Located very closely to Naples, Pompeii was once a true and important city of the Roman Empire, similarly to other Italian cities, it would for sure have a quite preserved historical hallmark, but the total devastation caused in ’79 by the unstoppable rage of the Vesuvius did not allow it.
If you’re traveling around the country by car you can take a day to spend in Pompeii, if you’re not, take the train from the city you’re at to Napoli Centrale, in Naples, and from there take the regional line EAV, the former Circumvesuviana line, in the station next to the central, Napoli Garibaldi. After around 40 minutes later you must leave in the stop Pompei Scavi Via dei Misteri, arriving in Pompeii.
We visited Pompeii on our last trip to Italy, coming from the Amalfi Coast (see) and before heading to Rome, we arrived quite early, the idea was to spend the day visiting the Pompeii excavations (the former city destroyed by the volcano) and then proceed our trip.
The path to Pompeii is uproarious, traffic everywhere, as usual in Italy! Amazing to see there is no car without damage along the way, which enhances the good driving skills of the South Italians!
But traffic aside, we arrived in Pompeii. Parked right in front of the excavation complex, in one of the various parking lots, we paid 10€ (entire day) but then realized some parks cost only 5€.
We headed to the old town, which entrance costs 13€ and you can visit the entire complex. Right at the entrance, you have access to a map that you’ll want to take with you, because the complex is big and has several places, and with it, you can easily orientate.
Pompeii, nowadays Unesco’s World Heritage, was kept hidden, preserved by the ashes and mud, for around 1600 years after Vesuvius eruption in ’79. It was rediscovered in 1748, by chance, and it’s almost a dark view of what it once was.
Although the city had its origin in the VI or VII century BC, the excavations show what it must have looked like in the I century AD, showing the life of its citizens, their constructions, their houses, and when found, it was possible to imagine the terror felt during the eruption, because of the preservation of the bodies, running, hugged with horror expressions…
To those who love history like myself, Pompeii is a mandatory place in Italy, if you don’t like that strand I don’t advise you to visit, much because so later you won’t say that was “just a bunch of rocks”.
Along the complex, you can perfectly identify the way of living of Pompeii’s inhabitants, their occupations, their houses, from the most luxurious to the most humble, their leisure places, their places of worship, all the avenues, paths and alleys. The preservation of the whole city is amazing.
We are able to close our eyes at every moment and imagine a true travel to the past, mostly next to the arena, where easily we transport ourselves to a gladiator battle where Spartacus and Crixus could perfectly be protagonists!
Pompeii is for sure an eternal and immortal city!
Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses