That said, there’s something captivating about a visit to Pompeii – respectful visitors can experience a sort of personal restoration by putting oneself in a Roman’s sandals during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvias. You can’t help but be grateful you’re alive. There are Italian tour guides who specialize in tours of Pompeii.
Here are suggestions for the top 10 must-do’s in Italy’s must-see city of Pompeii.
The Villa of the Mysteries
Having sustained little damage in the eruption, the Villa is worth the walk for two reasons: first, to admire colourful frescoes depicting what appears to be the events leading up to a wedding, and, second, to learn what an ancient wine-press looks like (many wealthy Romans had the luxury of dedicating a room to wine making).
The Garden of the Fugitives
Also known as the brothel, this is a must-see, but bring along your patience because crowds tend to gather here due to the intriguing nature of the building. You’ll see the five tiny cubicles where lady-services were provided as well as erotic paintings that, interestingly, acted as the Roman equivalent of today’s Yelp reviews.
The Stabian Baths
The Temple of Isis
This is another you definitely don’t want to skip, largely owing to the Egyptian features (Isis is an Egyptian goddess) and history (fun fact: Mozart is said to have visited the temple in 1769 when he was just 13 years old, and later composed The Magic Flute in ode to his memories of it).
The House of the Tragic Poet
The House of the Faun
This House offers precious insight into Roman aristocratic life. As one of Pompeii’s largest (it occupies an entire city block) it is deemed one of the best showcases of life during the 2nd century BC. Of note is the (recreated) mosaic at the entrance that reads “Have” (“Hail to you”) and the private bath system.
Museo Archeologico Virtuale
To truly get a deep understanding of life in Pompeii before it was buried under a sea of ash, visit the Museo Archeologico Virtuale just steps from ancient Herculaneum. Here, reconstructions, visual interfaces and holograms transport you into a virtual world where you can pretend to be living amongst the Pompeians of long ago. The MAV intrigues people of all ages; after all, who wouldn’t enjoy a multimedia installation that allows you to wipe the steam off a window that looks into a Roman bathhouse?
Golden Ice Gelateria
Though not quite as old as the aforementioned sights, this Gelateria deserves to go down in history: the abundant fresh fruit packed into the gelato, reasonable prices (hefty portions mean you get big bang for your buck), and friendly scoopers make this stop a must, especially after a day spent on your feet. Alternatively, you can enjoy a traditional lunch in a winery restaurant that specializes in local and organic fare.
What part of Pompeii has you most interested?