Vesuvius and Pompeii

Sunday and an early start. Up at 6:30, breakfast then walk  to the bus terminus for the guided tour pick up.

The coach was full so there must have been around 50 of us. Quite a large group.

Our guide, Lucia, was excellent. On the journey along the Sorrentine peninsula she told us about the history of the area we were passing through and also about the history of the Vesuvius eruptions and the modern day monitoring systems in place to warn of any imminent seismic activity.

The coach dropped us off at the  ticket booth at the 1000 metre point and most of us then walked the rest of the way up to the  crater.  There was a man handing out sticks which we found invaluable. You are expected to give him a few coins when  you return the sticks on the way back down.

It was around 10 a.m. when we started the walk but already quite hot.  The path was steep and the terrain obviously a little slippery due to the volcanic ash.  The views, however, were incredible.

It took an hour to walk up, peer down into the  crater then walk back down to the waiting  coach .

We were then driven to the town of Pompeii for a one hour lunch stop and to stock up on more water before the afternoon  tour of the Pompeii ruins.

The site of the Pompeii excavations is huge, covering several acres and divided into different sections . We only had 2 hours for our tour  so we only got to see the highlights.

The original inhabitants were killed by suffocation rather than by burning as the lava flow did not reach the town. Instead  it was buried by around 5 metres of ash and pumice. As the organic matter (bodies etc) gradually decayed voids were left in the ash which were later filled with plaster  when discovered during the excavations.   A few of the casts of the victims are now displayed in glass cabinets on the site. 

The remains of the various buildings that still stand are fascinating and several still have fragments of the mosaics and frescoes which have been preserved.

Our guide pointed out several carved signs on various walls and stones that originally indicated the purpose of the buildings, e.g. shops,  baths etc.  This sign, below, was in evidence in various locations dotted around and was apparently used to indicate the direction of the nearest brothel.

The afternoon was incredibly hot and we had started to flag by  3 p.m. when the tour began to wind down.  The air conditioned coach was a welcome sight. 

Back at the hotel we showered then sat out on our little terrace for a welcome glass of fizz before dinner then an early night.


  1. What a wonderful and very memorable day. I was amazed that you packed two major tourist sites into one day of sightseeing. I would love to follow in your footsteps but Brexit is getting closer and in the dog days beyond it the pound will be almost worthless.

    1. It was indeed memorable. With only 4 days for our trip we tried to squeeze in as much as we could manage but it was exhausting.

  2. I have been here, thank you for the memories.


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