Saturday 11th June, 2022
The title will have some meaning for those d’un certain age, for everyone else - we went to Pompeii.
We took a train from Napoli Centrale to Pompeii - the “main” line and not the Circumvesuviana (more later). We had booked tickets for 9am which meant an early start, but sooooo worth it.
Well-meaning people had been at pains to tell us how unbelievably HOT it can get at the ruins, so we were glad of the relative quiet at 09:30. Parts of the site were completely empty so we could get some photos looking completely deserted.
Because of the potential heat we decided to do our own thing rather than go on an organised tour do we could go where we pleased when we felt the need.
It‘s a fabulous - and very large - site, and it’s just incredible to think of a small town functioning normally and being destroyed almost in the blink of an eye.
As someone who studied Latin at school it was amazing to see it all - the layouts of the houses, especially those of the rich families, with their mosaics and frescos, some of which can still be seen in situ.
After nearly three hours on the site the temperature had started to rise, and the crowds had arrived in force so we exited by a different gate and went to the Pompei Scavi stop on the aforementioned Circumvesuviana line - a narrower gauge, with much older and less comfortable rolling stock, but it did the job and took us back to Naples. (Note: you get great views of the Bay of Naples on the main line, but not the Circumvesuviana).
Once back in Naples we had a lunch stop for Neapolitan style pizza (of course) before heading to the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli where you can see many of the artefacts recovered from Pompeii, as well as a gorgeous scale model. And you will be glad to know I got my mosaic fix!
In th evening we were still rather full of pizza (I’m so over the constant carbs!) so went out and found a stall selling cones of fried fish then had a drink in Piazza Dante and watched the world go by.