One of the most visited sites in all of Italy, the ruins of Pompeii are one of the great remnants of ancient civilization that still exist today. Believed to have been founded as early as the 7th century BC in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii was petrified by the volcano's eruption in 79 AD, leaving the city and its inhabitants frozen in time until the city was finally rediscovered in 1599. Today, the city provides an example of Rome during the Pax Romana (the period of Roman peace and prosper) that is hard to match anywhere else in the world.
First off, there is no way to avoid the gaggle of tourists that descend on Pompeii; going midweek will help things, but you'll never have this sprawling city all to yourself. Then again, it's a large enough area that, once you've gotten a sense of its history, you can find your own quiet place to close your eyes, touch the rocks, and find your own connection with the spirits of Pompeii past. Secondly, the cost is 11 Euro, which you can only pay on-site. Not to worry, the lines usually move quickly, so you'll not wait long to be in the presence of so much history.
Highlights of Pompeii include the center of social activity, the Forum; the religious center of affairs, the Temple of Apollo; the collection of baths, which are in various states of preservation; and the heart of Roman entertainment, the Amphitheatre. We suggest putting aside at least half a day to travel and tour, although a number of tour services will take care of all of this for you. Take a look through our links for more information.