41.9000° N, 12.5000° E
Our next stop after Ireland, was Italy. The plan was to meet my Mom and Dad in Florence on the 20th, so that gave us 10 days to do the Southern Italy on our own. We decided to focus our attention on Rome to visit the Vatican and explore our Catholic heritage and Naples to visit Pompeii.
For those not familiar with the history, Pompeii was a major metropolis of the Roman Empire. In 79 A.D. Pompeii was buried in meters of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Due to relatively little air and moisture damage, the site stayed untouched and preserved for about 1,500 years until its rediscovery in 1599. The site began to be excavated and studied broader in 1748.
Getting to Pompeii from Naples is pretty easy. From Napoli Centrale you hop on the Circumvesuviana and get off at Pompei Scavi. Overall the ride takes about 30 min and costs 1.20 euro one way.
Getting off at Pompei Scavi puts you about 50 meters from the Porta Marina entrance. Simply pay your 13 euros and you are in. Before you head into the park make sure to pick up your free map and guide book. We met a couple who missed the maps and were out of luck as the park attendants wouldn’t let them exit and return to pick up a map.
Once in, some argue it’s best to mark off sites you want to see and hit them up first. I recommend picking 3-4 things you want to see then see what else you can find on the way. Tom and I spent about 4 hours there and feel like we saw almost everything. Nomadic Matt gives some great highlights, but many of the things he saw in 2010 have been closed off to the public–at least while we were there.
Our favorite sights were House of Menander
and The Amphitheater, but it is really hard to pick favorites when everything is so cool.
Other highlights from the day include:
If you are interested in some good tips for eating before or after or touring with children, I found this blog especially helpful.
Following our tour of the city, we got about a 10 minutes walk away from the main entrance and found an amazing cheese and meat platter with house vino for 4 euro. An excellent way to end a great day!
What part of Pompeii did you find most interesting?
Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think! 🙂