Sunday, April 10, 2016


Beautiful Painted Walls
Pompeii is one of the major archeological sites in the world, an entire city wiped out in one day and completely buried for centuries. We have seen some of the lost Aztec cities, but these were deserted and taken over by jungle. Pompeii was a thriving city one day and gone the next. They say that people forgot where the city was. Seriously, no one wondered why uncle Bob stopped visiting. Imagine, going to visit Las Vegas and finding instead just a pile of gray dust, "Oh, I must have made a mistake. . " No, not me, I remembered where Pompeii was and it was on my bucket list, so we decided to visit for a day during our road trip to the Amalfi.

Inside a house - Pompeii Style
The actual archeological site is excellent and it is amazing to see that after over 250 years, they are still excavating areas. The original city covered 66 hectares, but only 49 have been explored. Many reviews complain about the closed areas and the continued on-going work of discovering what life was like in Pompeii thousands of years ago, but I found this aspect fascinating.

Beautiful Mural
Although there are a lot of individual houses, buildings, and entire areas that are gated off and inaccessible, but there are enough houses and areas open to see and explore that you can get a good idea of the city. You can walk the original stone streets and see the deep groves in the stones from carts delivering things long ago. Most buildings have been left as excavated, but some have been partially restored to show what life was like. The only thing that might be nice would be a fully restored house to show what it would have been actually like to live in Pompeii in 79 AD.

A Wealthy Estate
One who did not make it out
Now getting into the site is not so easy. First is parking, I really do not know if the site actually has any public parking, and reviews warned of break-ins and stolen luggage and the boys had already lost their luggage once so were a bit leary. However, everyone in the area has parking spots to sell you and they are all called “Safe”. There are salesmen out on the road who try to entice you into their lot. Once they get you in, the scams begin. We were given a ticket and told it would be 3 euro per hour, but then we were told that if we ate at their restaurant for lunch we would get free parking. However when we took advantage of this generous offer, we discovered that the restaurant bill had a 15% surcharge, and a 2 euro per person service charge. So, no free parking actually.
A Statue (Part anyway)

Then going onto the site to get tickets, we were bombarded with offers for tours. We were asked if we were Spanish, and when we replied English, we were sent a surly limping woman who in English offered us a tour. We politely told her we did not want a tour, because we were not there long. "Even better!" She exclaimed. Better for her of course, short tour, same price . . Then when we again politely declined her offer, she swore at us in Italian. Wow, pleasant tour guide; glad we did not hire her.

We enjoyed our trip to Pompeii, and my well-worn hiking shoes now have a coating of volcanic ash on them to remind me of my visit.

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