Who has never heard the history of Pompeii ruins and its sad end after the eruption of Vesuvius Volcano. Hundreds of books and movies narrate the last days of this Roman metropolis, whose catastrophe has not yet calmed the cravings of the human being to build on the skirts of the Italian giant. Naples It is one of those examples and its inhabitants do not seem to ignore the possible danger.
Pompeii ruins. Catastrophe under Vesuvius volcano
The story that can be repeated
It was the year 79 of our era, when the most violent volcano in Europe erupted destroying Pompeii and the rest of the cities around him. Locations like Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabia, they soon disappeared under a thick blanket of ashes, although most of their inhabitants died from toxic gases or directly from any of the stones that Vesuvius threw.
This catastrophe had only one good thing and it is that thanks to the ash deposited on the cities, these will be preserved in an unpolluted way until today. From this perhaps the image that quickly comes to mind is that of human bodies in perfect condition, although this is not really true. These bodies are really plaster and were created by depositing this material over the holes left by the bodies under the ash.
See in Google Maps
Today, more than 1 million people live under the slopes of the volcano, sometimes building in the same lava fields. Vesuvius is an active volcano and its last eruption dates back to the 40s, in full Second World War. It was here that he claimed that he was possibly his last victims, since an American army air squadron fell because of the ashes.
The first thing that struck me after arriving at Pompeii ruins It was its size. They are really big and it's hard to see them in just 1 day. It all depends on your craving for history and the legs that one has.
At its best, this ancient Roman city had about 15,000 inhabitants, being an important seaport for trade withRome. It is currently considered the most visited monumental complex in Italy. This says a lot about the importance of the place and it is certainly a magical place.
TO Naples generally several cruises arrive every day with thousands of tourists on board. These are optionally offered a visit to Pompeii or at Vesuvius, since they dock for a limited time. As expected, most choose Pompeii, but so quickly that it hardly gives them time to see it.
What does all this mean ... well, the best time to visit it is after lunch, just when these voracious tourists return to their comfortable boat. If we do not have more time there is a trick to avoid them and it is to start the visit by entering the Stabia Gate (Porta Stabia).
Visit the ruins of Pompeii in one day
Pompeii it costs approximately 13€ And the ticket is valid for only one day. There is an alternative called Pompeii Pass (Pompei Pass) that lasts 72h and allows the visit to other monuments, but only once, including Pompeii, so if you want to enter twice you have to pay again. The Pompeii Pass costs approximately 22€ and includes :
- National Archeology Museum
- Flavian (Amphitheater)
- Cumae, Cave of the Sibyl
- Oplontis, Villa Poppea
- Phlegraean Archeological Museum
- Temple of Serapis / Macellum
- Rione Terra, Pozzuoli (Check if it is closed)
- Herculaneum (Herculaneum)
- Baia Archaeological Park
We decided to enter by Stabia Gate, mainly because we were staying in Pompei, but in the long run it was good to start here to avoid the crowd in the morning. Once inside the first thing we see is the colossal amphitheater with capacity for 20,000 people and on one side the Necropolis, with lots of graves and pantheons on both sides.
From here we go north because there was no other way to continue and we began to get lost in the cobbled streets of the city. We reach the end of the street, where it intersects with the Via dell'Abbondanza, one of the main streets with numerous houses that we could visit.
Even so we saw many closed, mainly because of the neglect in its conservation. In recent years, many walls have collapsed and the rumor has begun to spread about the low budget allocated to Pompeiishame
From here and with the map in hand, we go to the junction with the Via Stabiana, going through a series of really interesting houses like the House of the Citarist wave of Menander, all of them halfway. There are so many that sometimes you skip some, mainly because they are similar or some lack paintings or mosaics.
After arriving at the big theater, we made our first stop to check the map of the city and plan what the next stop would be. The funny thing is that near here there were many things to see, like another theater, this time smaller and a square surrounded by a portico with very nice columns.
Here we realized that we had skipped the Stabiane Hot Springs, having to go up the street that we had previously gone down.
