Pompeii is perhaps the most important archaeological site in the world, and among Italy's most-visited attractions. The sixth-century-BC Temple of Apollo (Tempio di Apollo) overlooking the forum is one of the oldest religious buildings in this ancient Roman city and a highlight of any tour of these enormous ruins.
Pompeii was buried by the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius and many of its unearthed ruins were badly damaged by the blast. Only a few columns are still standing of the Temple of Apollo’s original 48, but its intact podium and staircase can still be seen, as well as replicas of the statues of Apollo and Diana found during excavation of the temple; the originals are now in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.
To fully understand the history and importance of the Temple of Apollo, it’s best to visit Pompeii as part of a private tour led by an archaeological tour guide. Pompeii is an incredibly popular attraction, so tours including skip-the-line tickets are a must in the busy summer months. As the ruins are located not far from Herculaneum and Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii can easily be combined in a single full-day tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Temple of Apollo in Pompeii is a must-see for ancient history buffs.
- Kids especially enjoy exploring Pompeii accompanied by a guide who is adept at engaging the whole family.
- Almost all of the remains of the ancient town are outdoors, so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen in summer, and wear comfortable shoes.
- The forum area of the archaeological site at Pompeii, where the Temple of Apollo is located, is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Pompeii is located just north of Naples at the foot of Mount Vesuvius and is an easy day tour or shore excursion from Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, Capri, and even Rome. There is a Pompeii stop on the Circumvesuviana train line that runs between Naples and Sorrento, or take the Pompei Ovest exit off the A3 highway if arriving by car.
When to Get There
The archaeological site is almost entirely outdoors, so is best visited on mild days. In the summer, visit in early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of midday.
In addition to the Temple of Apollo, the most interesting sites in Pompeii include the theater and amphitheater, the brothel, House of the Faun, Villa of the Mysteries, the Basilica, the Sanctuary of Venus, and the baths.