A high-speed railway that will connect the ancient cities of Rome and Pompeii is currently in the works, according to the Art Newspaper. It is expected to open in 2024 and is expected to bolster tourism.
A new train station and transport hub close to Pompeii will be part of the new $38 million development plan, which is part of Great Pompeii Project, an initiatve launched by the European Union in 2012. The hub will be a new stop on an extant high-speed train line between Rome, Naples, and Salerno.
Pompeii is an ancient Roman city that was preserved in ash following the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. The site has seen a number of recent finds and refurbishments, including the discovery of a 2,000-year-old dry cleaner and the reopening of the House of the Vettii.
With nearly 3 million visitors to the archaeological park in 2022, Pompeii will now be directly connected to the capital city, whose Colosseum, by comparison, saw roughly 7 million visitors last year.
Currently, visitors to Rome have to travel to Naples and take the regional Circumvesuviana train to reach Pompeii. A journey on the 155-mile long train line, which includes spectacular views of costal towns along the Gulf of Naples, takes roughly two hours to complete.
Though the new train line will bypass some stops on the Circumvesuviana line, it will reach the Villa Dei Misteri stop, which connects to such often overlooked archaeological sites as Ercolano, Oplontis, and Stabiae.
Italy is not the first country to connect its regions with a high-speed train in an effort to promote tourism. Mexico, for example, is currently working on a similar project. Its construction has led to the discovery of a previously undiscovered Mayan city as well as concerns among archaeologists, environmental activists, and local communities.