A Blog 2,000 Years in the Making | Pompeii
Jason Daniel Shaw
POMPEII – ITALY
Standing in the middle of Pompeii, looking up at Mt. Vesuvius tower over the city and hearing the rumble of the approaching thunderstorm, I couldn’t help but think about what it must have been like the day of the eruption. Pompeii, much like Stonehenge, was one of those places that I grew up hearing and learning about but never really imagined ever visiting. So when we started planning our Italy trip, I knew that I had to add it to the list. There was just something about the idea of walking along the same sidewalks and streets as a civilization from 2,000 years ago that made me feel like such a small blip in time. Also, seeing how similar their lives were to our lives today made me think of how little we have evolved in two millennia. It is incredible to imagine what was going through the minds of these people as their city was being completely engulfed in ash from the eruption.
POMPEII – A TOURIST SITE
As you know, Pompeii is a city that was buried by ash when Mt Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. Today, you can visit the city and walk the streets as they did the day before that eruption. There are multiple gates to enter the city from but they all give you access to the entire site. Parking can be found around the city near any of the gates and all of them are just as good as another.
As you approach the ticket counter, you will undoubtedly be approached by many tour guides offering their services. The private tours seem to be quite expensive but the small group tours are reasonably priced. There is also an option to the rent audio guides that you find on most historic tours. We decided to rent the audio guide, but mainly because we wanted to go at our own pace and take photos. If you are short on time, the small group tour is probably the best value. The one thing to watch out for is the amount of time that it will take them to collect the number of people that they are looking for. The private tours are quite a bit more expensive but worth it if you are looking for a more in-depth look at the site.
The city is divided into districts, each with their own places to visit. It is helpful to do a bit of research before arriving using the online maps to determine the spots that you most want to visit as the city is quite large and it is easy to get lost in the ruins. There are also additional sites that you can visit as well as a museum (all separate locations) that contains all of the small artifacts that they found. We opted to just visit the main city site to make the most of our time.
POMPEII – AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE
Pompeii is still an active archaeological site today and when you visit you will see archaeologists working on both small and large projects. Certain places may be closed during your visit. These projects are all in an effort to better understand the site and the people that lived there.
We made Naples our home for this leg of our journey. Make sure to visit and explore there as well while you are in the area. If you want to follow along with our 25-day wedding / honeymoon trip, you can see more of our adventures in Malta, Italy, the Vatican, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.