Pompeii Ruins, Must See 49 Pompeii Attractions

Visit Pompeii Ruins in Italy and use the Pompeii Self Guided Tour, Map and Pompeii Attractions Guide

Use the Pompeii Italy map & this self guided tour to visit the Pompeii ruins. There are over 49 popular attractions including 8 gates. You can also download the google Pompeii map of the Pompeii ruins and use it offline as your Pompeii self guided tour. It’s a good idea to do some planning before visiting Pompeii ruins because if you put yourself at the mercy of the Pompeii tour guide, you may miss the fun of wandering around at your own pace and discovering the various attractions. We used an official Pompeii tour guide and afterwards realized how much he didn’t cover. It would have been far better to have our own agenda in advance with a map (below) and attractions guide to visit Pompeii

Follow the Pompeii map with images, videos and attractions. Some of the videos are of the site as it stands today while others are a brilliant recreation of life in Pompeii and its surroundings. The video links are on the Pompeii map PDF that you can download. Instructions for download to use offline are HERE


If you want to use your smartphone and follow along with the google Pompeii map while connected to the internet, you can purchase a local tourist SIM card in Italy. There are three main providers and each have their own tourist version of the SIM card. You will need your passport to purchase a SIM card. Purchase directly from the provider and not a kiosk or tobacco shop. You should ask the employee to setup and activate the SIM card for you so that you can avoid any activation issues after you have left the store. Download the interactive Pompeii Map to use it online on your smartphone or download and use it offline while you visit the Pompeii ruins. You should be able to follow along on the map in offline mode

Download Interactive Pompeii Ruins Map to use Online or Offline

Pompeii Self Guided Walking Route

Download Pompeii Ruins PDF Map of Self Self Guided Walking Tour HERE

This post contains affiliate links. That means that I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. 

Visit Pompeii Ruins: General Orientation of Pompeii Attractions

The Pompeii self guided tour of Pompeii ruins will take you to most of the quadrants and it is broken out by geographical sections ie: S/SW, N/NW, S/SE and N/NE. Most of the attractions are in the West section with some in the East. As per the Pompeii map above, you will enter from the main Pompeii entrance (ticket office) in the West section of the Pompeii ruins to start your Pompeii self guided tour

Ticket Purchase

Tickets can be purchase onsite when you arrive or in advance online. Purchasing onsite means that you will have to wait in the lineup which can be very long, while those that purchased a skip the line ticket walk by you and enter the site upon arrival. While you are in line to purchase your ticket, you will be approached by those claiming to be official guides or official ticket booth operators. They will even show you an official “name tag”. They will attempt to take you to their ticket booth. Do not fall for this scam. The office ticket booth operators do not walk around the entrance to sell tickets.

  • A variety of options and combination are available to book online. Book your “skip the line” entry ticket online in advance to avoid the lineup or potential scams when you arrive at the site. Book guided tours, including skip the lines, from reputable companies. Options include an archeologist for a local guide and transportation from various locations. Select the one that best suits you.

The main commercial street is from west (ticket office) to east starting from the west as Via Marina and becomes Via dell’Abbondanza as you walk east (via means street). The major north to south route starts out as Via Dei Vesuvio at the North near the Porto Vesevio and becomes Via Stabian as you walk south. The entire area of Pompeii is broken up into districts (communities) similar to cities today. The regions are divided by roman numerals I to VIII. You will see a plaque when you enter the region, with the region number, district number and perhaps the road name. Each of the attractions will also have a plaque outside with the name of the attraction. Once you understand the basic grid structure of the Pompeii ruins, you can be flexible when using this Pompeii self guided tour.

