Pompeii, home of the famous archaeological site from Mount Vesuvius volcanic eruption in 79 A.D., is a day trip you have to add to your next Italian vacation.
Settled off the coast of Naples, Pompeii is easily reached by ferry, then a local train in about 30 minutes from Naples and about 45 minutes from Sorrento. The train you’ll take is the Napoli-Sorrento Circumvesuviana line to Pompeii-Scavi – Villa dei Misteri stop. There are also day trips from Rome that include seeing the Amalfi coast as well.
Note that this train is almost always busy and can be more on the dodgy side. Be cognizant of your surroundings and your personal items and be prepared to stand due to lack of seats.
Once you depart the train in Pompeii you’ll notice there are a few restaurants outside the city limits. I definitely recommend eating here, rather than inside. There is only one cafe inside the ruins, which mainly pre-made sandwiches and coffee.
The entrance fee for visiting Pompeii is roughly 11 euros. This will cover the cost to go in, though doesn’t include a guided tour within the city. Guided tours are available for an additional cost or you can walk through on your own. If you decide to do it yourself try to grab a map or a guidebook in order to better understand what you’re looking at and plan to spend about 2-3 hours within the city.
You’ll also notice statues throughout the city within, though those were ancient ruins brought in later and not actually from the aftermath itself.
Once inside be prepared to feel. I was completely overwhelmed being there in person and seeing the city up close. Walking through the streets and into the old buildings you’ll see houses, bakeries, a brothel and even the House of Vetti, home of a rich merchant in the town.
One can only imagine how chaotic and tragic this event must have been. The volcano erupted for hours though it only took one second for the lava to change course and swallow the city. Seeing the bodies, especially the children, perfectly preserved in their final resting positions is truly heartbreaking. Pompeii is truly a wonder of the world that can only really be appreciated seeing it in person.