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Visiting Pompeii With Kids: A Guide to Exploring the Ancient Ruins.

Let’s take an unforgettable journey to Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was frozen in time by a volcanic eruption! This fascinating archeological site in Italy will amaze both you and your kids. 

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Get ready for an exciting and educational adventure as we explore the must-visit places, discover delicious food options, find the perfect accommodation, and choose the best tours during your visit to Pompeii with kids. We recommend some of these kid friendly books and activity books on Italy to take with you or read before too!

This journey through history promises an amazing experience that your family will cherish forever. 

Stepping stones in the distance of the Pompeii road

Why Pompeii for Kids:

Parents often wonder – Is visiting Pompeii worth it with kids? Let us tell you, it absolutely is!

Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a unique and hands-on experience for children to connect with history in an exciting way. Forget about museums with artefacts behind glass; here, kids can roam outdoors, explore, and get their hands dirty.

The fun doesn’t stop there, either – you can join special kid-friendly tours led by experienced guides who make learning a blast! And, of course, let’s not overlook the once-in-a-lifetime chance of getting to capture priceless moments of your little explorers against the backdrop of awe-inspiring ancient remains. 

A Pompeii welcome mat of a dog

How to get to Pompeii from Naples

Navigating from Naples to Pompeii is a piece of cake, and you have several convenient options to choose from!

If you’re up for an adventure, a rental car will get you to Pompeii in under thirty minutes, giving you the freedom to travel at your own pace. Just keep in mind that Naples traffic can be a bit overwhelming, so plan accordingly.

Another hassle-free option is booking a taxi. You can choose between a shared service or a private cab, and your hotel might have recommendations for the best and most convenient taxi services at good prices.

For a more budget-friendly choice, hop on a public bus at the Naples SITA bus station. The SITA Bus Line 5001 will take you to Pompeii, but keep an eye on the schedule, as traffic can still cause delays.

The Circumvesuviana train is a popular, cost-effective, and truly local way to reach Pompeii from Naples. It departs from Napoli Porta Nolana station and gets you to Pompei Scavi station in just over thirty minutes. This is the option we took.

Plus, it’s super convenient, as the station is right next to the archaeological site entrance. Keep in mind that it’s not the fanciest train, but it gets the job done.

Frescos in Pompeii

If you’re visiting during tourist season (April to October), consider the Campania Express. It’s a newer train running on the same line as the Circumvesuviana, but with fewer stops, meaning a slightly shorter travel time.

Tickets might be a bit pricier, but you’ll enjoy more luggage space and fewer crowds – perfect if you’re traveling with little kids!

Map of Pompeii

Places to Visit in Pompeii With Kids

Most tourists that visit Pompeii underestimate the sheer size of these ruins. Remember that it is an entire city, meaning it has enough famed constructions, figures, and excavations to cover an entire day of exploration.

In fact you, would need several days to explore all of Pompeii. These highlights cover the most interesting parts of Pompeii to visit with kids.

Family standing in the Amphitheatre in Pompeii for a photo

The Amphitheater

Just like the famous Colosseum, the Amphitheater at Pompeii was a bustling hub for contests and gladiator tournaments. Imagine a massive arena carved into a hillside, shaped like an elongated ellipsis, with a 360-degree view of all the action in the center.

It’s incredible to think that this extraordinary structure was built in 70 BC and could hold up to twenty thousand people! Back in the day, performances and thrilling gladiator fights attracted huge crowds from nearby cities and towns.

Believe it or not, this ancient amphitheater is the oldest of its kind in all of Rome. More recently, the stage has also been used for many iconic performances, including a concert by the legendary Pink Floyd! It’s an absolute must-visit spot in the city. 

Gladiator Barracks, Pompeii

Gladiator Barracks

Calling all “Gladiator” movie fans! Make sure to visit the Gladiator Barracks at Pompeii for an eye-opening experience. Despite their portrayal as brave soldiers, gladiators were actually enslaved individuals, forced into combat for entertainment.

They were either prisoners of war or desperate civilians seeking to clear their debts through fights, with no guarantee of survival.

Given these harsh conditions, the gladiator barracks were far from luxurious. They resembled simple cells where the gladiators were locked up at night, and during the day, they trained in a large square for their upcoming matches at the Amphitheater.

However, they were revered by spectators, much like football stars and their fans today – with fans rooting for their favourite to win.

Inside these quarters, you can explore the stories of these courageous fighters through inscriptions on the stone walls and paintings depicting their hunting expeditions. It’s one of the most compelling and historically significant things to do in Pompeii that sheds light on the challenging lives of these ancient warriors.

Your energetic little ones will undoubtedly find it fascinating to be right in the midst of all the action!

Temple of Apollo

The incredible Temple of Apollo, with its elevated podium, was the ancient site where celebrants connected with the gods during ceremonies.

