The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. buried this town, a flourishing commercial centre with 20,000 inhabitants, under a deep mantle of pebbles, mud and ash.
In the 17th century some of its remains were discovered by chance and in 1754 the first systematic excavations were begun here and at Hercolaneum.
However it is only in the last two centuries that excavations have been conducted along rational and scientific lines which have by now brought to light most of the ancient city dwellings.
The objects discovered in these excavations are conserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and in the museum on the site.
These finds give us abundant and accurate information about all aspects of Roman civilisation at that particular stage in its evolution.
Visitors of all times have been fascinated by the imposing public buildings such as the forum, the temples, thermal baths, theatres and amphitheatres; by the variety of houses and shops and by the unique wall paintings, mosaics and statues.
To be seen in modern Pompei is the Santuario della Madonna del Rosario (Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary), a neo-classic church which is a place of constant pilgrimage.