Rome to Pompeii Day Trip: Everything You Need To Know

Rome to Pompeii day trip

Just outside Rome are a number of fantastic day trips to enjoy. One is visiting the fabled "lost city" of Pompeii. This incredibly famous destination and UNESCO World Heritage site is one of Italy's most important archeological wonders. Destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, the bustling city was frozen in time by volcanic ash. The remnants reveal ancient Roman life, from perfectly preserved frescoes to haunting "statues" capturing residents' final moments. 

For those seeking a captivating day trip filled with history, archaeology, and breathtaking scenery, the excursion from Rome to Pompeii promises an unforgettable experience. Follow this guide to make the most of your trip.

Road and ruins in Pompeii Archeological Park, ItalyFreepik

Rome to Pompeii: Getting There

Pompeii lies about 23 kilometers (14 miles) southeast of the city of Naples, in the region of Campania. That places it roughly 241 kilometers (150 miles) from Rome itself. While it's not right next door to the Italian capital, it is reachable within plenty of time to make a day of it and return for a late-night supper and reasonable bedtime. Here are three ways it can be part of a day trip.


The easiest way to get to Pompeii from Rome is by train. Thanks to high-speed rail, you can make it from station to station in about two hours. Trains depart every 20 minutes for most of the day. Embark on your first train via the route from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale — the Rome to Naples line. This initial trip takes a little over an hour. From Napoli Centrale, you’ll switch to the local line known as Circumvesuviana. Take the EAV train towards Sorrento. Your stop will be the Pompei Scavi – Villa Dei Misteri station, roughly 20 minutes from Naples. Getting off the train, the archaeological site is just a few steps away. Keep in mind that the last trains for Rome generally depart at 8:30 PM. Round trips will cost about US$40 per person when you combine local and express trips.


Getting from Rome to Pompeii by car has some advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is having total freedom. You can have maximum flexibility about when you come and go and also where you can explore nearby (don’t forget, from Pompeii, you’ll be within reach of the famous Amalfi Coast!). The downside is that the trip may take you as much as 3.5 hours, depending on traffic. Rentals can be as low as US$20 per day, but keep in mind that gas and tolls can be expensive. The route itself is easy: Take the A1 highway to Naples, then the Motorway A3 Napoli-Salerno to the Pompeii Ovest exit.


If you want to sit back, relax, and let someone else do the planning, a guided tour may be best. From simple shuttle buses to all-inclusive luxury liner omnibuses, many tour companies offer day trips to Pompeii from Rome. They can run from close to US$100 to US$200 per person. Besides having an expert present the archeological site to you, meals are usually included. Entry fees to the site itself may also be part of the package. So long as you don’t mind running on the tour’s schedule, this could be a good option.

The Forum in Pompeii, ItalyFreepik

Pompeii Proper: Things to See

Once you get to Pompeii, allow yourself at least three to four hours for your visit. There are plenty of online guides for locating the top sites in Pompeii, and even free audio tours you can stream. Here are a few of the very best parts of the archeological area to seek out.

Foro de Pompeya (The Forum)

Right by the main gate of the Pompeii site is the For de Pompeya. The Forum was the main center of life in the city and host to large religious and commercial events. Here, you'll discover the remains of the Temple of Jupiter and the Temple of Apollo. 

The Forum Baths

Cleanliness was an obsession in ancient Roman society, so it comes as no surprise that public baths were unearthed in Pompeii. There are actually a number of these to be found in the ruins. But while you are at the Forum, the nearby Forum Baths will give you the largest example preserved within the site. 

Villa dei Misteri (The Villa of the Mysteries)

Perhaps the most enticing and enigmatic of Pompeii’s sites, the Villa dei Misteri preserves some of the most animated frescos from the city. Motifs of red and gold adorn this scene, speculated to be that of an initiation into a long-forgotten cult. 

House of the Faun

Among the largest homes discovered in the ruins, the House of the Faun is defined by its sheer size and iconic statue placed just outside. Opulent and flashy, this was likely the luxury home of one of the area’s wealthiest citizens. 

The Amphitheater

Prepare to stand in the place where real-life warriors fought battles for cheering crowds. The Amphitheater was indeed home to such spectacles and much more, a great example of another cultural mainstay of ancient Roman society. It’s a bit of a walk away from the more crowded parts of Pompeii, but well worth it.

View of Naples and Mount VesuviusNaples // Unsplash

Beyond Pompeii: The Ambitious Day Trip

If you get started super early in the morning and make the most of your Pompeii visit by early afternoon, you should have ample opportunities to extend your experience in nearby locations. Whether you want to get deeper into history or a taste of one of Italy’s premier cities, motivated day trippers have at least two great options to choose from.


Before Pompeii was discovered, the smaller nearby town of Herculaneum was found. Victim of the same Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD, the ruins here can be seen in about an hour. Just take the same Circumcanvesuviana train line and get off at Ecolano station.


While Naples is deserving of an extended stay unto itself, there’s no reason you can’t take a small bite out of it before returning to Rome. Imagine you’re done by 3 PM or so in Pompeii. You could be in Naples by 4 PM and dig into some of the legendary local pizza. You can also spend some time in one of the amazing museums, such as the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, where many artifacts from both Pompeii and Herculaneum are housed.

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If you're planning a trip to Rome and Pompeii, there's no better way to stay connected during your travels than with an Italy eSIM.

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