Once our week in Rome was over we headed to Civitavecchia, Rome’s port, and boarded the MS Maasdam, a Holland America ship, for a cruise that would eventually take us back to the U.S. Our first stop, just down the Italian coast, was Naples. High seas detoured us from the scheduled stop, Sorrento, but we were still able to make a day trip to Pompeii!
A train workers “slowdown” almost derailed us, but there were plenty of taxis waiting to take travelers to their destinations! This actually worked out very well for us. We met a British couple in the same fix in the train station and decided to share a taxi to Pompeii. Our driver dropped us at the entrance to Pompeii and 3 hours later picked us up. Too bad we’d already bought the train tickets….but Pompeii was worth it!
The above photo of the Temple of Apollo also shows how big the mountain used to be! The city was buried under as much as 20 feet of ash in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Pompeii was not rediscovered until 1748. It’s been undergoing excavation ever since.
We used a downloaded Rick Steves’s audio tour to guide us. It worked great on Will’s phone. If I paused for too long on my Zune, though, it started back at the beginning! This was a big town of maybe 20,000 inhabitants and in 3 hours all you can do is rush around to see the main sights. You could wander for a lot longer!
Many Romans had holiday villas here.
This was at a home’s front door. “Have” means Welcome.
Here’s a link to a cool video of a Virtual Roman House that fleshes out ruins like these. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSE9jlQav-w
You can see the deep wagon wheel grooves in the streets. Many streets were built like little canals so that water could be let loose from the top of the hill and wash down through the town to clean them. The large stone in the middle gave pedestrians a place to step to get across the street!
There are holes in the counter of this “fast food” joint for soup pots.
We had fabulous weather and the temps were mild. On a very hot day it’s probably pretty uncomfortable. I recommend a visit to Pompeii in November!