After packing my life into two small bags, I embarked on the most wild adventure of my life, travelling directly from my temporary home of 8 months in Sicily, hitching rides through Italy, flying to Germany, swinging into Prague, flying to Greece, Budapest and then settling in Australia. I took way too many photos and have way too much to say for just a single post, so in no particular order, this series accounts my trip up until now.
Pompeii is one of the greatest things you can do/see while travelling in Italy. And we’re talking about ITALY here: dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites, a rich cultural heritage, delicious food and centuries of history all crammed into one teeny country.
Thousands of years ago, the ancient city of Pompeii was destroyed in volcano Mount Vestuvius’ deadly eruption, killing hundreds of thousands of people in a matter of hours. But rather than turning the thriving civilization into rubble, it was buried beneath volcanic ash and pumice, uniquely preserving its buildings, streets and some of its people. By the time of destruction, its population was approximately 11,000 people, and the city had a complex water system, an amphitheater, gymnasium and a port.
Today, you can explore the ancient Roman city as if you’ve been transported back in time. Its cobblestone streets, many buildings, walls, and amphitheater are all incredibly preserved. You can see where and how the ancient Romans lived, ate and played.
The site itself is massive and you need at least two days to see it all. You’ll need time to not only view everything, but really digest what you see. It’s a truly moving and educational experience in how people used to live thousands of years ago.
What was most interesting for me is that they weren’t all that different from us!
Top Tips for Your Best Day in Pompei
- I recommend splurging and joining a walking tour. There are lots of options and it’s the best way to get a good appreciation of the ruins because there aren’t any signs or other sources of information. Alternatively, Rick Steve’s free 40-minute audio guide is a good introduction.
- Early bird gets the worm: Arrive as early as possible to beat the heat and the crowds.
- Students majoring in architecture and ancient studies can get a discount, also those living in the EU.
- Bring water bottles. You can fill them up anywhere and it gets ridiculously hot.
- Bring snacks because you will be walking for hours and there’s only one place near the entrance to buy food.
- Wear comfortable footwear. This should be obvious but you wouldn’t believe what I saw some people wearing. Talk about recipe for a twisted ankle.
- Take look at the map and doing your research before you arrive at the site. It’s a huge place and you might not get to do it all in one day, so it’s more efficient to make a “game plan” before you arrive so you spend more time exploring and less time just being lost.
Photos of Pompeii
Is Pompei one of Italy’s best historical sites? Agree or disagree, I want to know what you think! Please comment in the section below and don’t forget, sharing is caring!