Hotel Forum, Pompei ****
Hotel Forum is conveniently situated in the heart of the historical centre of the town close to Pompeii's Sanctuary and just 100 metres from the entrance to the ancient ruins ... one of Italy's must-see sights, preserved in remarkable detail following the dramatic eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius. View hotel
Double rooms from €62
Hotel Vittoria, Pompeii ***
This hotel is located in the modern town of Pompeii right by the main entrance to the archaeological site of the ancient city. Guests at the hotel have only to cross the road to be transported back in time by this astonishingly well-preserved Roman town which was overwhelmed in 79AD. View hotel
Double rooms from €60
Villa dei Misteri, Pompei **
Hotel Villa dei Misteri is ideally located just a two-minute walk from the ancient ruins of Pompeii. Preserved in astonishing detail by the dramatic eruption of the nearby volcano, Mount Vesuvius, one sultry August morning in 79AD, this extraordinary 65-hectare archaeological site offers visitors a snapshot of everyday life at the height of the Roman empire. View hotel
Double rooms from €40
Once one of the most important towns in Campania, life in Pompeii (and its sister city Herculaneum) came to an abrupt end on 24 August, 79AD. The eruption of nearby Vesuvius buried the pair in metres of volcanic ash and pumice. That, and the poisonous fumes, rather than the more picturesque floods of lava. The town vanished, although it's estimated that probably only some 2000 of the 20,000 population perished (among them the poet Pliny, who probably died of a heart attack). Pompeii's loss was the modern world's gain, as the old city wasn't rediscovered until 1600, and excavations weren't begun in earnest until 1748.
What they found, and the digging continues to this day, painted an extraordinary picture of Roman life as it was lived by ordinary people. Plaster casts were taken of imprints the bodies made in the ash, with faces twisted into paroxysms of panic and agony. Swimming pools, dining tables, work implements, erotic frescoes, even ancient graffiti have been found. Today Pompeii is a Unesco World Heritage Site, attracting 2.5 million visitors a year and, we must say, absolutely unmissable if you are visiting Campania. As a pre-visit preparation, we can seriously recommend the BBC's 'Pompeii, The Last Day'. A visit to the city should also take in a trip to Vesuvius of course, which sits amidst its own national park. Pompeii and Herculaneum (Ercolaneo) are also on the Circumvesuviana train line, which connects to Sorrento and Naples.