Apollo held significant importance for the people of Pompeii, and the temple stands as a testament to their reverence. The Apollo Games, a thrilling three-day festival, brought the temple to life, and young boys and girls participated in ceremonies to pledge their loyalty to Apollo as their sovereign god.

Although the excavations in Pompeii were only able to recover some of the architecture, the present ruins beautifully showcase its bygone glory with carved columns, basins, and scattered statues. It’s a must-see when visiting Pompeii with kids.

Girl looking at the baths in Pompeii
Pompeii Baths

Pompeii Baths

The Pompeii baths were a vital part of daily life in the ancient city. They were used for bathing, socializing, and religious rituals.

The three largest public baths in Pompeii are the Stabian baths, the Forum baths, and the Central baths. The Stabian baths are the oldest and largest of the three baths.

They were built in the 2nd century BC and underwent several renovations over the years. The Forum baths were built in the 1st century BC and are located in the heart of the city.

They are the most ornate of the three baths and feature a variety of mosaics and frescoes. The Central baths were built in the 1st century AD and are located near the Porta Marina. They are the smallest of the three baths, but they are still well-preserved.

Charred bread for sale in a Pompeii bakery

Food remains from Pompeii

The Pompeii food remains are a fascinating glimpse into the diet of the ancient Romans. The remains have been found in a variety of places, including homes, restaurants, and even public toilets. The remains include bones, seeds, and other plant material, as well as traces of food that has been cooked or processed.

The food remains show that the ancient Romans ate a wide variety of foods, including meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and grains. They also drank wine and beer. The remains also show that the ancient Romans had a sophisticated understanding of food preservation. They used salt, honey, and vinegar to preserve food, and they also knew how to ferment food.

The Pompeii food remains are a valuable source of information about the diet of the ancient Romans. They help us to understand what the ancient Romans ate, how they prepared their food, and how they preserved their food.

Garden of the fugitives Pompeii

Pompeii Garden of the Fugitives

The Garden of the Fugitives is a haunting reminder of the tragic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The garden was once a vineyard, but it was transformed into a makeshift refuge for people fleeing the eruption. The bodies of 13 people were found in the garden, including adults and children. They were all found in a variety of positions, suggesting that they were trying to escape the eruption.

The bodies of the fugitives were preserved in the ash and pumice that fell during the eruption. In 1961, archaeologists made a plaster cast of the bodies, which allowed them to be studied in detail. The casts show the expressions of fear and pain on the faces of the victims.

Villa Dei Misteri

Villa Dei Misteri is an absolute must for your “highlights of Pompeii” list if your family enjoys mysteries and ancient art. This villa holds secrets known only to the pagan cults that once inhabited it. One of its fascinating frescoes portrays the induction of a young girl into one such mysterious cult.

Although it’s located outside the city walls and requires a short hike from other sites, visiting this villa is definitely worth it, especially if your kids appreciate intricate artwork and frescoes. You’ll be amazed by the well-preserved frescoes covering three whole walls, dating back over 2000 years.

However, it’s essential to be mindful of sensitive stories and practices that may have occurred in the villa. The mysterious frescoes might be overwhelming for younger kids, so ensure they are comfortable before exploring this intriguing site together.

Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius

No trip to Pompeii is complete without exploring the legendary Mount Vesuvius. This imposing volcano, which erupted in A.D. 79, froze the city in time and buried it under layers of ash and rocks.

Today, much of it has been uncovered, revealing the captivating ruins to the world.

Located just 25 km (approximately 15 miles) away from Pompeii, a quick drive will bring you to the foot of this majestic mountain. Rest assured, it is generally safe to visit, as Mount Vesuvius hasn’t erupted in over 50 years.

Bus Tickets From Pompeii to Vesuvius

You can hike along numerous trails that wind through pathways formed by solidified lava. Keep in mind that some of these trails can be long and challenging, so if your little ones aren’t accustomed to hiking or trekking, it might be best for them to sit this one out.

But for those who are up for the adventure, the views and experience are truly awe-inspiring!

Mount vesuvius day by pool Italy pompeii
Bosco de Medici pool and view of Mount Vesuvius.

Where to Stay To Visit Pompeii With Kids

With this famous heritage site attracting visitors from all around the globe year after year, you won’t be short of premium resorts nearby that make for the perfect stay when you’re visiting Pompeii with kids.

Bosco de Medici

Check out Bosco de Medici Resort, just a stone’s throw (well, less than a kilometer) away from the gates of Pompeii. This little gem sits amidst beautiful orchards and vineyards, offering a peaceful escape.

Bosco de Medici hotel room Pompeii
Bosco de Medici has a double bedroom and then a double sofa bed like above in living area.

