Firstly a warning: the train station in Napoli has three planform three’s. Yes that is correct; different platforms serving different lines, but with the same number. We figured this out the hard way.
Having said that, the trip from Napels to Pompeii is about 45 minutes, and only costs about 5 Euros return.
Ok, now to Pompeii. It is a wonderful place to visit. The street are almost 2000 years old, and the preservation in some of the buildings is staggering condidering the age, the volcanic eruption they faced, as well as the prior earthquake. It is sobering to walk the streets that Roman citizens walked just after Julius Caesar was emperor of Rome.
While the ruins are very well maintained, you need to consider the age of the roads and pavements, so you are going to both walk and get very tired legs. In some aspects it is more like walking up a mountain than walking through a town.the pavements are very uneven, but the walking is well worth it.
The preservation is staggering. The Romans made buildings to last 2000 years, whereas in some places in South Africa we can barely manage to make houses last for more than a few months (but I digress).
Water pressure arch
This arch is interesting in that it held water in the top of the arch. This was used to increase the water pressure in the city; much like the tall water towers we use today in cities.
This was a take out restaurant; the marble slabs would have been the food preparation and serving counters.
A typical road in Pompeii
A day is more than enough to plan for a trip from Naples to Pompeii (even from Rome if you plan for a long day). We spent about 5 hours there. While we could have been there for longer, we felt that we had seen plenty. Don’t be deceived by the walking distances in the city; remember that it was a city for 2000 citizens, and probably even more if you included the slaves. It is a big place!
The Great Theatre, Pompeii
This theatre is the mid-sized theatre in Pompeii, holding about 5000 people. The small theatre can only hold a few hundred, while the amphitheatre could hold the entire city of 20000 people.
A (reasonably) modern church poking out behind the ruins of Pompeii
I have crossed Pompeii off my list, but yes I would love to go back in a year or so.