Lost City of Pompeii Italy: Pompeii Eruption

Pompeii Italy was a thriving commercial center near the Bay of Naples, right on the harbor. It was also the summer home of many wealthy Roman citizens, with a population of approximately 12,000 inhabitants but about 20,000 lived within the vicinity of Vesuvius. Before the Pompeii eruption of Mt. Vesuvius on that fateful day of August 24 in 79AD, there was a major earthquake in 62AD that destroyed many of the buildings in Pompeii. Most of them were rebuilt, others were converted to temples to appease the gods. When you use the Pompeii map and self guided walking tour, you may notice references to the earthquake of 62AD and the volcanic Pompeii eruption of 79AD as Pompeii had two major natural disasters. The Pompeii eruption of 79AD buried the town in 15-20 feet of dust, ash and pyroclastic debris

The Pompeii ruins were raided by thieves who dug under the ruble and made off with valuables such as marble statues and gold coins. Their tunnels were discovered during the excavation of Pompeii. Some of them were marked “House Dug” to let others know what houses had already been looted. The city was eventually forgotten and become part of a myth of the “Lost City”. 

Discovery of Pompeii Ruins: After the Pompeii Eruption

The discovery of Pompeii, Italy had to wait until 1592 when surveyors were digging to create a channel to divert the Sarno River. They ran into ancient walls with frescoes and continued digging and further exploration revealed the presence of the City of Pompeii. Unfortunately what was discovered were frescoes of a sexual nature and therefore they were reburied until the Sarno river diversion was abandoned and the site was left as is until 1748 when the King of Naples wanted to build a summer palace in the area. The surveyors dug the area near Pompeii and discovered the remains of Herculaneum. Excavations of the entire area started around that time frame. Eventually it became a world UNESCO heritage site in 1977 with over 2.5 million visitors a year

Visit Pompeii Ruins, Main Pompeii Entrance: Ticket office

The entrance to Pompeii Italy is directly across the road from the Pompeii Scavi train station. Do not get Pompeii ruins tickets anywhere else. After you get off the train, you will be approached to buy pompeii ruins tickets or hire a Pompeii tour guide, you will be taken to a booth that says “official” and looks official – this is NOT the official place to buy Pompeii ruins tickets or hire a Pompeii tour guide. Keep walking until you reach the true main Pompeii entrance which is a building with park workers behind a glass barrier. The park workers at the archaeological site of Pompeii ruins will not approach you on the street to buy Pompeii ruins tickets

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

The Pompeii ruins self guided tour begins at the Pompeii entrance. Once you enter Pompeii, you will be walking along Via Marina (via=street). On the left will be excavated buildings; these are the Suburban Baths which will be discussed later.  Continue on Via Marina and you will see a ramp that will take you to the Marina Gate = Porto Marina

1. Pompeii Ruins Attractions: Suburban Baths

As you walk from the Ticket office to Porto Marina, on the left you will find one of the many public baths located throughout Pompeii. Keep walking, passing the suburban’s baths on the left, as you head to Porto Marina which was the main entrance into Pompeii from the sea

A. Porto / Gate Marina

You will be walking along via Marina to the Marina Gate. The gate is reached by walking up a ramp. The gate is a huge barrel vault arch and the most impressive of the 7 gates. There are two arches side by side, the taller one for horses, animals and carts, and the smaller one for pedestrian traffic. It leads to the sea where the water lapped right up to the gate. Imagine the busy port harbor directly in front of you instead of the green fields you see today, Pompeii now stands 2km inward from the sea

General Directions:

Walk back out to Via Marina and continue on Via Marina towards the Forum (orange rectangle on the map). On the way you will see the Temple of Venus and the Basilica on your right and the Temple of Apollo on your left

2. Pompeii Attractions: Pompeii Museum

The Museum is around the same area where the Old “Museo Pompeiano” was once located. The museum is found close to the Forum of Pompeii and under the terrace of the Temple of Venus. Originally it was used by the archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli as storage. The world-famous plaster casts of the victims of Pompeii displayed here, in the same position that they died.

