Cruise ship passengers disembarking in Naples, Italy, should consider at least a half-day visit to nearby Pompeii. This famous archeological UNESCO site is remembered for its total destruction in 79 CE.
A barrage of pumice, ash and intense heat startled the people of Pompeii. Scientists estimate that Vesuvius’ plume rose higher than a commercial airliner. Tremors caused many buildings to collapse. Small volcanic rocks were simultaneously attacking the city. Volcanic ash fell at a rate of 15 centimeters per hour.
The city’s devastating fate was cast by its downwind location from Mount Vesuvius. The looming super hot gas asphyxiated those that chose to remain inside. Everything was eventually covered by approximately five meters of hardened volcanic material. The remaining people were totally encased.
Travelers can explore this massive excavated site in an organized tour or individually. The basic elements of this Roman agricultural and trading city remain despite the fact that many of the original buildings were crushed.
The Teatro Grande e Quadriportico or Grand Theatre and Quadriporticus is one of the most popular sites.
Pompeii was substantially larger than the nearby seaside city of Herculaneum. If time is a factor, I recommend visiting Herculaneum. Archeologists still have one third of Pompeii left to excavate.
Tourists should look for the remains of warehouses, taverns, stables, brothels, public baths, a variety of Roman homes, the Basilica, the Forum, the Forum Baths, unique houses (the House of Faun, the House of Vettii, the House of Loreius Tiburtinus), a few theaters, and the amphitheater.
I recommend that solo travelers pick up a map when purchasing an entrance ticket.This will be a tremendous help in navigating this ancient Roman city.
Those looking for a large selection of Pompeii artifacts, can visit the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.
If time allows
Before You Go
Cruise ship visitors and people with time constraints will need to predetermine how much time they want to spend at this site. It is a large area (170 acres). For a quick overview, count on at least three hours. Visitors should also check out the possibility of taking a hike to Mount Vesuvius’ Crater, touring nearby Herculaneum, or visiting the National Archaeological Museum in Naples. Keep in mind that Pompeii is a popular site that will have large crowds during the peak tourist season.
Remember to bring a hat, sturdy shoes, sunglasses, ample water and a camera.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON MARCH 10, 2016. IT IS BEING REPOSTED ON THIS SITE BECAUSE THE EXAMINER SITE SHUT DOWN IN JULY, 2016. SOME PARTS OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND THE ORIGINAL SLIDE SHOW HAS BEEN ELIMINATED.
Sandra Bornstein is a freelance travel writer. She shares her travel experiences and recommendations on this blog and on other websites—One Travel: Going Places, Cheapoair.com Miles Away Travel Blog, We Said Go Travel, Mom It Forward, Boulder Jewish News, and Family Circle.
Sandra is the author of MAY THIS BE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. This memoir highlights Sandra’s living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. As a licensed Colorado teacher, Sandra has taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad as well as college level courses.
The memoir was a finalist in the Travel category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the 2013 International Book Awards, the 2013 National Indie Book Excellence Awards, 2013 USA Best Book Awards, and a Honorable Mention award in the Multicultural Non-Fiction category for the 2013 Global ebook Awards.