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During our stay in Rome we decided to do a day trip down to Pompeii. My mom has been dying to go since she was a little girl so I’m glad we were able to make it happen!
We woke up in the dark, early morning to catch the train, dodging sleeping homeless people as we went. Arriving at Termini, the main railway station for Rome, we eventually located the street for the tourism office and stopped to chat with another couple to going to Pompeii…. until their guide showed up and told us we were actually at the wrong tour company! Eeek! Thankfully the correct meeting place was just a few blocks down so we were able to hustle and still catch the shuttle on time. From the bus windows we took in the scenery and grabbed a quick cat nap before arriving in Pompeii almost 3 hours later.
We paid our admission and set off to explore the city. We elected not to hire a private guide and were still able to see all the highlights: the Forum (with artifacts and plaster body casts of the poor casualties), the Baths, the brothel, large and small amphitheaters, the House of the Fawn, the Villa of the Mysteries, snack bars, many houses, and, of course, Mount Vesuvius looming over it all.
| Mount Vesuvius – the active portion is the high peak on the left side covered in clouds |
Vesuvius is a very much an active volcano. The mountain’s last eruption was in 1944 and it has erupted over three dozen times since the devastating explosion in 79 A.D. It’s definitely a ticking time bomb (which you can read more about here and here).
Luckily, we didn’t experience any explosions the day we visited. In fact, we had gorgeous weather; the clouds and sun took turns keeping us company with a few light rain showers to cool us off as we raced around the ruins.
| walking among the stone walls, pots that survived, remains of several houses still standing |
| restored courtyard garden at the House of Menander and colorfully painted walls |
| kitchen kilns, a flowery surprise, The Temple of Isis, Tomb of the Istacidii |
| narrow road leading off the main street, doorway after doorway, ancient steps worn from years of use |
|eerie plaster casts of the unfortunate souls who perished |
| outside the brothel, roughly carved stone bed, ancient erotic paintings |
| the Basilica of Pompeii, the Forum, the Lefthand Arcade |
It was incredible to see everything and to imagine what it must have been like to live there: bustling streets, a slight breeze from the bay, sprawling houses and buildings with immense columns and bright frescoes, and mountains and hills in almost every direction.
If you ever get the chance to visit, please do! It was definitely a great addition to our trip.
Up next… Florence!