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Travel

Pompeii without barriers

The ancient city of Pompeii is now accessible to wheelchair users. Friday marked the inauguration of a three-kilometer-long barrier-free route leading through the world-renowned archaeological site.

According to Italy's Ministry of Cultural Heritage, it is the country's largest barrier-free route allowing access to an archaeological site. For the project "Pompei per tutti" (Pompeii for all), height differences were evened out, access ramps positioned and smooth pathways created. A small part of the excavations was already accessible to visitors with limited mobility.

Not only wheelchair users but also the visually impaired, the elderly and visitors with babies in pushchairs or prams will benefit from the new route.

It begins at the Porta Marina entrance and provides access to 20 of the most important sights in the ancient city. They include the House of Venus in a Seashell, with its frescoes, and the Garden of the Fugitives, which contains plaster casts of some of the victims of the volcanic eruption.

Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash, pumice and rock when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and not rediscovered until the 16th century. It's the world's best preserved ancient city.

The archaeological site of Pompeii extends over about 66 hectares. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

ks/ch (kna,dpa)