Experiencing Pompeii and the power of Mt. Vesuvius

Seeing Pompeii was a must for Magpie.  We had read about them, so experiencing was the next step.  It is always very interesting to see the sites from other people’s interpretations whether it be music, stories or art.

Naples was the base camp for us. As it turned out, we were walking distance to the train station and market.  Unfortunately for us, the apartment was on the top floor, 6th, with no elevators.  It was  a square staircase that opened into a communal courtyard.  It was a great location and quite safe.

Getting to Pompeii, which we did the first day, was very fast and easy by train.  We did not do a tour. Pompeii is located right beside the train station too which makes it easy all around.  I do recommend packing a lunch, especially if there are allergies involved.

We chose one audio tour and had to give up a piece of i.d. for security.  We did not learn until after that there was a pamphlet that described everything.

streets in Pompeii

streets in Pompeii

Walking the streets of Pompeii was long, hot and busy.  There were school groups there that we tried to dodge.  We are always looking for options without people for photos.  Magpie was sneaky though and has found english tour guides explaining things and will shadow them.

Streets of Pompeii showing sidewalks and shops and homes

Streets of Pompeii showing sidewalks and shops and homes

Pompeii was a good size city, with wide paved roads, no sidewalks, lots of food stalls – and I am meaning from Roman times and of course temples.

To see the organization of the city and how it has carried on to present day was confirming and surprising at the same time. When you read stories whether factual or not, I find there is a doubt at times to how it truly was and what liberties are taken in the re-telling of the story. Everything we read is an opinion that is past on and on until it is considered a fact.

Seeing it for real makes all the difference in the world.  It can be illuminating even to a 9 year old.

coming into Pompeii towards the bathhouse

coming into Pompeii towards the bathhouse

There are many things – everything you can imagine – preserved in a special room that is barred but we can peak through. Yes there are bodies of animals and people. It is not morbid to see but it does make you turn around and look up at Mt. Vesuvius and ponder.

Part of the special area protected from people of the best preserve items.

Part of the special area protected from people of the best preserve items.

This is a body cast of a body they found.

This is a body cast of a body they found.

The best ruin of a coloseum is in Pompeii.  It is smaller than Rome’s but it is the full circle and you can walk into the centre and get the feel. Many people chose to have picnics outside the coloseum in the shade of the trees.

Inside the Pompeii Coloseum

Inside the Pompeii Coloseum

the Pompeii Coloseum, smaller than Romes but in better condition.

the Pompeii Coloseum, smaller than Romes but in better condition.

Walking around Pompeii was very hot with limited washroom facilities or maps.  It is possible to get lost in Pompeii.  On different corners – few and far between – it is possible to find fresh water fountains that are potable and makes filling a water bottle easy and a novelty for a kid.

Food stalls. Holes are for fires or urns holding food

Food stalls. Holes are for fires or urns holding food

For food, there is one modern building that is a rest stop, closer to the front.  In there you will find air conditioning, fast food, buffet and ice cream, washrooms and many tables.  We ate the food we had brought there.

Overall, Pompeii was a great success for both of us. It is definitely a full long day to see it all and even then there will be certain sections closed as it is still an active archaelogical site. Definitely have water, a good hat and comfortable shoes.  For me, do not forget the camera.

Next stop…. Hercoleum.  Have you even heard of this town?  This is Magpie’s push.

Pompeii

Pompeii with a view of Mt. Vesuvius

Another wall mosaic in the bathhouse

Another wall mosaic in the bathhouse

Wall murals in the main bathhouse.

Wall murals in the main bathhouse.

Ceiling mosaics

Ceiling mosaics

Many homes had inner court yards with the living space around the courtyard.

Many homes had inner court yards with the living space around the courtyard.

Looking out over the ruins of Pompeii

Looking out over the ruins of Pompeii

Temples and statues through Pompeii

Temples and statues through Pompeii

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