Like a previous trip I have been extremely remiss in not staying current on these posts. However I did use that wonder App called Track My Tour (please tell Chris that I sent you if you check it out) which did a much better job. Here is the link to this part of the trip -- Click here.
Disaster! It was raining on the day we were due to move from Naples to Amalfi via a walking tour of Vesuvius and of course Pompeii. Vesuvius was closed as the weather had closed right down but don't worry, said Daniele, we have lots to do. Spend more time in Pompeii and then there is a nice surprise.
Well, who doesn't like surprises? And as it turned out, this would be a recurrent theme with Daniele. Ending up with a nice surprise.
First of all Daniele apologised for his poor English. Really!! Our Italian is pathetic and as it turned out Daniele had no problem in out talking both of us.
Our guide in Pompeii however was another thing. Lovely lady, she again apologised profusely for her terrible English and from that point for the next 3 hours hardly drew breath.
|Our guide warming to her task|
|These days Pompeii is 3 miles from the sea but this is the dock which is near one of the city gates.|
The story is pretty well known. Town of 20,000 sleepily going about their business for several hundred years were abruptly drowned in ash one morning in 79 AD when Vesuvius exploded. I told our guide that I was in the process of reading the Pompeii book and she then said that most books were historically rubbish but that one wasn't that bad. In fact she showed us the main roads mentioned in the book.
Now that I am on the subject, I forgot to mention something. Right next to the Norman castle in the centre of Naples was going to be a new subway station but in the digging they found an entirely new Roman settlement so the entire area is submerged in tarpaulins and plastic as the archaeologists works away. So it really isn't surprising that Herculaneum took so long to discover. Unlike Pompeii nobody knew it ever existed.
The site is very large and set out in the traditional Roman manner. In the middle is the forum with public baths off to one side. Obviously the temples to Jupiter and Venus are there, Jupiter dominating as he should being the bigwig amongst Roman gods. But also the shops and taverns. They could even identify what kind of shop from its layout -- multiple counters could mean a small tavern or cafe. Lots of marble and running water could mean fish and meat. Very clever all of it.
|The forum in Pompeii|
|Ruins of a theatre that is currently used for productions|
|Alexander, or rather a replica|
You just have to go and experience it. I could spend a couple more days there easily.
And the surprise? Sadly I have forgotten! But here's a video of Pink Floyd playing 'Echoes' at Pompeii in the 1972. My gift to you.