How to: Pompeii for the whole family


Pompeii was one of the places on our bucket list, not only for being one of the best-preserved Roman cities in the world but also for its unique archeological importance. We finally got to visit it during one of our summer vacations and, despite the hot weather, it was an incredible experience for the entire family to walk through its authentic cobblestone streets, archaeological remains, theatres, and houses that are still standing. 

Pompeii in summer

During the summer, the high temperatures in the south of Italy can be quite oppressive for everyone, not only kids, and we knew that almost the entire visit takes place outdoors, so we wore comfortable shoes and light clothes and each of us had a full bottle of water to endure the day. Suncream is another must-have and also a hat, in case, unlike my kids, yours like to wear it. We also packed apples and light snacks in our backpacks to keep us energized during the five hours we spent around Pompeii. 


The middle of the day was inevitably the hardest, but we were well-prepared and didn’t have any problems. But in case you forget something, at the entrance to Pompeii there are several stalls where you can buy snacks and fresh water. In spring and autumn, temperatures tend to be much milder, but a water bottle and comfortable shoes are still recommended to make the most of the visit. 

Preparation is key

Our kids were really enthusiastic to see the ruins, pots, jewelry, coins, and artwork. We found that doing some research in advance was really helpful. My kids were older at the time of our visit, but perhaps for younger kids, the sight of people’s bodies covered in ashes and their expressions could be scary. To help them understand better, besides telling them a little about the city’s history, we bought a book at the entrance which included a detailed map of the archeological site that they used as a guide to the main locations. The good condition of many of the remains left us all in awe just looking at everything, but having read a little about it beforehand made it even more special.


The tickets to visit the site can be bought at the ticket office of the archaeological park or online in advance. The advantage of purchasing the tickets in advance is to avoid the risk of long queues at the entrance, especially between mid-July and mid-August. It is very common to have a queue, but at the time of our trip at the end of June, the queue was small and moved quickly. 


To avoid ending up wandering the streets of Pompeii aimlessly, my advice is to plan your itinerary before you begin. At the ticket office, they give a map divided into nine areas that highlight the sights not to be missed. We chose to start our visit from the Porta Marina entrance and followed the directions on the map. On the opposite end of Pompeii and following Via dell’Abbondanza is the Amphitheatre, the oldest building of its kind in the world. Nearby, we found a bit of shade under some trees and stopped to drink and eat a snack. Afterward, we continued visiting all the other areas of the archeological site and made our way back toward the Porta Marina gate via the Necropolis.

Visiting Pompeii was a unique experience, and we had a great time walking through the spectacular ruins, admiring every detail. A gelato at the end of the visit made us forget the heat and leave with the best taste in our mouths.

If you’re travelling around Italy and are looking for more outdoor things to do, how about hiking in the Dolomites?

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