Naples is a loud city. The night was heavy with banging and popping noises. I doubt it was guns, Dylan thinks it was (he is usually right). The cars and motorcycles speeding down the small, bumpy streets, often beeping their horns when nearing an intersection. The people talking VERY loudly, nay screaming at all hours of the night. This is Naples. It is a culture shock, but yet totally captivating.
After a restless night, we spent the morning trying to recover from our intensive travel. Our feet are killing us and I am starting to get over my cold, while Dylan is just starting to get sick. We made our standard vacation breakfast of a coffee with 1 egg, a cup of yogurt, and a piece of bread. Then I worked on my blog for a while.
At around 11am, we made our way to the Metro and the train station for our visit to Pompeii. This was a bit confusing, and for some reason when we asked the ticket office for two round trip tickets, they sold us 3 tickets. The line for the ticket office was quite long and we didn’t realize the mistake (or, perhaps, more likely the scam) until after we left the line and we really didn’t want to wait again. So we sucked up the loss and took the train that a worker on the platform told us to take to Pompeii. We sat down across from two elderly men and they must have seen that I was looking at a Pompeii book. They called the train driver over and told us that we needed to get off at the next stop and take the next train to Sorrento, not Sarno. I am very happy that we followed the guidebook’s recommendation to sit in the first car so the conductor could help us out if needed. Since a train station worker told us to get on the Sarno train, I think that we just convinced ourselves that Sarno was the Italian name for Sorrento. Oops! The trains both ran on the same tracks for a bit, so it was no problem to change trains when we did.
The correct train was overcrowded, old, and a bit sketchy looking. It was a happy moment once the ride was over and we emerged just outside of the Pompeii ruins. Pompeii is an entire city that was buried by a volcano eruption in 79 A.D. Much of the city is as it was nearly 2000 yrs ago, except that the roofs are gone and only the ground floors remain standing.
There are some amazing mosaic floors and frescoes on the walls. A lot of them were removed and taken to the Archaeology museum in Napoli that we will visit tomorrow to keep them in better condition.
The artwork was exquisite. Besides the frescoes and mosaics, there was also a lot of pottery, statues, and floors covered in marble.
At least a few bakeries are still obviously so, with their large flour mills and brick ovens.You can see some of the mills in the picture below.
There are some brothels with evocative frescoes that were blocked off and, actually, a good portion of the ruins are still unexcavated or are in the process of restoration and are blocked off. What was really cool, is that you could still see drain pipes in the walls. This place would have fit quiet well into modern times with its aqueducts and sanitation systems.
We saw the amphitheater and two smaller theaters.The amphitheater was still in really good condition and was a beautiful structure. It was located further away from the rest of the city and surrounded by vineyards and the gladiator training grounds.
The large amphitheater had a plywood pyramid built inside it. We found out that the pyramid held a good little museum filled with plaster casts of the bodies of some of Mount Vesuvius’ victims. I was surprised to see the skull and teeth sticking out of some of the plaster casts, as well as a child sitting on it’s mother.
Pompeii has the power to make you imagine riding down the road in a Chariot. The stone roads had huge wheel ruts from the Chariots running along them. They also had raised stone walkways as they used to flood the streets as a way to clean them. The raised walkways helped the residents to keep their feet dry while the streets were being cleaned. The ruts in the street reminded me of mud season in Vermont. Can you imagine the public outcry today if our streets had ruts like this!
Overall, Pompeii was awesome. I could spend at least a day walking around and pretending like a little kid in a place like this. In the picture below, I am working in one of the “fast food” restaurants. Just picture a flame coming out of the hole and a nice cooking pot on top.
We caught a direct train to Naples, which was much nicer and faster than our last train. In the metro, there was a guy who was possibly on cocaine, yelling into his phone and at a lady in a tight pink mini dress.I personally think he was her pimp. When the lights went dark in a tunnel, they started making out and I heard him undo his belt. Luckily, the lights came back on and his pants went back up. Icky people!
We went out for pizza once again, this time we got take out pizza from Sorbillo’s which appears to be the best ranking and most popular pizza joint in Naples. Across the street, I noticed a donut place that was highly recommended online and we got some for desert. They were made in front of us and thus were super fresh and so delicious. Dylan ordered a coffee crema and I a chocolate fondant flavored donut. Our Airbnb apartment owner left us a bottle of local white wine, so we had that with our dinner and desert. And now…time for bed!