If you find yourself holidaying or travelling anywhere near the Amalfi Coast or Naples in Italy, then do yourself a favour and find at least half a day to visit the ruins of Pompeii. It’s well worth the visit. I’ve seen plenty of ruins in my time but these are some of the best. Everything is so well-preserved considering the amount of ash from Mount Vesuvius that blanketed the whole city in 79 AD. The stone pavements, the buildings, the streets, kitchen pots and even bodies – all have been uncovered and left in place just where they were found.
Original Road Track, Pompeii
The Forum, Pompeii
The Forum was the main centre of life for the people of Pompeii and it’s fairly near the main gate as you enter. During the summer it gets really crowded down the little streets, especially with the tour guides holding up their lollypops, but here in the Forum you can spread out and have more room to wander round the columns.
Ruins of the Temple, Pompeii
Walking round the ruins, it was hard to imagine a thriving, bustling community of Romans that were completely wiped out in just a few minutes. The bodies in the glass cases and those in situ in the buildings were very poignant and it’s hard to believe that these were real people.
Body in a glass case, Pompeii
Bodies in Situ, Pompeii
Roadway and entrances to houses
Intact Columns, Pompeii
This huge ampitheatre is where entertainment and games were held and it’s a little way out of the main part of the ruins so doesn’t tend to get that crowded. You can’t see the scale of this place by the photo, it’s huge!
The Ampitheatre, Pompeii
Some Tips whilst visiting Pompeii
The summer months get very hot and very crowded so try and go as early in the morning as you can, even at 8am.
There is a cafe and restaurant in the grounds. I didn’t think there was one and actually exited the grounds to find a cafe, and had to bat my eyelashes furiously to get back in, which they don’t normally do.
Take lots of water with you….and the only toilet is near the entrance.
Don’t bother with the audio, you’ll just get confused. The book they give you at the entrance is enough to find your way around.
There are loads of Guided Tours going round, and I mean loads, and it’s very easy to just tag along on the end of one to find out snippets of information as you go along.
Travelling to Pompeii
I travelled to Pompeii by train from Naples and it’s very easy and inexpensive. At Naples Train Station you need to get a round trip ticket on the Circumvesuviana line which is on the Naples to Sorrento route, Sorrento being the last stop on the journey. It takes around 40 minutes and you need to get off at the Pompei Scavi (Villa Dei Misteri) Station. (Just remember Scavi as in excavation!).
The Circumvesuviana is not exactly a comfortable train, and it’s likely to be very crowded with tourists doing exactly what you’re doing plus locals commuting around the region. And it’s MUCH less expensive than booking a bus tour.