Get ready to chill in rooms with their own patios, where you can soak in the epic views of Mount Vesuvius. They’ve got you covered with modern perks like a minibar, free WiFi, and a flat-screen TV.

Now, the resort itself has some nifty things to do in Pompeii. Fancy a horseback ride with the family? You got it!

Girl riding a horse in bosco medici- a renowned riding school is next to the hotel

They’ve got access to a local farm, perfect for your kids to frolic with some adorable furry friends.

For those with a knack for history, explore the on-site Roman Necropolis. And when you’re in the mood to unwind, take a breather by the pond with its calming waterfall.

Don’t forget the communal infinity pool, perfect for some fun splashing around with the whole gang.

Finally, their in-house bar! You can get a taste of the good life with wines straight from the vineyards of Mount Vesuvius.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a wine tour and let your taste buds have a blast with their delightful tasting session. 

Capo la Gala Hotel & Wellness

For families that are looking to unwind and pamper themselves with a grand experience,  Capo la Gala Hotel&Wellness is the perfect choice. The establishment offers a handful of wellness services, aimed at rejuvenating the mind and body on your retreat.

Capo la Gala Hotel&Wellness is also one of the most visually striking hotels you will find on the coast. The predominant material used is the local limestone rock, making the exterior easy on the eyes and the ambiance healing for the soul.

All the rooms have seafront views and aside from the general terraces in the hotel, some rooms come with a private terrace, furnished for your comfort.

The highlight of the hotel, however, is undoubtedly its spa services, which include massage treatments, aromatherapy showers, and even a Kneipp bath. Aside from the outdoor swimming pool overlooking the sea, there is also a heated pool with hydromassage and even a sauna.

It offers a refreshing experience you won’t want to miss.

Grand Hotel La Sonrisa

At Grand Hotel La Sonrisa, you can embrace the charm of an 18th-century villa set amidst beautiful gardens, statues, and a serene waterfall. This historic hotel offers modern amenities for a comfortable stay.

Located just a short drive away from the Pompeii ruins, the hotel offers stunning views of the Lattari Mountains, providing a picturesque backdrop to your Italian getaway. Step into the rooms, tastefully adorned with Venetian-style elegance, taking you back to the villa’s medieval origins.

Explore the expansive 50,000 square meters park surrounding the hotel and unwind with a refreshing dip in the spacious swimming pool, complete with hydro massage.

Start your day with a delightful continental breakfast, catering to various preferences, including vegan, kosher, and gluten-free options. Fuel up before you venture out to explore the captivating ruins of Pompeii.

Where to Eat Near Pompeii With Kids

Pompeii, Italy, is not only brimming with history but also a true food lover’s paradise. Discover the finest eateries and restaurants that allow you to savor authentic Italian flavors just like the locals do.

La Bettola Del Gusto

For a classy fine dining experience, try the La Bettola Del Gusto, a spectacular restaurant that focuses on seasonal cuisine and seafood delicacies.

Wine connoisseurs will be delighted to find a long list of wines to complement the dynamic and assorted menu. From fresh bread and homemade pasta to well-cooked steaks and fish, dishes here are cooked with local produce to respect the integrity of the land.

Save room for some delightful desserts that will satisfy your sweet cravings! Treat yourself to a scrumptious selection of cassata, cheesecakes, and sponge cakes that everyone, young and old, will absolutely love.

It’s the perfect way to end your meal on a sweet and satisfying note!

Caupona

Caupona is the perfect spot to take your taste buds on a time-traveling journey while visiting Pompeii with kids! Step into this restaurant with its archaic Roman theme, soft lights, and hand-painted frescoes that transport you back in time.

Get ready for a unique dining experience as you savor their carefully curated dishes, inspired by the flavors of ancient Rome. From anchovies in mint to spiced barley soup and wild salmon in Oriental spices, each bite will be a delightful discovery of Pompeii’s cuisine.

And don’t forget to satisfy your sweet tooth with their sheep ricotta mousse and fig jam – a perfect ending to a wholesome and memorable culinary adventure!

Garum Pompeii

The Garum Restaurant takes immense pride in its heritage and strives to deliver a piece of Italia in every dish they serve. 

Savor authentic homemade pasta, meats, seafood, and salads with a generous spread of nuts, fruits, and in-house sweets such as tiramisu, chocolate, and panna cotta. Apart from its mouth-watering spread, Garum is also one of the best eateries in Pompeii for kids, thanks to the special kids’ items on the menu.

And, whether you’re an amateur or a seasoned connoisseur, make sure to visit their enoteca – a treasure trove of wines! You can even try them out along with your meals to figure out which ones are best suited to your taste, and then take one home as a souvenir.

