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Italy plans high-speed rail link between Rome and Pompeii to boost tourism

The Local Italy
The Local Italy - [email protected]
Italy plans high-speed rail link between Rome and Pompeii to boost tourism
It will soon be easier to visit the archaeological site of Pompeii, near Naples, by train. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Italy’s culture minister has announced a 35-million-euro plan for a new high-speed train route between the ancient city of Pompeii and central Rome as well as Rome’s Fiumicino airport.

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Visitors hoping to tour Italy’s most famous sights in limited time will soon have a faster and easier way to reach Pompeii directly from Rome, the Italian culture ministry has announced.

Italy plans to open a new stop on the existing high-speed train line connecting Rome to Naples and Salerno, allowing visitors to reach the Pompeii archaeological site from the Italian capital and Rome’s Fiumicino Airport.

READ ALSO: The train routes connecting Italy to the rest of Europe in 2023

"We will take tourists directly from Rome to Pompeii,” announced Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano on TV talk show Che Tempo Che Fa on Wednesday.

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He said the €35-million-euro project includes the construction of a new train station and transport hub near Pompeii, the former ancient city that was preserved in a volcanic eruption in 79AD.

The minister said work on the new station was about to begin and that it would open by the start of 2024.

(Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

For now, train travel from Rome to Pompeii involves changing trains in Naples and taking a regional service that stops in a dozen coastal towns along the Gulf of Naples - a 250-kilometre journey that takes around two hours.

The new connection will be direct and will bypass part of the coastal stretch.

The transport hub will also connect visitors by train to nearby archaeological sites at Ercolano, Oplontis and Stabiae.

READ ALSO: Pompeii's treasures go on display at reopened Antiquarium museum

The initiative comes under the EU-funded Great Pompeii Project, first launched in 2012 to prevent the site from crumbling.

Local newspaper Il Mattino estimated that the new line could mean visitor numbers to Pompeii double from the current figure of around 20,000 a day to 40,000.

While local tourism operators celebrated the announcement, there were also concerns about the possible impact of a steep rise in visitor numbers on Pompeii.

In 2016, local tourism authorities urged day-trippers to change their itineraries and check out lesser-known archaeological sites nearby instead as they said millions of tourists were “wearing out” Pompeii.

Pompeii had nearly three million visitors in 2022, compared with seven million at Rome’s Colosseum and four million at the Uffizi in Florence.

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