How to get from Rome to Pompeii by train
There are no direct trains from Rome to Pompeii, but the route itself is quite straightforward. You'll only have to change trains once, in Salerno or Naples. Take a high-speed train from Roma Termini, and complete the last leg of the journey on a regional train.
The route via Salerno is simpler if you're new to Italy, as the station is much smaller and finding your connection is very easy. Your end destination is Trenitalia’s Pompeii station, which is a few minutes away from the old town centre.
Trains from Rome to Naples
Take a Frecciarossa high-speed train from Roma Termini, which is right in the heart of the city, and you’ll be in Napoli Centrale in about an hour. Forty-one trains run daily from 07:00 to 23:20, and at peak times they’re running every 15 minutes.
Trains from Naples to Pompeii
When the high-speed service from Rome pulls into Napoli Centrale station, switch onto a local train for the final leg of your journey. Regional departures to Pompeii leave from a different part of the station, known as Napoli Garibaldi. The two parts of the station are connected by a walkway, with clear signage to point you in the right direction. The regional service from Naples to Pompeii offers 34 direct trains daily, with a journey time of about forty minutes. Grab a seat on the left-hand side of the train as you head away from Naples – you'll get great views of Mount Vesuvius as you make your way to Pompeii.
Highlights of Pompeii
Now that you know how to get from Rome to Pompeii by train, it’s time to discover this fascinating city. Here are our travel tips to make the most of your day trip.
09:00 – Arriving at Pompeii
Pompeii is a huge site, covering 44 acres. Seeing it all in a day is quite a challenge, but here's a few top tips to maximise your time exploring the site. Firstly, skip the queues at the ticket booths by pre-booking your entrance online. No need to print off the tickets – just show the barcode on your smartphone at the entrance. Once you're in, there's no time limit on how long you can stay until closing. The site opens at 09:00 on weekdays, and 08:30 at weekends. Entrance is free for under-18s, with reduced rates for all EU citizens under the age of 24. Leave heavy or bulky bags in the free lockers at the entrance, then pick up an audio guide and explore the highlights.
The best route for seeing all Pompeii has to offer on a day trip is to make your way immediately to the archaeological site's furthest point, then work your way back. As you walk through the entrance gate, go straight up Via Marina and keep walking until you see the amphitheatre, your first stop on a trip around the highlights of Pompeii.
10:00 – Roman Amphitheatre
No self-respecting Roman town or city could be without an amphitheatre, and Pompeii has a very well-preserved one. It's one of the furthest points from the entrance gates, and as many visitors don't make it that far, it can be a good place to relax in a shady corner. This is the earliest Roman amphitheatre ever built from stone, a good century older than its much more famous cousin in Rome. It was used for all sorts of entertainment, including gladiatorial events with combatants fighting even fiercer wild animals, and each other. You can walk right around the perimeter, and also step inside the amphitheatre to experience things from a ground-level perspective too.
12:00 – House of Julia Felix
This large villa is just across the road from the amphitheatre and gives insights into what life must have been like for the fortunate upper classes in Roman Pompeii. The villa is built around a central garden with arcades to provide shelter from the strong Mediterranean sunshine. The most remarkable aspect of this house is the well-preserved frescoes and wall paintings, depicting everyday life for the middle classes. Julia Felix is an unusual figure in that we know a considerable amount about her life. Her large villa was converted into apartments, and many Pompeii residents moved in after an earthquake in 62 AD. Work is still ongoing to try to uncover more secrets of this villa.
13:30 – Garden of the Fugitives
As you leave the house of Julia Felix and walk back towards the entrance, on your left you’ll see the famous Garden of the Fugitives. This is perhaps the best-known part of Pompeii – it's the final resting place for a group of people who didn't survive the eruption. Interestingly, recent DNA testing has revealed they are all members of the same family. The plaster casts of their bodies are all found in the garden where they were overcome by the ash and fumes, exactly as they were found during the excavations. It may be a bit unsettling, but it's a site that truly brings home the impact of Pompeii's destruction.
14:30 – Stabian Baths
The next point of interest is the Stabian thermal baths, open to the public back in Roman times. This particular bathing house catered to the wealthier residents of the town, with more elaborate decor than other baths. Men and women bathed separately, and today you can still see the four separate chambers common to all Roman Baths – the changing room and the rooms for the cold bath, tepid bath and hot bath. The pipes used to heat the baths with warm air are still visible in the walls, which are decorated with some of the finest stuccoes in all of Pompeii.
15:30 – House of the Faun
This is Pompeii's grandest house and takes its name from the little bronze statue in the courtyard in the centre of the residence. It's also one of the best places in Pompeii for admiring mosaics, although some of the very best have been moved to the archaeological museum in Naples for safekeeping. The largest of the mosaics, measuring 3.2 x 5.5 metres, is made up of over a million perfectly positioned small tiles.
16:30 – Temple of Jupiter
The last stop on the way back to the entrance is the Temple of Jupiter, at the north end of the Forum. It was the most important religious site in Pompeii, but at the time of the eruption it was still being restored after a previous earthquake. Nevertheless, the remaining columns are impressive. It's also a popular photo spot, with visitors taking shots of the columns with Mount Vesuvius in the background. As you leave, you still have a couple of hours to see anything you've missed before the site closes at 19:30 (17:00 in winter).
Train travel is the best and fastest way to organise a day trip from your base in Rome to visit Pompeii. The combination of high-speed service to Naples or Salerno, followed by regional service, will deliver you practically to the gates of Europe's most famous archaeological site. What else could you ask for? For more information on planning an effortless trip from Rome to Pompeii, visit our website.