There’s a new set of rules for tourists visiting Pompeii.
Enough with eating sandwiches while sitting on benches that are part of what once were inns; eating will only be allowed in designated areas. Enough with taking selfies standing on ancient columns or fountains. It’s no longer possible to allow dogs and children to roam free as if they were in a public park; umbrellas, which guides usually keep open to be seen and followed by their groups, or which people use for protection from the sun, are no longer allowed unless it rains. It’s forbidden to walk around shirtless or in a bra, which some tourists tend to do on the hottest days. Noisy radios and other equipment emitting loud sounds are also forbidden. Picnics are only allowed in a designated area at Porta Nola.
These are just some of the 22 bans in place at the archeological site of Pompeii, the ancient Roman city near Naples destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Some had already been adopted and visitors could read them on signs at the entrance to the site; others are new. They may seem obvious, but because the behaviors above happen, the park administration has deemed necessary to specify them clearly.
In a dedicated page on Pompeii’s official website, the list of bans is preceded by a sentence inviting visitors to “maintain a decent behavior.” Failing to respect the rules will incur administrative and criminal sanctions. In fact, “any action contrary to decency” will be punished as a criminal offense.
Pompeii was the second most visited site in Italy in 2017 (after the Colosseum), with 3,4 million tourists.
You can read the entire set of rules here.