home to aristocrats and highly successful merchants. The best of these villas is the House of the Vettii, whose well maintained gardens and semi-erotic frescoes and other paintings usually make the house one of the most popular photo opportunities. It’s definitely the best preserved example of an ancient Italian villa not only on a Pompeii tour, but anywhere in the country. Only slightly less impressive is the House of the Mysteries, whose frescoes are even more evocative, though the building itself has suffered the expected wear and tear throughout the centuries. Another notable villa is called the House of the Faun due to a bronze statue of its namesake, while its enormous gardens are quite a sight to behold.
The rest of the ruins of Pompeii include the two temples and relatively gigantic church that surround the forum in the heart of the city. The bathhouses help make Pompeii tours so popular too, as one can see anything from ancient skeletons to even more erotic frescoes. Between all the nudity and Bacchanalian scenes, it seems that death and destruction are not the only prevailing themes that presented by the ruins of Pompeii Italy.
The grounds are only accessible during afternoon hours, closing as early as 3:30 pm depending on the season, so make sure you get there with enough time to gawk at the broken and brown city. Many travelers choose not to stay in one of the limited number of hotels that are offered here, preferring to travel the extra 14 miles to Naples or Salerno for better options, or at least cheaper ones.