3. Pompeii Ruins Attractions: Temple of Venus

Venus was the patron goddess of Pompeii and the temple was dedicated to her. The temple was made entirely out of marble and looked out onto the harbor and was visible to the ships sailing into the harbor. It stood on a podium of 30 x15 meters surrounded by a portico with two rows of columns

4. Pompeii Ruins Attractions: Basilica

It was 1500 sq meters and unlike other Basilica’s, this was not a religious building but a civic and administrative building. Like most historic buildings in Pompeii, it was a peristyle surrounded by 28 columns. The building started out as a marketplace and later became the courthouse. It was a two story building with an inner open courtyard. Corinthian colonnades surrounded the peristyle and there were five doorways that acted as entrances to the Basilica

5. Pompeii Attractions: Temple of Apollo

The ruins of Pompeii include a temple was dedicated to the god Apollo and is one of the oldest places of worship in Pompeii. Onsite is a bronze statue of Apollo with a bow and arrow opposite a bust of Diana (his twin sister). Directly in front of the temple is a travertine stone alter and a sundial off to one side. The temple is surrounded by Corinthian columns with a statutes of gods. The originals are in the museum in Naples; what you see are copies. Apollo was the patron saint of Pompeii and the patron saint of commerce. With the arrivals of the Romans to Pompeii, the cult of Jupiter dominated Pompeii and the Temple of Jupiter became the focus of political, economic and religious life.

There was an access directly from the temple to the forum, however the access was eventually closed when the Temple of Jupiter became the preferred place of worship. At that time access to the Temple was from Via Marina

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

After exploring the Temple of Apollo, enter the Forum to continue the Pompeii tour

6. Pompeii Attractions: The Roman Forum – General Orientation

The Forum or Civil Forum located close to the main gate, was the public square and center of public life. Major events and religious ceremonies were held here and it was the location of public buildings such as the Curia (town council) and the court house

On the west side of the Forum:

Start with the Temple of Apollo on the south west side (from where you entered) which is next to it. Walking north you will see a small alcove with a measuring table called Mensa Ponderaria. Mensa Ponderaria is used to measure dry and liquid goods and assign a weigh to them. North of it is the Granary. Next to the Granary and continuing north you will see the Pompeii public toilets. You should be in the northwest corner of the Forum 

On the east side of the Forum:

Starting at the south and east end of the forum is the Building of Eumachia; north of that is the Temple of Vespasiano; north of the Temple of Vespasiano is the Sanctuary of Lari. Next to it and north of the Sanctuary of Lari is the public food market Macellum. Across from the Macelleum is the Temple of Jupiter with a view of Mt. Vesuvius 8km to the North

7. Pompeii Attractions: Measuring Table/Bench – Mensa Ponderaria

In a little alcove is a bench size counter used to measure the weight of goods. You will see small holes of different sizes used to measure both dry and liquid goods and assign an official weight to them. This would ensure that the people were not defrauded

8. Pompeii Attractions: Forum Granary – Grain Store

Across from the Macellum, the Granary was a once a granary market and stored grain, cereals. and herbs for sale. There are many vessels, terracotta crockery for cooking, large containers used to transport oil, wine and fish sauce. Pompeii was well known for producing fish sauce, called Garum. You will not be able to enter it today. However you can see inside as it has become the storage place of a number of artifacts and body casts (Pompeii bodies) from the 79AD Pompeii eruption

9. Public Toilets

Next to and north of the Granary is a small rectangular room, which were the public toilets in Pompeii. The stones protruding from the walls supported a stone or wooden slab with a hole. Under the seats was a stream that washed away the waste; note the pipe on the corner that was part of the sewage system

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

After exploring the Western side of the forum, explore the eastern side of the Forum starting on the south side at the Building of Emachia

10. Pompeii Attractions: Building of Eumachia 

It was dedicated to Eumachia, a priestess of Venus. She was also the owner of a thriving wool business in Pompeii and at one time this may have been the location of the wool business

11. Pompeii Attractions: Tempio di Vespasiano

The temple had the same design as the temple of Public Lares. The temple consisted of a small courtyard, an altar and a smaller elevated temple with four columns

