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- 16 Dec 2019, 3 nights
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The city of Pompei in southern Italy lies in the shadow of its active volcano, Vesuvius. It's most famous for the eruption in 79 AD that buried the ancient city under a layer of ash, perfectly preserving a treasure trove for future archaeologists. Hostels in modern-day Pompei have easy access to the ruins and the city’s other attractions. Travellers often visit as a day trip from Naples or Sorrento, but if you stay overnight you can take your time and be rewarded with an authentic experience once the crowds depart.
You can sleep in a suburban villa with a large garden and a sun deck. Choose a Pompeii hostel with a terrace overlooking Mount Vesuvius or a swimming pool to cool off after a day exploring the ruins. Some hostels in Pompeii come with a free breakfast of Italian pastries and coffee too. Chat to staff about booking tickets for the ruins or advice on the best pizzeria and look out for Pompeii hostels with transfer services to the airport.
Piazza Bartolo Longo is the main square in modern-day Pompei, home to a 19th-century cathedral known for its Our Lady of the Rosary painting. Via Lepanto and Via Roma connect to create a boulevard that stretches from the cathedral towards the ancient city. This area is busy with locals taking a stroll, buying gelato or browsing in shops. In the hottest part of the day, you can join them in relaxing under the shade of a market umbrella with a cold glass of Peroni.
The Ruins of Pompei are the biggest attraction in the area. Tour guides can show you around or you can hire an audio guide to explore key sights like the frescoed Villa of Mysteries, the Lupanar brothel and the bronze dancing statue at the House of the Faun. To hike up Mount Vesuvius, you can catch a shuttle and then take a half-hour walk to gaze into the steaming crater and look out across the Bay of Naples.
The Circumvesuviana trains run regularly between Naples and Sorrento, stopping at Pompei Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station just in front of the Forum in the ancient city. Regional trains stop at Pompei station in the modern part of town. The closest airport is Naples International Airport, 28km away. You'll need to catch the airport shuttle to Naples Central Station, which takes 20 minutes, and then connect with the Circumvesuviana line. It'll take around 40 minutes from Naples to Pompei.