May 19, 2018

We spent day 2 in Pompeii

Because the weather was still cool and showers were still possible we did Pompeii on Wednesday rather than our planned excursion which required very good weather.  There are many ways to see Pompeii, with a tour or a private guide, or hire a guide on site or to rent an audio guide.  We chose to do it on our our own.  Colin had spent time researching what he thought we should see and what we could not see and printed some things out as well as put everything in an order that would make the flow through the enormous site efficient.  Pompeii is 64 – 67 hectares ( 170 acres ).

Pompeii was founded somewhere between the 6 – 7th century BC.  Approximately 11,000 to 12,000 people lived there and they say that 2000 people perished on August 24, 79AD when Mount Vesuvius which is 5miles away, erupted.  We heard that ash fell for 18 hours and buried the city in 19 -23 feet of pumice stone and ash.  It took until 1748 before the city was discovered by a survey engineer.

We got there about 9:15 AM and started walking and exploring.  We never stopped until we sat down for lunch about 2:30PM.  We were very fortunate as the sun appeared and it warmed up.  Despite the number of people about we never felt crowded nor rushed and often were alone in many areas for long periods of time.  Somehow we manged to cover a great deal of Pompeii.  There were three areas that we could see where excavations are ongoing as well as areas that have yet to be even touched.

Our first view of Pompeii.

The wild poppies were the perfect display of life among the ruins.

The tall statue was added, I don’t know when or what it is about but it was not original to the site. This is an active dig site which is behind a fenced area.  The nearby information said that  the dig has been allowed in this area from May 14/18 to June 22/18.  What was most interesting to me is that it is a joint dig between the Mount Allison University of Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada and the University of Missouri in Columbia Missouri, US

A main road of the city.

It was very difficult to chose just a few of the 300 photos we took between us.

These frescos had been preserved thanks to the ash covering.

The oldest know basilica of the Roman world, dated at the end of the 2nd century BC.

Mount Vesuvius as seen though the columns from this end of the Forum.

The required tourist shot.

The granary market and a plaster cast of the body of someone who died inside.

They call this the fast food store. The servants only had a tiny area to sleep in and no kitchen so they had to buy their food at these food outlets. The round areas cut in the marble likely held basins of food.

There were several bath areas within the city but this is a shot of the decor on the ceiling of the main one.  The baths were cleverly heated by a series of ducts and vents as well as steam areas.

Note the ruts in the stone from the chariot wheels.

One of the bakeries.  Wheat was ground in the vessels to the right and the bread was cooked in an oven much like a pizza oven.

Pompeii even had a brothel.  As the slaves who were the prostitutes and the clients who came from all over the world did not speak the same language there were paintings that the client pointed to as to the type of sex he was paying for.

This was the bed. We were told that there was a mattress of some sort on the cement bed so it wasn’t quite so hard 🙂

We sat here for a few moments taking it all in. Quite the time to have been living in.  The best seats in the grand theater were the white marble ones.

This cast of a victim of the eruption is shown with most his skull and teeth.

These were taken through a window in a special exhibit.  Sad to think that they suffered due to asphyxiation.

After walking over 20,000 steps it was time for lunch. The best pizza to eat in Naples is  the margherita bufala pizza, the mozzarella is made with buffalo milk.

This pizza was our second best of our entire time here in Naples. The restaurant was run by the fellow on the left and has only been open for 2 years .  However his father’s family has had the limoncello stand across the street for 90 years. They make their own limoncello and meloncello and sell it just outside the gates of Pompeii near the current town of Pompeii.  A great family.

For some reason our train back to Naples was delayed and instead of a 15 minute wait it was closer to 50 minutes.  The clouds were coming in again.

A bit of a setting sun reflection on the buildings to the left of our apartment.

It wasn’t long before it got very cool and the rain showers began.  They say that you should pack half of what you think you need so I put back my cold weather clothes 😥   But things have warmed up although I am still wearing my only sweater and my jacket at times.

We were very tired and just went down the street for dinner.  After eating pizza for a few days it was time to switch it up to pasta.  There is not much else to choose from.  This place only served pasta. However the menu was entirely in Italian and the staff spoke no English but we managed.  It appears that I was too tired to take photos of our meals.  I did take this snapshot to show that the patriarch of the family was sitting at one end of the restaurant observing all that was happening.  In his spare time he was polishing all the wine and water glasses.

Free wifi is not plentiful here in Naples and has been a bit of a hindrance, although we do have great wifi in the apartment. I also discovered that my provided data was not working.  That took about 45 minutes of back and forth calls to Virgin Mobile but we did get it sorted out.  I am paying $100.00CAD for 200 outgoing text messages ( but unlimited incoming texts ) and 100 travel voice minutes  and 1GB of data, all good for 30 days.

This is my second post for today.  Please check the previous post to make sure you have read it.

Tomorrow is a travel day so I need to get to bed before midnight as we are up early.   I have yet to post days 3 and 4 here in Naples as well as what we did today, day 5, our final day.  Stay tuned.  Things might get tricky as I bounce between real time and the last few days.





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6 responses so far

6 Responses to “We spent day 2 in Pompeii”

  1. There is nothing like “living history”. I have to say that I was getting hungry going through the tour and was delighted to see the pizza 🙂

  2. We found all throughout our 3 city tour of Italy it was pizza or pasta! I agree though, Margherita pizza is the way to go. I also tried Cacio and pepe (cheese and pepper pasta) and it was great and carbonara (yummy). I really liked our tour of Pompeii as well – our guide advised they still find bodies all the time. Just a few weeks ago they found a baby :(. So much of Pompeii is under the new city of Pompeii that it cannot possibly be all excavated. I think the local trains(not high speed) are somewhat iffy. Our expected train from Salerno to Pompeii was on time when we bought our ticket, then was late, then didn’t come at all. Thankfully we just hopped the next one and barely made it to our tour on time. Our high speed one from Rome to Salerno though was exactly on time. You got some sun finally!

  3. Don & Kathy says:

    Wonderful it is almost as if we are there with you and yet we did not have to pay for the trip. We are sure all your readers are so very thankful. You two are so very fortunate to be able to travel and see and do so very much. Keep it up and we look forward to seeing every post and wonder what fantastic journeys are around the next corner.

  4. George Yates says:

    Some wonderful sights you are enjoying, so far to choose photos when you take so many. keep having fun.

  5. Peter says:

    Nice to see the rain let up a bit during your visit to Pompeii. The pizza looks delicious, the best food ever invented. Enjoy the sites.

  6. Dolores says:

    This is SO exciting to read and see!! So very grateful u share!!
    Was really interested in 2nd century bacillica…

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