12. Pompeii Attractions: Temple of Public Lares – Sanctuary of Lari Pubblici 

It was built after the 62AD earthquake in the place that was originally occupied by shops. The temple was built to appease the deities and bring calm to the city. It had an interesting design in that it was open to the forum. The floor was a geometrical design made of marble. The open courtyard had a large apse at the back wall and three alcoves that housed three statues of gods

13. Pompeii Attractions: Local Food Market – Macellum

Located on the north east corner of the Forum, it was the main food market measuring 37×27 meters. Food such as poultry, fish and other supplies were bought here to be sold. The right hand side was lined with shops and the middle area had a large circular portico. The back rear wall was divided into three specific areas; the back left side was a room for banquets; the back/rear right side had stone counters and drainage possible a fish market while the back central area was a space dedicated to the imperial household

14. Pompeii Attractions: Temple of Jupiter

Located between the Granary and the Macellum, it dominates the north end of the Forum. It was built to replace the worshipping of Apollo and follow the cult of the Temple of Jupiter. The temple was dedicated to the gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. It sits on a podium of 17m by 37 meters and a height of 3 meters. To reach the temple you have to climb the double staircase that led to the 5 column portico that was 6 columns deep and 12 meters high. As you walk into the temple, you could move from an open space into an inner sanctuary which was divided into three. Each of these held the statue of one of the gods Jupiter, Juno or Minerva. The treasury was a store in the basement

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

If you continue north, you will arrive at the Arc of Nero, which looks like an arched gate. You will now be leaving the Forum and entering the street Via del Foro which turns into Via Dei Mercurio as you keep heading north

15. Pompeii Attractions: Arco di Nerone – Arch of Nero

The Roman Senate declared Nero a “Public Enemy” which led to his suicide. It should be in the NE corner of the Roman Forum and the SE corner of the Temple of Jupiter

16. Pompeii Attractions: Forum Baths (Terme de Foro)

Forum baths were built by city officials and were available to everybody, including slaves. Most homes, except for those of the wealthy, did not have baths and therefore baths were located throughout Pompeii.  The all had the same architectural structure and varied in size. They were divided into male and female sections each having their own separate entrances. Each had a cold room (frigidarium) and a hot room (tepidarium) and huge bathtubs (caldarium). There were dressing rooms, benches, areas that looked like lockers to hang up clothes and some had a small garden area for relaxation. Workers would bring in wood for the fire, wine and other items requested by the clients.  They used a side entrance to enter and exit so as not to disturb the clientele

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

You are now heading into the north and northwest section of the Pompeii ruins

17. Fast food – Thermopolium

Pompeii has 89 thermopolia excavated so far and they are described as early bars, restaurants or fast food outlets, with the amphora containing hot food sitting in the holes. It was not well used by those large homes owned by the wealthy that had an atrium and a kitchen. They were mostly frequented by the lower classes whose homes were too small to accommodate proper cooking facilities or who popped out at lunch time for a quick meal before returning to work

18. House of Pansa

This house is from a very wealthy family as it takes up the entire city block. A lease notice was painted in the adjacent alley and indicated that the owner was Gnaeus Alleius Nigidius Maius, a wealthy merchant from the Campania region. Just like the other wealthy houses, you will find an atrium surrounded by small rooms near the front of the house, the garden and a peristyle surrounded by 16 columns, indicating the wealth of the occupants

19. House of the Tragic Poet

A typical house with an atrium but what makes this so special is the latin inscription, and the number if frescoes and mosaics found in such a modest house. The inscription in latin is “Cave Canem meaning “Beware of the Dog”. The mosaic of a black dog has been restored and is found in the House of the Tragic Poet. No one knows who owns the house or why it has such magnificent mosaics. It is assumed that perhaps the house was owned by a writer or a poet

20. House of the Small Fountain – Casa della Fontana Grande

The house is known for the fountain decorated with colorful mosaics can be seen from the entrance. The location on Via di Mercurio and the presence of the fountain indicates the wealth and status of the family that lived here. Walking south on Via di Mercurio leads to the Forum

