Visiting Pompeii with kids – Including Fun Facts
Heading to the famous Pompeii ruins in Italy sometime soon? Or just curious about Pompeii? This guide gives you a list of Pompeii facts for kids to learn before you go and visit one of Italy’s most famous attractions. And if you are planning on visiting the Pompeii with kids, you will also find some helpful tips for your trip.
Pompeii, an ancient Roman city located at the base of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy, is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world today.
Despite what a lot of people might tell you, Pompeii makes for an interesting trip with kids and family. If you do it right, it can be a rich and enlightening experience for the younger ones.
However, it helps to be prepared before you make this trip. Knowing where to find what and being aware of what lanes to steer clear of makes your family trip to Pompeii all the more enjoyable.
Our child-friendly guide of the Pompeii ruins will help you make the most of your family trip.
Find below the following information:
- Brief history of Pompeii
- Interesting facts about Pompeii
- Tips for making your visit to Pompeii with kids interesting
- Practical information about your visit including location, cost etc.
Pompeii Facts for Kids
Find below a brief history of Pompeii, and some some facts about the Pompeii for kids.
Brief History of Pompeii
Pompeii was a prosperous Roman town located near modern day Naples. It was filled with exquisitely decorated villas, beautiful monuments, and well-maintained gardens in its heyday. Not hard to believe that it was a popular vacation destination for wealthy Romans.
Unfortunately, not everything good lasts forever. On the 24th of August, AD 79, Pompeii was completely buried under volcanic ash from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius nearby. More than 10,000 people living in Pompeii were caught off guard and ran for their lives. Not all of them could make it out alive.
A thick layer of ash enveloped the entire city. The thriving life of Pompeii was lost to the world for many centuries after that.
Pompeii, Frozen in time
High heat and molten lava caused Pompeii to be caught in a time warp. People were frozen in whatever position they were in. Ironically, the eruption of Vesuvius preserved the city of Pompeii very well.
Pompeii was accorded the UNESCO heritage status in 1997 because of the complete and unique picture it provides of life in those times.
The House of the Faun, the Villa of Mysteries, a large theater, and the Garden of Fugitives are some of the iconic remnants of Pompeii’s past. Extremely well-preserved ruins, frescoes, and other archaeological remains make Pompeii an excellent destination to experience Roman history.
Interesting facts about Pompeii
- Mt. Vesuvius erupted in AD 79 that is nearly 2000 years ago from today.
- More than 10,000 people lived in Pompeii during the eruption. Some of them were able to escape. However, not all were lucky.
- Because of multiple layers of ash that covered Pompeii, the city was caught in a time capsule. The ash actually helped preserve buildings, artwork, even jars of fruit, and loaves of bread.
- Human plaster casts are the most famous and recognisable artefacts of Pompeii.
- Even before the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii had been shaken by multiple earthquakes. The one in AD 62 was particularly destructive.
- Today, Pompeii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. It attracts more than 2.5 million tourists every year.
Tips for making Pompeii fun and engaging for your kids
A trip to Pompeii is like traveling back in time. A little pre-reading can help children imagine life from 2000 years ago. And ancient houses, shops, eateries, and a stadium perfectly aid this learning process.
With these little tips and tricks, you can make Pompeii an enriching experience for those curious, young minds.
- Book a kid-friendly tour guide to help you glide through the many mazes and lanes of Pompeii. A knowledgeable guide will know just the right stuff to bring the city back to life for the young ones.
- Pompeii is huge. Chart out a plan beforehand on the places you would really want to see and those that can be missed in the paucity of time.
- You will want to avoid the brothels at Pompeii if you are traveling with kids. These places have some really elaborate murals that the kids don’t need to see.
- It can get unbearably hot during the day. And there is hardly any shade at Pompeii. Make sure you carry some snacks, water, hats, and sunscreen. Even better, go early in the morning or later in the day.
- The bumpy Roman roads of Pompeii cannot handle a stroller. Even though there is a small wheelchair trail, it is advisable to bring a baby carrier if you are planning to see a good bit of Pompeii.
Now for the more practical information to help you navigate your way there.
How to get to Pompeii?
Pompeii is quite close to Naples (only 25 km). So, you can easily do a day trip to Pompeii from here. A drive takes only about 30 minutes. If you are driving in from Rome, it can easily take 3 hours for you to get to the Pompeii archaeological area. A day trip from Rome is still doable if you really want to see it. It will just be a long day.
If you are not driving, the easiest way to get to Pompeii is by using the Circumvesuviana train that runs between Naples and Sorrento. Get off at the Pompeii Scavi/Villa dei Misteri station and walk 5 minutes to get to Pompeii’s main entrance at Porta Marina.
Big bags and backpacks are not allowed inside Pompeii. Remember to check in your baggage at the site entrance or the train station.
What are the opening hours?
Pompeii is open between 9 am – 7:30 pm every Monday to Friday between 1st April – 31st October. It opens at 8:30 am on Saturdays and Sundays. Last admission is at 6 pm.
Opening hours in winter (1st November – 31st March) are between 9 am to 5 pm. Last admission is at 3:30 pm.
Pompeii is closed to the public on 1 January, 1 May, and 25 December.
Where to buy your tickets from?
You can buy your tickets from any of the ticket offices at the three entrances to the Pompeii Archaeological Area – Porta Marina, Piazza Esedra, and Piazza Anfiteatro. Do not purchase tickets from unauthorized sellers outside the entrances.
If you want to save time and skip the line, we suggest buying your tickets online through Klook who have some great options. You can see their special tour of the Pompei Ruins here.
Should you pre-buy tickets?
Pre-buying tickets is not necessary but highly recommended if you are traveling with kids. Depending on the day and time of your arrival, the queue at the ticket office can take anywhere between 5 minutes to over an 1 hour.
Weekends are very busy, especially in summer. And between 10 am – 12 noon is the busiest time of the day. Book your tickets online if you are not too excited about a long wait in the sun.
Is a tour helpful?
It is always helpful to book an advanced tour of Pompeii. The archaeological site is huge and it is easy to get lost here. A tour guide will not only help save your time and energy but also take you to hidden corners and give you those enlightening snippets that can make your trip a memorable one. We recommend the Klook Tours, as they are a reputable company, you can book online and skip the lines.
Pompeii – A great day trip from Naples
Pompeii is a wonderful place to be with kids and makes a great day trip from Naples, or Sorrento. Make sure you follow these small tips and tricks for an unforgettable experience.