Pompeii may be a stark reminder of the destructive power of volcanoes, but it’s also a virtual photograph of daily life more than 2,000 years ago. From the grooves worn into the streets by passing carriages to the soaring temples in the Forum, from the humble food stalls to the villas decorated with frescoes and mosaics—there’s no site that offers a more engrossing experience of life in an ancient Roman city than Pompeii.
Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site with a guide is vital, as the ruins can be hard for the untrained eye to interpret. Join a private or small-group walking tour that includes skip-the-line tickets. Or, opt for a tour that pairs a visit to Pompeii with a stop at nearby Herculaneum. Other popular day tours combine Pompeii with Sorrento and Positano on the Amalfi Coast or with a jaunt to the top of Mt. Vesuvius.