Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pompeii: The Best 5 Years

Spending the best 5 years of the rest of your life (all pictures at link)

We hadn’t seen Pompeii, the Roman city buried by ash when Mt. Vesuvius exploded. The best artifacts from Pompeii are located in the Naples Archaeology Museum. Seeing both the ruined city and the artifacts from the city would be more complete. Naples is a 1-2 hour train ride south of Rome, and Pompeii is a 1-hour train ride south of Naples. Could we do both in one day?

We checked train schedules and laid out a timeline. If we caught a 7:10 am train from Rome, went to Pompeii, returned to Naples for the Archaeology Museum, and returned to Rome after 11:00 pm, we could do both in one very long day. We later learned that Rick Steves suggests this trip with the same trains. We deferred Pompeii-Naples trip to our fourth day, to give us more time to get over jet lag. We purchased Rome-Naples train tickets for the super saver fare that’s a quarter the price of the full fare.

Pompeii was a Roman city that was buried when the nearby Mt. Vesuvius erupted and exploded in 79 AD. Pompeii captured Roman life well because it remained buried and was spared destruction during the fall of the Roman empire.

The train rides from Rome to Naples and then to Pompeii went smoothly. All eight of us arrived at the main train station with plenty of time to catch the 7:10 train. We transferred trains in Naples and arrived at Pompeii at 10:00.

Outside the main gate to Pompeii is the former dock. Make out the square boat rings to the right of the cypress tree in the middle of the picture. Pompeii was a port in 79 AD; today it is a mile from the sea. Note that the unexcavated bank to the left of the dock is much higher than the dock, indicating the amount of ash that was deposited.

More to read and pictures at link