Italy Day 2, program of the day: Pompeii and The Mount Versuvio
Our day started early with a departure to the Mount Vesuvius at 7:30am. We had book a day trip tour, which took us by bus to both the volcanos and the ruins of Pompeii.
We took a 2:30 hours bus ride through the region of Lazio and Campania. We passed the second largest palace in Europe, as well as saw from far ruins of where gladiators used to train and where slaves were sold. The ride went by very fast, thanks to the beautiful scenery and the napping. Once we started driving up the Mount Vesuviu, we had a great look over the city of Naples. Our driver Antonio was definitely a lot more skilled than me. I have no idea how he manage to drive up that narrow road so well with a huge bus. We learned a lot of interesting and funny facts about the Neapolitan. Apparently, they are very easy-going people, who do not like to follow rules. Our guide said that they had the “it’s ok, whatever” attitude.
The view driving up was gorgeous. We had on one side the sea and the islands and the volcano and mountains on the others. The bus stopped at about 200m from the top. We stretched our legs and power through the top without a break. The little road up was very slippery and we definitely almost fell few times. The way up was not easy, especially because we decided to go up sprinting (we were walking very fast), and our calves were burning, but we were going to give up. We made it up in less than 20 minutes.
The view from the top was amazing. We could see all over the coast, and of course could peak inside the volcano, which if you didn’t know, is actually still active and could go off any time soon. It’s a bit surprising to think that people live knowing that the volcano can explode and completely destroy the city. We spent a bit of time up there, just admiring the scenery. We also grabbed some lava rocks as souvenirs. Apparently it’s good luck there.
We, then made our way down , again, trying miserable not to slip. It was time for lunch! We went to a restaurant for the classic Neapolitan dish…Pizza!! We all got a margarita pizza which was delicious. One for each of course.
Next stop was Pompeii. We met up with a local guide there and entered the ruins of the city.
Visiting Pompeii was one of the most incredible experience. It was a lot bigger than we thought. It was an actual city, with everything. There were bathrooms, gyms, a shopping street with snack bars, brothels, houses, temples… The ruins were already mesmerizing, I can’t even imagine how beautiful it must have been before it was covered by ashes. Thinking about the fact that boats use to be the main transportation to get to Pompeii is also incredible. They had big rocks so that people could cross streets. A lot of the fresque were destroyed or taken, but the few we saw were still beautiful and so colorful. One of the popular artist at the time had a beautiful house with paintings over all the ways. Some of the floors also still had mosaics (the rich people’s home of course).
Also, we saw a few plaster casts of people and a dog. They barely found any bodies because the heat made them all disappeared. What they found were rocks which the inside had taken the shape of the people. It was very sad to see each person last posture. We could really see them crawling, or trying to take a last breath of air. They was also one of a puppy. Our guide mentioned that barely animal could be found because they sensed the volcano activity way before and escaped, except for this one dog who was chained.
Romans were such brilliant people. They lifestyle and hierarchy is already so similar to our society today (in terms of modernity, irrigation, etc). We were just blown away.
Pompeii was simply an amazing experience and I would strongly recommend everyone to go.
We made our way back to Rome, and again we’re all exhausted. We did a lot of walking and under the sun. We still went out for dinner and then all slept like baby. It was a great day.