My friend, Amy, wanted me to title this post, “What a Blast!” (Ok, we were discussing it after a lot of wine!)
We woke up to rain this morning. I was thinking, “Ick, walking around around on the slick, wet stones at Pompeii doesn’t sound like fun – or, very safe.” But, I was reminded that we will not melt and we must enjoy what we can – when we can. Good advise! Turns out it wasn’t raining in Pompeii.
Then, the electricity went out in the hotel. I felt so bad for Pino. He is the most friendly and helpful employee a hotel guest could ask for. Poor guy. He was trying to check people out without lights or a computer. With all the craziness, he still found time to give us directions to Pompeii.
There is an underground Metro stop a few minutes from the hotel on via Toledo. We took Line 1 (1 euro one-way) to Piazza Garibaldi – or, as I call it, the scene of the crime. My I-Phone was stolen within 15 minutes after arriving at this piazza a few days ago from my locked backpack! Stay alert! The Metro station was surprisingly clean – and, beautiful.
You exit the Metro station to the outside and head to the main train Station – Napoli Centrale. Napoli Centrale is on the main level. To get to Pompeii, go to the lower level (follow the Circumvesuviana signs). Buy a ticket for the train headed to Sorrento (a whopping 2.6 euros one-way). The train runs about every half-hour. Get off at the Pompeii Scavi stop.
We bought a ticket for a two-hour guided group tour (12 euros). You still have to pay the entrance fee (13 euros).
The tour was OK. Our guide was Stella (italiano for ‘star’). She had a very strong Italian accent – and, I found that she slipped into speaking Italian frequently (the tour was for English speakers). I am not making fun of her. Truly! But, I found myself more entertained by the language nuances than the basic knowledge she gave us about Pompeii. I thought it was really comical when she said Vesuvio ‘blowed up’. And, she caught herself using the verb for “to change” instead of “to use” in a funny way. At one point in the tour, she was essentially talking about ‘bunk beds’ – and, meant to say ‘tiered’ beds, but, said ‘tired’ beds. Learning a new language is so much fun!
I was relieved when the two-hour tour ended. Thanks to Amy, we saw remarkable parts of the Pompeii. There weren’t any crowds! Too much trouble for the guides or the tourists to see these remote portions? No lo so.
The inhabitants of Pompeii were apparently very lusty people – and worshiped the penis. (The more things change, the more things stay the same.) In the brothels, there are frescoes – supposedly advertising the ‘menu’ of offered services because the patrons spoke Latin and the prostitutes didn’t. I think this is a lame theory. Since when have two persons needed to speak the same language to express their sexual desires? The beds were made of stone. Doesn’t that sound comfortable?!
Now, my question for you…
Plaster casts, which actually contain the skeletal remains of some of the estimated 16,000+ poor unsuspecting souls, buried and suffocated in 79 A.D., are on display at Pompeii and the National Archaeological Museum of Napoli. It’s very moving to see these casts. Do you think it’s disrespectful to have them displayed?