21. House of Bakery – Casa del Forno

The house was converted into a bakery where the main floor was the production area and the upper floor became living quarters. There is a large oven at the back of the house used mostly for baking bread. The original peristyle was transformed into an area used for milling and grinding grain as well as water basins for washing. One can imagine the donkeys and slaves operating the milling machines. In fact an entire skeleton of a donkey was found at the bakery, next to the peristyle. There are over 30 bakeries that have been discovered in the Pompeii ruins including one with 81 freshly baked and preserved loves of round bread. One can only assume that the inhabitants loved baked breads and the business was profitable

22. House of Sallust

One of the most well preserved private luxury homes in Pompeii. From the excavations, it is assumed that the house was turned into a hotel for those who came to visit Pompeii. This was done at some point with the addition of a second floor

B. Porta Ercolano – Herculaneum Gate

Outside the walls of the Pompeii ruins, this ancient road is lined with tombs and is referred to as the Street of Tombs

23. House of Meleager – Casa di Meleagero

The house gets its name from the painting of Meleager found at the site. The rich décor and frescoes, the marble bath and water fountain are all indications of the wealth and status of the family who occupied this house. This includes a prized marble bath with water flowing from a fountain that is located in the central garden and closed off by curtains attached to columns surrounding it

C. Porta Vesuvio – Vesuvius Gate

One of the 8 gates of Pompeii, this one leads to Vesuvius 8 km north of Pompeii

24. Aquaduct – Castellum Aquae

As typical of the ingenuity of the Roman engineers, the castellum is placed at the highest point of 42m in Pompeii.  It had a large circular water basin and pipelines on the north side and was used to deliver water to the city. There were about 40 fountains in the city of Pompeii bringing fresh water to the inhabitants. Some are still in use today and you can fill up your water bottle at one of these

General Directions: Head south back towards the direction of the Forum

25. Casa / House of the Vettii

Interestingly this house belonged to two brothers who were not part of the aristocracy. They were middle class citizens who became wealthy merchants and built one of the nicest houses in Pompeii. The house is known for the beautiful frescoes found onsite. They are some of the best preserved frescoes. The gardens have been replanted, the peristyle has some of the original marble and the cooking utensils still in the kitchen

26. House of Faun – Casa del Fauno

The most palatial of homes in Pompeii, it takes up an entire block of 3000 sq meters with two atriums and two peristyles near the front of the house as well as 40 rooms. As you enter, you will notice an inscription on the pavement that says “HAVE’ meaning Welcome in Latin. The house is named after the bronze statue of a dancing faun found at the center of the main halls/atrium. Note the marble floor with the complex geometric pattern that was dated from the 2nd century. This is a huge complex with two atriums and two peristyles parallel to each other. Each of the atriums have several large rooms that surround it and a a large number of rooms and interconnected areas separated by entrance ways. Some of Pompeii’s most intricate mosaics were found here and transported to the museum in Naples

27. House of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus Domus

Lucius Lucundus was a banker who lived in a palatial home in Pompeii. Not only is this house known for its opulence, it is known for allowing an insight into the commercial and economic activities of Pompeii. At the back of the house, a number of wax tablets with banking, bookkeeping ledgers, contracts and receipts were discovered during excavation

Built in the common architectural style of wealthy Pompeii homes, it had luxurious finishing touches.  The atrium was decorated in paintings and the floor was a black and white mosaic with a picture of a dog. A carved message in the dining room wall reads: “May those who love prosper; let them perish who cannot love, let them perish twice over who obstruct love”

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

Lucius Lucundus was a banker who lived in a palatial home in Pompeii. Not only is this house known for its opulence, it is known for allowing an insight into the commercial and economic activities of Pompeii. At the back of the house, a number of wax tablets with banking, bookkeeping ledgers, contracts and receipts were discovered during excavation

Built in the common architectural style of wealthy Pompeii homes, it had luxurious finishing touches.  The atrium was decorated in paintings and the floor was a black and white mosaic with a picture of a dog.

