Pompeii and Herculaneum where destroyed and buried under several meters of volcanic ash in the eruption the Vesuvius in 79 AD. Probably founded in the sixth century BC, a Roman colony in 80 BC and then forgotten for the next 1500 years. Today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy, If you are short in time Herculaneum has less tourists and is more compact.
Get there with the Circumvesuviana Napoli to Sorrento line, get off at "Pompei Scavi", about 40 minutes and about 100 meters from the entrance.
There are clusters of rectangular narrow streets around the Capuan Gate filled with tenements with laundry hanging across the narrow streets and at the ground level markets and open stalls in every open space not covered by parked cars and the noise of a busy world.
Okay, so Jeff finally made it to Pompei. I've been meaning to visit for quite some time, but finally did in Nov 2002. I was quite impressed, and all the reading I did prior to the trip really made it more interesting. Bottomline - The people of Pompei were brilliant, and made some extraordinary contributions during their day.
It's better to go during summer months when the ruins are open until 7:30 p.m., as they close at 5:00 during winter months.
Now that you’ve seen the museum collection, head to Pompeii. Pompeii is one of the world's best-preserved towns of Ancient Rome.
Pompeii can be visited on a day-trip form Naples, Sorrento and even Rome. It can also be visited in transit (from Sorrento or the Amalfi Coast to Naples or Rome for example.)
From Napels, take the inter-city train heading to Sorrento. About half way to Sorrento, you’ll reach Pompeii..
Pompeii is a ruined and partially buried Roman city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. It, along with Herculaneum (its sister city), was destroyed, and completely buried, during a catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning two days on 24 August 79 AD.
The volcano collapsed higher roof-lines and buried Pompeii under many meters of ash and pumice, and it was lost for nearly 1700 years before its accidental rediscovery in 1748. Since then, its excavation has provided an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city at the height of the Roman Empire.
The ruins of Pompei are very near the city of Naples, just take the Circumvesuviana train to Scavi di Pompei.
The area is huge so you might want to hire a guide (possibility to do this on site) or at least take a map of the area with you.
In the Orchard of the Fugitives today, with its green grass, robust grape vines, and fruit trees, it is life, not death, that prevails, and the orchard is lovely once again. Ever more patches of green have come to life over the past decade as environmental biologists try to identify and recreate Pompeii's urban gardens. Down the street another vineyard adjoins the Osteria of the Gladiators, where four species of indigenous white grapes have been planted in soil that nurtured similar vines two thousand years ago. After a hot summer, the grapes are so full of sweet juice that the vines have to be covered with fine nets to protect the harvest from thieving birds. For harvest it they will. This vineyard is not just for show but is part of an ambitious effort to resurrect the vineyards of Pompeii and recreate the wines of the ancient Romans according to old Roman methods. The project- is a public-private partnership between the Archaeological Superintendence of Pompeii and the Campania wine estate Mastroberardino. Ancient frescos, root imprints, Roman authors, and DNA are used to identify the grape varieties.
At the firts glance it seems to be dark and dangerous. But by the way of the visit, it begin to became astonishing. Under the lights the town seem to born again. You can really see the people living here and working and go back to their houses. I wanted to stay there all the night, but it was impossible. Every tourist (and neapolitan) must live this experience.
This is a model of Pompei. When I saw this model, it was understood how come we were so tired after walking around Pompei and yet have seen only a small frycture of it! That's right! It's HUGE!!!!!
If you 've reached Naples, you probably wont miss Pompei, the ancient city, destroyed by its neighbour, volcano Vesuvio. I think its last noteworthy eruption was in early 50-ies of the former century so it is safe for you (probably) to go and pay your respect to the (still smoking some sulphur) volcano. Many tourist buses come and you can admire tourist princesses climbing up in totally totally unapropriate high heels being on the edge of seriously damaging not only their shoes but also break their legs. Small rocks are crumbling down as you walk. Very unique. I am terribly afraid of height, so I didnt have the courrage looking inside Vesuvio. But my boyfriend told me, what is lying on the bottom: old tyres. So that information can spare you from looking into it, if you are afraid as me.
Most of the city is still lying under tons of volcano ash. The last second of its citizens were probably full of coughing - if they even had time to do this. But there is plenty uncovered for you to explore. You will probably be fascintated by everything you see there. The houses are left empty though. There are some paintings to see (even the erotic ones). Pieces of things that were found in the houses are in museums (like National museum in Napoli). You well see some burnt, 'frozen in time' people. As for my experience in unbearably hot August I must tell you the first thing I saw there lying on ancient plazza was a death of a modern overweight turist (probably heart attack). I was so confused by this I just wondered off and didnt visit nearby museum. So - remember to take a lot of fluids with you, wear a hat or umbrella or dont go there in the peak summer, if you have problems with your heart.
But the city is worth of your attention: you can observe beautiful spas, renovated gardens, pavements and streets of stone, liquor selling shops, long and straight avenues ... You can have lunch in the centre of the Pompei. You can choose between ordering (very expensive) or self servise lunch (bearable).
I'd heard that Pompei is very beautiful and eerie at night, but I visited it in the day nonetheless. I saw, on display, a few plaster-filled lava-encrusted bodies of Pompeians killed by Mount V, that served as a wildly irrelevant example, by a Napolitan mother standing next to us, of punishment for naughty little boys. "You biricchino!! (which I think roughly translates into 'you naughty little devil!')That's what will happen to you if you are naughty again!" - she apparently told her bug-eyed kid, as was translated to me..
The 20,000 citizens of Pompeii were killed by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius on the 24th August 79AD. For three days the eruption continued and when it stopped the city was covered in 7 metres of ash. It remained concealed until 1594. The major excavation work however did not commence until 1748 and continued for 150 years.