View of Italy’s most popular tourist destination, and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world: Pompeii.

New direct train from Rome to the Pompeii ruins, but only once a month

View of Italy’s most popular tourist destination, and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world: Pompeii. Shutterstock

A new direct Frecciarossa train service now connects the Eternal City of Rome, to Italy’s most popular tourist destination, and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world: Pompeii. However, this route, the fruit of a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and the Italian State Railways, only runs once a month.

A Frecciarossa 1000 departed from Rome’s Termini Station last Sunday for the inaugural ride of the service, in the presence of guests including Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano. The service departed at 8.53 AM, arriving in Pompeii at 10.40 AM, thus having a journey time of 1h47mn. The return journey departing at 18.40 PM, arrived back in Rome at 20.55 PM, thus having a longer journey time of 2h15mn.

This schedule will be available to passengers every third Sunday of the month. This frequency has been received as being quite low, considering that construction of the new Pompeii station cost some 35 million euros, according to Italian media. However, more frequency will likely be added should the service meet with success.

Direct service

Previously, there were no direct trains spanning the 241-kilometres distance between Rome and Pompeii. Passengers could take the high-speed train from Rome to Naples, changing trains in Italy’s third-largest city. Indeed, the train station that serves the Pompeii excavations is located in the modern Italian city of Pompei, which is spelt differently from the ancient city. The station is named Pompei Scavi-Villa dei Misteri and is connected to the Circumvesuviana train line. According to ItaliaRail: “Circumvesuviana trains typically have older cars, and they don’t travel very fast. Reservations are not required for passengers, and if you’re visiting during the high season, you may not find a seat and will have to stand for the duration of the ride. The experience is similar to an above-ground subway.”

“The new connection will be added to the existing 50 daily round trips between Rome and Pompei by Frecciarossa train, arriving in Naples Centrale with the High-Speed train and continuing to the destination by Trenitalia regional trains from the Piazza Garibaldi station below,” states the ministry of culture in a press release. During the journey, passengers will also be able to learn about the history of ancient Pompeii through a clip that will be broadcast on onboard monitors. They can also buy tickets to the archaeological park onboard. Lastly, though there is now a direct train, passengers on the service will still need to take a “Pompeii Link” shuttle bus to the archaeological park from Pompeii station.

Electric train approaching Platform 2 of Pompeii Scavi station on its way to Naples in 2019. (Shutterstock)
Electric train approaching Platform 2 of Pompeii Scavi station on its way to Naples in 2019. (Shutterstock)

Record visits to Pompeii

From 2014 to 2020, more than 20 million people visited the Pompeii Archaeological Park with a progressive annual growth that brought the site, in 2019, close to 4 million visitors. Between January and June of 2023, 1,932,754 visitors have already been recorded. The park is likely to exceed 4 million visitors this year. “With the direct train connection from Rome we give further input in this direction,” stated Daniela Santanchè, Minister of Tourism.

“Our commitment as Archaeological Park will be to work to ensure that the increase in flows to Pompeii, thanks also to this splendid initiative strongly desired by Minister Sangiuliano, has an impact not only on Pompeii, but on the entire surrounding area. The ‘Greater Pompeii’ to which we are aiming is, in our vision, a great diffuse museum, a park without clear boundaries, embracing the territory around Pompeii. (…) The aim is to concretely show that with culture we can change people’s lives and create cultural, social and also economic development, in line with the ministerial guideline for the activities of museums and parks,” commented Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Director of the Pompeii Archaeological Park. This rail link is therefore a stepping stone towards heightened connectivity in the area.

The launch of the direct train service also coincided with the opening to the public of the newly-restored House of the Silver Wedding at Pompeii.

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Author: Emma Dailey

Emma Dailey is an editor at RailTech.com and RailTech.be.

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