Head east towards Porto Nola (there isn’t much to see in this area and you may want to skip it) and continue heading south towards the direction of the Forum

D. Porto / Gate Nola

You will need to veer off slightly and walk down Via di Nola to the end to see the Nola Gate. Then walk back to this point (according to google maps that works out to 438m there and 438m back). However, most gates are similar and if you are tired, I would give this a miss as we will be visiting the Porto / Gate Nocera. The Nola Gate leads to the City of Nola. The keystone has a carved depiction of the head of the goddess Minerva protecting the entrance to the city. Outside the gate is the Cemetery / Necropolis of Nola Gate. Four prominent tombs are displayed; 15 Pompeii bodies, victims of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius were found in this area

If you decide to go down to the Nola gate, the last street on your left is Vicola di Gladiator. The Gladiator Barracks will be at the intersection of Via de Nola and Vicola di Gladiator

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

Head south from the House of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus Domus

28. Terme Centrali (Central Baths)

A public building serving as a bath house in Pompeii. This one did not have a separate entrance for men and women and therefore may have been just for men or just for women

29. Brothel – Lupanar des esclaves

One of many brothels found in the Pompeii ruins, Lupanar Grande is one of the largest. With a total of 10 rooms and stone beds that were topped with a mattress the wall paintings are explicit. Notice the graffiti on the wall written by brothel workers or perhaps their clients. Prostitutes were slaves coming from Greece or from the East. All proceeds went to the owner since women did not have legal rights

30. Stabian Baths or Terme Stabiane

Public baths were common throughout Rome as private baths in homes were a luxury. In Pompeii there were three baths: the Stabian, The Forum and the Central Baths. Known as Thermae they were available for use to everybody including slaves. At the corner of two streets Via dell’Abbondanza and Via Stabiana is the largest preserved bath known as Stabian. As you enter you will notice the male and female baths on the right and each had separate entrances. They are separated by stoves which used to heat the water. On the left you will find a 15×8 swimming pool 1.5 meters in depth. There is a central area for exercise (Palaestra) with two small rooms with an open air gym

The Stabian baths are covered with lovely frescoes, have statues and carvings in niches. The Stabian baths may have been reserved for the wealthier citizens. There were some bodies found in this area. One can only assume they were unaware of what was happening outside

31. House of the Surgeon / Physician

It is considered to be one of the oldest homes and retains the original layout where the private rooms surround the central atrium. About 40 surgical instruments were discovered here and it is assumed that the house belonged to a physician

General Directions:

Head east towards the Amphitheater and Sarno Gate

32. House and Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus

This is an ancient pub/tavern equipped with drinking vessels, a stove, a lamp and a kettle. Hot meals and drinks were served in this locale. Food was most likely stored in vessels and clay jars placed in the holes in the counter. A clay jar was found on the counter with 3kg of coins (monies), most likely collected from customers. There is a house at the back that is connected to the pub. The house is decorated with frescoes and an outdoor dining area with a triclinium (dining room with recliners and chairs)

33. Amphitheatre of Pompeii

The Amphitheater is located at the far end of Pompeii at the end of Via dell’Abbondanza. It dates back to 70 BC and is among the oldest known stone building in the Roman Empire. It held 20,000 spectators which accommodated spectators from nearby towns as Pompeii’s population was 12,000. It was built entirely of stone and could be covered for inclement weather events. You can see the large holes on the boundary that are still visible and were used to shore up the roof. The seating is divided into three terraces where one of them was exclusively for women

34. Palestra

A large area that is opposite of the Amphitheater. It was used as a gymnasium and sports area which was surrounded by a wall system and accessed using one of the 10 doors built into the walls. Three sides of the wall have internal porticoes. It was the largest open air area with a swimming pool, a courtyard for walking and relaxing, not unlike the parks of today.