Tours in Pompeii With Kids

While visiting historic highlights in Pompeii, you’ll encounter plenty of guides right outside the gates eager to offer their services. But to ensure a seamless experience, it’s best to skip these services and instead plan ahead by booking a tour with a reputable guide.

Pompeii lacks comprehensive onsite information, making it easy for unsuspecting tourists to get confused.

To make the most of your visit, here are some top-rated tours led by experienced guides and scholars, guaranteeing you a truly immersive and informative Pompeii experience.

Children looking at artefacts in Pompeii

Pompeii Small Group Tour with an Archaeologist

Get a more personalized experience of your Pompeii visit by booking this small group tour, available in different languages. The tour starts from the main gate, which is easily accessible by public transport.

Guided by a knowledgeable archaeologist who will give you historical insights, the tour goes around the western part of Pompeii through many of the iconic sites, including the Basilica, the Forum, and so on.

Access “skip the line” passes as part of your booking, and save time to explore more of the ruins. Food and drinks are not provided on the tour, although you are welcome to carry them along.

The 2-hour-long tour is guaranteed to give you more information and insight than you can find on the net, so be sure to make the most of it.

Sharing Tour of Pompeii

Short on time but eager to explore Pompeii’s wonders? This sharing tour has got you covered!

Experience the maximum highlights of the ancient city, even with just a few hours to spare on your itinerary. The guides will take care of entry passes, saving you from waiting in long queues.

Starting and ending at Pompeii Scavi Villa Dei Misteri, the tour offers free pickup if you’re staying a bit farther from the ruins. Alongside the Temple of Apollo, your family will explore iconic locations like the House of the Vettii and the Lupanar.

Keep in mind that kids below 18 enter for free, and on the first Sunday of every month, the site is open to the public free of charge. So, plan your visit wisely!

Pompeii and Herculaneum Small Group Tour with an Archaeologist

Calling all little history buffs! Uncover the secrets of Pompeii and Herculaneum, two ancient towns engulfed by the eruption of Vesuvius, on this incredible small-group tour.

Led by an expert archaeologist, you won’t miss a thing, as they reveal the legends and marvels hidden in these ancient ruins. With skip-the-line passes, you’ll breeze past the long entry queues, making the most of your six-hour tour.

From Lupanaria and Forum to the Stabian Baths and beyond, you’ll explore all the important highlights of these fascinating cities. Best of all, you won’t be stuck in a big group, ensuring a hassle-free experience for families with kids.

Pompeii for Kids

Concerned about there not being enough things to do in Pompeii for kids? This unique tour, designed just for tiny travelers, will put your worries to rest!

Pop-up books, iPad games, visual learning tools, and storytelling sessions are just some of the activities provided to keep your tots buzzing with excitement as they walk down the cobbled streets. 

The tour guides are licensed experts who are fluent in English and ready to help your family explore old homes, baths, old restaurants, and even drink from the original fountains of early civilization. Learn about Italian traditions and culture through art forms, architecture, inscriptions, stone figures, and more.

With a holistic approach that stimulates your child’s senses and curiosity, this tour will leave them wanting more.

Fresh water fountain in Pompeii

Tips for Visiting Pompeii with Kids

Planning a fun-filled trip to Pompeii for kids can be a piece of cake if you take a few small steps and follow some DOs and DONTs for a hassle-free visit.

  • Pompeii can be quite barren, with scattered stone figures and carvings under the hot sun. Summertime might not be the best time to visit Pompeii, especially for your kids. Instead, aim for early spring or late autumn, when the temperatures are more bearable and the greenery starts to appear, adding a nice touch to the arid city.
  • To make the trip more exciting for your little ones, have them read about Pompeii before the visit. There are cool books that talk about landmarks, folklore, and facts about Pompeii for kids. They’ll be amazed to see it all come alive!
  • Remember to dress for the outdoors, wear comfy shoes for the rocky terrain, and pack a light jacket for spring and autumn. In winter, bundle up with sweaters, coats, and hats. If you’re visiting in the summer, don’t forget the sunscreen and wear breathable clothes to beat the heat!
  • For toddlers, a baby carrier is a lifesaver. The pathways can be challenging for their little legs, so the carrier will make things easier. While some parts are stroller-accessible, the uneven terrain can be a hassle, so you can leave your stroller at the entrance.
  • Keep in mind that you won’t find convenience stands, eateries, or restrooms inside Pompeii. Grab some food and take restroom breaks at the entrance before exploring. The restrooms inside are sufficient but not baby-friendly, so prepare in advance. 
  • Water fountains are available at certain spots.
  • Don’t be fooled by a tout guide – book tickets in advance from a reputable place. We booked a guide through our hotel.

Being well-prepared before your visit to Pompeii will make your trip smooth and stress-free.

There’s so much to do and see in this fun yet challenging spot, so get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through history with your loved ones. 

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