Italy is so beautiful. I just can’t seem to get over the natural beauty and historical significance of the place. Not to mention that a great climate, lovely produce and wonderful people, you almost feel like packing your bags and living there. If only, I had that kind of money.
Anyhow, we decided to go to Pompeii ruins on a day trip from Rome. We had done a booking on a fast train from Rome to Naples or Napoli as the locals call it through Trenitalia. Naples is famous for its pizza which is out of the world. They actually have strictly regulated guidelines for a pizza to be called Naples pizza. After tasting it, I realized why.
From Naples, we changed to a local train, Circumvesuviana network, which is very similar to local trains in India complete with graffiti and artists who sing and solicit money. It was a colourful and enjoyable journey as we chugged at a slower pace to the smaller towns south of Rome.
Yes, I saw people openly staring at us but with hardly any brown people in sight, I can imagine why. We got off at the tiny station at Pompeii Scavi which has just 2 railway lines. The entrance to the ruins is just 50 meters from the station. You can choose to go to Mount Vesuvius which is a volcano which is a few kilometers away. It was Mount Vesuvius which had erupted on that fateful day in 79 AD killing all and burying the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The ruins have since been excavated and reveal a tale of the people, their lives and times back in those days when one day just brought everything to a standstill. You can’t stay untouched by the pathos of what you see especially moulds of people in poses they were found in at the time of their demise. A dog tied and trying to let loose to save his life. A child in fetal position and many such heartbreaking stories recreated.
You can spend the entire day at the ruins. Some have spent two and still not covered it completely. There is a lot of walking to do and the cobbled stones are unevenly shaped hence they make walking a pain. The ruins are divided into sections. Don’t forget to pick up an audio guide or take a guide with a map to understand the place.
Most of the artifacts are broken. There are so many details from their daily lives that one can see and think about.
We did not cover the entire area. We were exhausted. The two kids did marvelously on foot. There is one cafeteria which serves some amazing pizza. Try Margarita, it is outstanding and of course, the gelato. Remember to carry your water bottles and caps. There are drinking water fountains throughout the ruins but the water does taste a bit strange though it is safe to drink. We kept refilling our water bottles. The rest rooms in the cafeteria are free of charge. God bless them.
Overall, if you have kids who would enjoy a piece of history, this is a good journey to make.
We traced our way back to Rome the way we came stopping for dinner at Naples where we had some lovely pasta as well as their famous wine.
The local train can be booked on the spot. You don’t need advance booking tickets. But yes, we did book our fast train from Naples to Rome in advance. So make sure that you accordingly plan your transit times.
Overall, it was an exhausting but fulfilling trip.
You can read about my other Rome travel posts here: