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Visiting Pompeii And Mount Vesuvius

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The Final Day Of Our Trip To Naples

The Roman city of Pompeii has been on our bucket list for a while, along with places like the Roman Forum and the Colosseum in Rome. You learn about what happened at Pompeii at school and you grow up watching TV shows and films on its history so to be here, stood amongst its streets is quite surreal.

Vicky, Pompeii Station, Naples.
Vicky, Pompeii train station.

Visiting Pompeii & How To Get There

Our journey begins with a taxi ride. From the Hotel Rex to the Napoli Centrale Station, it cost us a fixed €18. We read online when researching on how to get to Pompeii about two train stations, the Central and the Garibaldi, to board the Circumvesuviana train. This was where it was getting confusing. One blog would tell you to board at Central and another blog at the Garibaldi. Basically, the Garibaldi line is downstairs in the Central station.

As soon as you get dropped off and go inside, head straight down the steps. You can’t miss the big blue signs pointing down to Piazza Garibaldi and the Circumvesuviana platform. Follow the signs to the end, past all the shops. Then, at the end of these are turnstiles and a handful of ticket desks.

It took us around 20 minutes to buy our tickets for the train after joining a queue. Be warned though, locals will push in-front of you. They don’t care you’re here to see the sights, they just want to get on with their day. It is the Naples way. Once you have your tickets, head through the gates and down some more steps.

You’ll eventually arrive on platform 3, a very busy platform. The Naples – Sorrento Circumvesuviana service also takes you to Herculaneum (Ercolano). The other town destroyed during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD, so if you have time you can stop here too. Smaller than Pompeii, but just as beautiful and just as important to the entire story. Trains run frequently, every 30 minutes, until around 10pm. Our tickets cost us €11.20 return.

You can read about our trip to Herculaneum by clicking A Trip To Herculaneum.

Like Sardines In A Tin

Now this is where it gets fun, or crazy, depending on your take of it. The trains can be very busy. Be ready, because once the train stops at the platform and those doors open, whoosh, everyone makes a mad dash to find the last spot. Once those spots are full, they’ll try to find spots that don’t exist until we are all crammed in like sardines in a tin. The journey lasts around 40 minutes. Be prepared to stand this entire time. Take some water, as the carriages can be hot and very humid.

Roman Ruins & The People Of Pompeii

Once you arrive, you’ll need tickets to enter. There are several ticket booths offering a range of tours and services. We opted for a self lead visit rather than a guided tour. We bought ‘beat the line’ tickets for €15 each and made our way to the entrance.

Pompeii lying in the shadow of Vesuvius, a once thriving city. The streets lined with Roman soldiers, families, business owners and children. People just getting on with their daily routines. Wiped out in an instant. Cobbled roads with the grooves of carts drawn by horses are still visible. Frescoes, columns, bakeries and food shops are all still here as if they could spring to life again any minute, beautifully preserved. Don’t forget to go look for the plaster casts of the people who died that day, frozen in time, found in the position they perished in. Very eerie.

Ruins Of Pompeii, Naples
Ruins of Pompeii, Naples.
The Ruins Of Pompeii, Naples
The ruins of Pompeii, Naples.

Five Interesting Facts About Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius

  1. The ruins of Pompeii were first discovered in the late 16th century by architect Domenico Fontana.
  2. They designated both Pompeii and neighbouring Herculaneum a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
  3. Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD destroying the city of Pompeii. If the wind had been blowing in its usual SW direction during the eruption, the people would have had a better chance of survival.
  4. Mount Vesuvius last erupted on March 17th, 1944, during World War II, killing 26 people.
  5. Pompeii was once a thriving city and Emperor Nero is thought to have had a home there.
Pompeii Overlooked By Mount Vesuvius
Pompeii overlooked by Mount Vesuvius.
Remains Of Pots, Pompeii, Naples
Remains of large storage pots, Pompeii, Naples.

We had a good three hours exploring, but to be honest, we could have spent all day here. There is so much to see and the place is huge. The only reason we left early was so we could visit the next stop on our journey. Mount Vesuvius. Before buying our ticket for the coach, we grabbed some snacks from one of the food places outside. These were reasonably priced too, for the location.

Visiting Mount Vesuvius

Coach tickets for Vesuvius cost us €10 each and are available from the vendors selling Pompeii tickets. You will need a ticket for the trip up. There is then another charge to enter the National Park and crater area. We paid this upon reaching the top and this cost another €8 a piece. The scenery on the way up is quite something. Through winding roads, forests, we passed tomato plantations and several small villages.

View Out Over The Volcanic Landscape, Mount Vesuvius
View out over the volcanic landscape, Mount Vesuvius.

Wear some comfy trainers or boots for this day because you’re going to do ALOT of walking. The small hike to the crater over the soft, ashy, and stony ground can be pretty rough. But once you get to the very top, wow, the views are incredible out over the Bay of Naples.

Looking Into The Crater, Mount Vesuvius, Naples
Looking into the crater, Mount Vesuvius, the belly of the beast.
Jason & Vicky, At The Top Of Mount Vesuvius
Jason & Vicky, at the top of Mount Vesuvius.

We had such a great day. The evening ended with a well-earned pizza and beer from world famous Gino Sorbillo’s. Another incredible pizza restaurant down by the seafront. Try it if you visit Naples. Very good prices and the food was fantastic.

We payed for our travel and admission tickets as we went along, however if you would like to go on a more organised tour, check out what Get Your Guide offers.

Both of us absolutely loved our time in Naples and hope you have enjoyed reading our blogs. Amsterdam is our next destination in a few weeks’ time. We will write a couple more blogs before then, however. Thank you all for your continued support in this new venture. You can read about the rest of our time in Naples by clicking these links Guide To Naples, Part One and Guide To Naples, Part Two.


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