|When a brothel is your favourite part of a city I suppose it is a bit of a worry. But when the city is Pompeii I hope all can be forgiven. Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost 2000 years ago and amongst the buildings unearthed from the mud, ash and lava was the local whorehouse, one of the only two story buildings to survive. Inside are the individual rooms where the ladies entertained, each tiny with a stone bed and no windows. The walls of the foyer are covered with intricate mosaics depicting a veritable Kama Sutra, clearly indicating that the ancients had nothing to teach the modern world in that regard. When they talk about the oldest professional in the world, well this building tends to prove it! This building reminded me that Pompeii was a real town, with not only all the temples etc that we normally associate with the Romans, but also the buildings that attended to the needs of the citizens - bakeries, bathhouses, taverns and, even, a red light district. Most Roman cities are still urban centres today, so all the less elaborate, ordinary bits have been built over, century after century. Here you can actually see the lot. Jen and I took the opportunity to visit Mount Vesuvius, the reason why Pompeii is destroyed. It is largely dormant today - but of course it hadn't erupted for 1200 years before it destroyed Pompeii. We hiked up to the top and noticed steam still rising from fissures in the crater. No lava, but a lot of blackened rock. It was interesting that at Pompeii they have actual bodies which were, in effect, made into rock by the lava. These are not on display, but around the back in a shed stacked up with everything else. That, in my opinion, tends to rather downplay the human cost. When Pompeii was first discovered, many of its buildings still had magnificent mosaics and treasures intact and in situ. These were removed to Naples to the Archaeological Museum. Truly some of the art is fantastic - beautiful mosaics of Alexander the Great winning a battle, or a portrait of a noble lady, or, my favourite, statues of two young athletes racing. The skills of the Roman artisans are, even today, simply incredible. To get to Pompeii, we stayed in Naples. Now Naples has a very bad reputation - for crime, for rubbish in the streets, for the local mafia (called the Camorra). When the elevator to our hotel was coin operated, I did start to wonder about this place. We saw a lot of graffiti and some rubbish. The traffic was insane. But in the limited time available we (bravely if one believes the guidebooks) wandered around the old part of Naples. We came upon a really cool street called Via Tribulani, which was full of book shops, churches, restaurants, churches, antique stores, churches and bars. We had a few drinks in a great little book store/bar called Perditempo - it was one room, bookshelves along one side, DJ in the corner, a few stools, one bartender, and lots of record covers and posters on the wall. Jen remarked that it wouldn't have been out of place in Soho. Naples is famous as the home of pizza. And boy did we get our fill of great pizza here. We went to Sorbillos, a pizzeria founded in 1933 by Mama and Papa Sorbillo, whose pictures still decorate the walls. On our first night we decided to share a pizza much to the bemusement of our waiter. We then noticed everyone else have one of the huge pizzas to themselves; we soon saw why. We didn't make the same mistake on the next night - getting one each and being very full and satisfied afterwards. There was, of course, space left for a local pastry and a coffee afterwards! Now, on to Sicily.