35. Triclinium garden/house outdoors or summer

A garden that surrounds a Vineyard. A relaxing place to enjoy a meal as it has a Triclinium (outdoor dining area) and fountains

E. Porto / Gate Nocera

Similar in architectural style as the Nola and Stabia gates and part of the Pompeii wall system. It led to the nearby city of Nocera

36. Cemetery, Necropolis of Nocera Gate

The cemetery is on the side of the road and has several monuments and burial chambers with tombs built by the wealthy. In some tombs you will find urns with ashes of the deceased.  There are many headstones where the deceased citizens were buried

General Directions: Pompeii Self Guided Walking Tour

Starting heading west towards the direction of Porto Marina gate,the main entrance

37. Garden of the Fugitives (Orto Dei Fuggiaschi -, Jardin des fuyards)

This area was converted from homes into a triclinium covered by a pergola and most likely used for outdoor banquets.  You may be able to see the casts of 13 citizens near the back wall of the garden, most likely victims trying to escape out the Nocera Gate. Many Pompeii bodies were found throughout the garden.  It is assumed that their escape was cut off by the incoming lava flow and they most likely died of asphyxiation from the fumes

38. House of Menandero

One of the largest houses in Pompeii, it is well preserved and belonged to a wealthy merchant family. It has a well-preserved atrium and a temple in one corner. Note the drainage system, the open air atrium and the wooded roofs extend out to collect water into the pool.  To the right of the peristyle is a private bathhouse with frescoes and mosaics. The interior rooms are decorated with frescoes depicting Homer’s Iliad. The house is named after a picture of Menander found onsite. Menander was a Greek playwright. It is known for the 118 pieces of silverware found in a box in the basement of the house, which are now on display at the Naples museum. The house belonged to relatives of the Empress Poppeas Sabina, Emperor Nero’s second wife. A sculpture of Menandro is located at the Gallery of Statue in the Vatican Museum

39. Great Theatre of Pompeii

It was built in the 2nd century on a natural slope providing tiered seating in a horseshoe shape. It had box seats above the entrances to the orchestra for honored guests. The theater was able to accommodate 5000 people in three sections that were connected by corridors.  The first tier had four steps that were marble clad. This was reserved for musicians, the aristocrats and the wealthy. There was a hierarchy to the seating. The next few levels were assigned to corporations, entrepreneurs, politicians and then lastly to the people.

The theater was built to minimize reverberations and enhance the acoustics. Stand in the middle and sing or say something, you will be amazed at how your voice carries. The top tier had stone rings that were protruding from the walls and were used to support poles that held a retractable canopy providing a roof during inclement weather events or shade from the hot sun

40. Smaller Theater – Teatro Piccolo

The smaller theater was called the Odeion. Next to the large theater was a smaller theater mainly used for concerts or poetry recitals

41. Villa of the Mysteries, Villa dei Misteri

Outside the city walls of Pompeii and leading down to the harbor was a mysterious ancient Roman house with well-preserved paintings. The huge continuous fresco covers three walls and depicts a mysterious ritual. Another scene on the frescoes showing the initiation of a bride to be into the cult of Dionysus who was the Greek god of wine. A statue of the wife of Emperor Augustus, Livia, was found onsite and its speculated that the villa belonged to her.  Livia had a home on Palatine Hill, House of Livia, above the Roman Forum. Entrance to this building is included with the price of the ticket

Other Sites in Italy

  • Visit the Roman Colosseum. Click on the Roman Colosseum attractions map HERE and accompanying Colosseum attractions guide HERE
  • Take the Rome attractions map and self guided tour: It includes the Vatican City attractions map HERE and the Vatican attractions guide HERE
  • Self Guided Walking tour to explore the neighborhood of Trastevere with map of attractions HERE and guide of attractions HERE
  • Visit St Peters Basilica. Explore all the attractions in St Peter’s Basilica with the attractions guide HERE
  • One of my favorite places is the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The map of attractions is HERE and the self guided walking tour is HERE
  • Self Guided Walking Tours – Day Trips from Rome
    • Visit Pompeii with a complete self guided tour map HERE and the attractions guide to the 49 points of interest HERE
    • Spend the day in Florence, this was by far one of my best day trips. The self guided walking tour map is HERE and the attractions guide is HERE