Here’s another entry in my Italy Q&A series of posts. This one came in the form of a comment from Monica, who asked:
What is the main entrance to Pompeii? I feel like I took the rear entrance last time I went.
That’s a really interesting question, Monica! On my Pompeii guide, you’ll see that there’s more than one entrance for the site. The official website lists three – Porta Marina, Piazza Esedra, and Piazza Anfiteatro. And while any one of those entrances is legal (and therefore not a “back entrance” in the sneaky sense!), from the information on the website it suggests that the Porta Marina entrance is perhaps considered the primary entrance. It’s at the Porta Marina entrance where you’ll find not only a ticket window but also an information point, a bookshop, and a place to rent audioguides. The Piazza Anfiteatro entrance also has an audioguide service, but no information point or gift shop – although if you’re traveling with a school group, it appears that this is the only entrance for schools.
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Monica, it’s possible that you felt like you were taking a “rear entrance” when you visited Pompeii due to the mode of transportation you used to get there. For instance, depending on what train or bus you take, you can get dropped off at any one of the three entrances – including Piazza Esedra, which has the least services available. On the WhyGo Italy Pompeii guide, scroll down to “How to Get to Pompeii” to find out which entrances you’ll be looking for.
It’s worth noting that both the Porta Marina and Piazza Anfiteatro entrances also have a luggage storage service, where you can leave all the bags, umbrellas, etc., that you don’t want to carry around Pompeii – and it’s completely free of charge! There’s more about the tourist services available at each entrance here.