When in Rome Pompeii is an easy, if long day trip. Early one morning we met up with City Wonders for a bus ride down to the ruins of Pompeii. The bus had a guide who pointed out points of interest along the way like the ancient Abbey of Montecassino and the Appian Way – the ancient main road from Rome to all other points in the empire. Three hours and 1 rest stop later we arrived in the ancient city of Pompeii.
Note: My sister had her iPhone stolen from her while on the subway to meet up with the tour group. If you choose to ride the Roman subway system be wary – thieves take advantage of the extremely crowded conditions to press up against victims and search any pocket and bag they can get a hand into. A few days after this incident I had 60 lira stolen out of my bag despite the fact my nephew and I both had a hand on it. Given everything else that was in the bag I considered myself lucky.
Back to Pompeii. The nice thing about booking a tour is you don’t need to wait in line for tickets. We were also assigned our own guide who was quite knowledgable about the history of the city, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and what everyday life was like in the city.
After our tour we were bused to a local restaurant for a traditional Neapolitan pizza lunch. During the summer months the tour then does a walk up Mount Vesuvius. However, since it was still early in the season we went instead to the National Archeological Museum in Naples. There we found thousands of artifacts taken from the ruins of Pompeii and Heraclaneum.
Warning: One wing of the museum is dedicated to the more ‘adult’ artifacts. If you are traveling with children be aware if they follow you into this wing. My nephew’s question of ‘What is that man doing to that goat?” (I swear I didn’t know he was beside me!) will remain a low point in my career as an aunt.
We got back to Rome too late for dinner by American standards but just in time according to Roman standards. While everyone else was too tired to leave their rooms my mother and I headed out for a dinner adventure. Thanks to my Yelp app we discovered a wonderful café near us with excellent pasta and wine plus an Italian gentleman at the next table who bought us more wine in exchange for conversation. La dolce vita!