Best walking route to take in Pompeii

It’s no surprise that one day in Pompeii is not enough time to see all the sites, but for many travellers, this might be your only chance to visit the ancient city. So, if you’ve decided to treat yourself with a day trip to this once bustling metropolis, you have a few options in terms of what route you should take to best make use of the time you have. A shorter track usually lasts for about two hours, or if you’re wanting a more comprehensive experience, a longer route will usually take around 6 hours to complete.

It’s good to note that there are two entrances to Pompeii, the main entrance is Porta Marina, which is the busier of the two, and then there’s the second entrance; Piazza Anfiteatro. The walking route that we’ve established will take you across the 10 must see attractions at Pompeii, which stretches around 3.4 kilometres. Follow this self guided walking route to enjoy your day at this archaeological wonder.

Basilica

Basilica, Pompeii

The route begins at the Basilica, which is closest to the Porta Marina entrance, so we suggest you start here. Dating back to the second century BC, its currently the oldest in existence and boasts impressive columns and structure, so it is easy to imagine the magnitude and significance of the site. This site was used to conduct business affairs and was the most important area in society, like how a stoa would be in Ancient Greece. Accessible by the Forum, it was the place in which legal matters were brought to justice and the walls were lined with marble, richly decorated to boast the importance of the building.

Forum

Next, we discover more of the Forum at Pompeii, the religious, cultural and societal hub for life in Ancient Pompeii. It was common for the residents of Pompeii to walk through this populous as it was a large central space that was imperative in the daily lives of the citizens. The entrance of the Forum was branded by two imposing imperial arches and the whole area was the foundation for temples, municipal offices and the Basilica. Originally, there were multiple statues that would have lined the Forum however after the earthquake in 62AD, it seems that they were not ever replaced.

House of the Tragic Poet

House of the Tragic Poet

This iconic house is a classic example of a typical Pompeii structure from the era. The house draws attention by a famed mosaic that lies at the entrance of the house; with the words ‘Beware of the Dog’ under it. The house is named after a fresco found on the property that depicts a poet reciting his verses. The house is centrally located across from the Forum suggesting that the owner held a significant amount of wealth.

House of the Faun

One of the grandest of houses in Pompeii, the House of the Faun took up an entire city block in Pompeii and takes its name from the statue of a dancing faun found in the entrance the house. Brilliant mosaics were found inside, the most famous of them was a depiction of a painting that reproduced the battle between Alexander and Darius in Issus. At the entrance you’ll come across a Latin inscription with the words “HAVE”, meaning welcome. The aristocratic house is important to scholars as it explains the housing style of the period better than other archaeological excavations because of the layout of the ruins which remains mostly intact today.

House of Apollo

House of Apollo

The House of Apollo is next on the walking trail, named for the sculptures and frescoes of the God of Sun that was found in a back room of the house. Originally a two-storey building, much of the house has been destroyed as the ash from the eruption completely caved in the roof causing the building to collapse. Once richly decorated in mosaics and frescoes, during the major excavation of 1830 much of the scenery was lost, however there are still remnants of these artworks in some of the rooms of the house that can be viewed today.

Lupanar

The name of this building translated from Latin is “wolf’s den” and was one of twenty five brothels in the city. Its lewd advertising and graffiti from customers that marked the wall makes this an attraction that is popular among visitors due to its outlandish nature. It was the official brothel of the city and held several visitors during its prime from the city and outer neighbourhoods.

Stabian Baths

These public baths were a major part of Pompeii daily life for its citizens, and is located on Via Stabiana, in which its name derives. They are opulently decorated and encompasses a complex that also included an outside pool and a gymnasium. An important social hub for the citizens of Pompeii, men and women had separate bathing areas with the same type of rooms, however the men’s area was decidely more ornately decorated.

Great Theatre

The Large Theatre is divided into three main parts and was the home of plays and other forms of entertainment. It is based on a Greek architectural plan, using the natural terrain as its basis for construction, as opposed to the Roman way which is by starting with a man-made structure.

Amphitheatre

The oldest of its kind, the amphitheatre of Pompeii remained intact during the eruption of Vesuvius and gives a taste of the atmosphere that would have been felt at gladiatorial battles. It could seat about 20,000 spectators so attracted people from outside the city gates of Pompeii. This once resulted in a brawl at the amphitheatre with the result being a 10-year ban on games at the stadium placed by Emperor Nero.

Villa of Mysteries

The appeal of this villa in Pompeii resides in the dining room, where a fresco depicting a person being initiated into a cult of the God of wine; Dionysus lives. This illustrious villa was a farmhouse of sorts at the time of the eruption and boasts several rooms such as multiple kitchens, a grape pressing room, courtyards and altars.