Stabiane Hot Springs
It had been two hours since our entrance and it was almost time for lunch. As at this hour or so cruise tourists return to the floating hotel, we take the Via dell'Abbondanza until the Forum, the nerve center of the Pompeii ruins.
Pompeii Forum Area
Upon arrival, what strikes us most is the view of Vesuvius, really impressive. From here the eruption had to be seen terrifyingly. Apart from this, the buildings surrounding the Forum are really spectacular and many of them are in impeccable condition like the Pompeii Basilica, place where the law was enforced. Behind is the apollo temple, our cover photo.
We cross the entire forum, always with the image of the Vesuvius in the background. On its sides numerous human bodies are kept in plaster, created by an Italian archaeologist and who have made it known worldwide.
Plaster Bodies - Pompeii
From here we go to the restaurant located next to the Forum Hot Springs. The prices are not very abusive but not cheap, although a serving of pizza you can always afford. Coincidentally the place was empty, weird because inside Pompeii there is only one restaurant.
Pompeii Forum Area
After lunch we continue our visit until the House of the Faun on the Via de la Fortuna. This place is one of the most interesting we saw and hides one of the most recognized jewels of the ruins of Pompeii, the figure of the Faun and the Alejandro Mosaic. Both pieces are not original and are exposed in the Naples Archaeological Museum.
House of the Faun - Pompeii
The mosaic is a true jewel and the image of Alexander the Great on the back of his horse has gone around the world.
Alexander Mosaic - Pompeii
From here we started walking until we reached the Casa della Fontana Piccola and the Casa di Pansa. One of the first places that visitors stop to observe if they enter through the Ercolano Gate.
Streets of Pompeii
After arriving at Ercolano's door, a friend's advice came to mind. Do not miss the Pompeii brothel and the frescoes on its walls. I took the map and saw that it was quite far from our position so we went first to the Villa di Diomede past the door and then we turned to go to Lupanare or brothel.
Lupanare or brothel of Pompeii
Once in the dating house we observed different sexual positions on their walls and that the kamasutra To these places. These images were used as a catalog by the owners to recommend different positions to their clients or directly choose them based on the image. A detail!
This concludes our visit to the ruins of Pompeii. 1 whole day that many will fall short, especially if they hire a guide, an option recommended if you want to see hidden details of the city.
More on the transalpine country in our section of Italy
Practical information - Tips for visiting the Pompeii Ruins
When to go?
Italy It is one of the countries with the highest influx of tourists, therefore the ideal is to try not to visit it during the high season (July and August) and Easter. We visited it in the month of January, which despite being a rainy month, made us very good weather.
Visiting hours to Pompeii
The schedule from April to October is from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., closing the rest of the months at 7:30 p.m., closing at 3:30 p.m. the rest of the year. Ideally, visit it in the afternoon or enter the Stabia Gate located in the Amphitheater Square.
How to go to the Pompeii Ruins?
It is very close to the city of Naples, a few kilometers south, taking the highway towards Pompeii. It is also possible to arrive in train through the lines Napoli-Sorrento, Napoli-Poggiomarino, Napoli-Annunziata Tower getting off at Pompei station.
Where to sleep?
We stayed in Pompeii, looking for a quiet place near the ruins. The place is called B&B Eco Pompei. (Via Sacra 29, Pompei) and I really recommend it. Free parking, Internet, breakfast included and modern rooms as in the best hotels at the price of Bed & Breakfast.
How much does it cost to visit the ruins of Pompeii? 2015 prices
Entry costs 13€. The combined costs 22€ with the right of access to several places: Pompei, Ercolano, Boscoreale, Oplontis and Stabiae among others, being valid for 3 days.
Hire excursion to Naples and Pompeii
Eye with summer
In summer it is very hot and at noon it is very difficult to find a shadow. It is also essential to travel with comfortable shoes, no flip flops or heels.
Sure for what might happen to you
Travel does not exempt you from having problems, but if you decide to cancel your trip at the last minute we recommend you to contract a cancellation insurance. You never know what can happen at the last minute.
Recommended places around
- Amalfi Lacosta.
- The incredible ruins of Paestum at only 1 hour.
- Herculaneum Lasruinas
- Vesuvius volcano
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