We took the slow train from Florence to Naples with a change of train in Rome. The trip to Rome was 3½ hrs and cost only 17 Euro’s as opposed to the fast train for 1 hr at cost of 47 Euros. The disadvantage of this train was that it stopped at two Rome stations and at the first one, we suddenly noticed we were in Rome, jumped up, grabbed our bags and headed for the door. The train left before we were able to get off, fortunately for us, as this was the wrong station. Roma Termini was the next station down the line. Made connections to Naples and then another train (metro) to Sorrento, a pretty, small resort town on the Amalfi coast from which to hike Mt. Vesuvius and see the ruins of Pompeii.
Hiking up Mt. Vesuvius sounds like quite a feat. It is really easy!! You are bussed so far and walk up the last 20 minutes or so. Very interesting to view the huge crater created in 79 AD when it erupted on Aug 24th and buried Pompeii under a layer of burning fragments of pumice stone.
Pompeii’s origin dates back to the 1st half of the 6th century BC and was a thriving commercial town when Mt. Vesuvius blew. It must have been horrible for the people!
Can you imagine this happening where you live...totally wiped out within a very short time.
The remains are quite amazing to see. The Roman city was complete with administration buildings, several streets, temples, a forum, amphitheatres, apartments, shopping district, a bakery, baths, watershed, brothel- (Keith liked!) and even a hospital which was right across the street from the brothel.
They even had public meeting places with the thermopoluims ( “snack bars”) serving hot food and drinks. Very cool!!
Pompeii was rediscovered in the 16th century but explorations did not begin until 1748 and still continues. In 1860-1875, the Director of Pompeii digs found bodies of some of the victims. To preserve the memory of this natural disaster, he introduced the plaster cast method. Liquid plaster is poured into the cavity left in the bed of ashes by the gradual decomposition of the victim’s body. As the plaster solidifies, it reproduces the body’s shape. We saw some of these. It is really quite incredible.
We spent quite some time here as it was very fascinating. Well worth the trip. Also reinforces how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away. Very sobering thoughts!