Naples & Pompeii, Italy — Euro 2017 Summer Adventure
Hello, Trotters! I hope you’re having a great weekend and enjoying some sun wherever you are! To recap, the last few blog posts have taken us through the ancient city of Rome & the beautiful bridges of Venice. This week I’m super excited to tell you about the next chapter of my Euro adventure. We’re heading south of Rome to the City of Naples & the archaeological site of Pompeii. Not going to lie, this may have been my favourite part of the WHOLE trip!
Unlike Venice, we did not take the Frecciarossa to Naples. Instead, we took a tour bus with the company Green Line. They offer several different types of tours including Rome City Tours & trips to Umbria & Tuscany. I personally loved going on this tour. It was a day trip that departed from your hotel at 8:00 am and lasted the entire day — with a return time of about 8:00 pm. The guide was incredibly funny and very informative. Historically, I have found guided tours to be very dry and like sitting in a college history class. This particular tour was a lot of fun and I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting to visit Naples or Pompeii. Fun aside, the cost of the tour wasn’t exactly cheap, € 124/person. But honestly, worth every penny!
I preferred the landscape down to Naples as opposed to the countryside featured on the way to Venice. Taking the “Sun Highway” we drove through Italy’s longest highway catching a glimpse of wine country and olive gardens. While olive trees are beautiful to look at, I can’t get too excited since I don’t like the taste at ALL. The drive to Naples was only about 2.5 hours long and went very quickly, between viewing the beautiful scenery, listening to the fascinating facts from our tour guide and bothering my travel companions I had a very busy drive! The tour company also allotted for a bathroom break where we stopped at a small cafe/store. We were able to purchase coffee, snacks and use the facilities free of charge. Beware, there were no toilet seats.
Once we reached Naples we did a brief photo stop at the harbour front, which by the way, was absolutely gorgeous, and then were taken on a brief drive around the city. The tour included the Castle Nuovo and lunch in Greek Town. One of the special parts of southern Italy is the importance of tradition — recipes for pizza and pasta are passed down from generation to generation. Our lunch included a starter pasta dish, pizza, fish or meat for the main course & finally fresh fruit for dessert. Lunch is included in the price of the tour but drinks are extra. They also offered live entertainment from one of the local troubadours, but take note you will be expected to tip after and if you tip less than they want they will snub you (RUDE).
Post lunch we ventured over to the archaeological site of Pompeii! The reason I wanted to visit this site so much was due to a report I did in seventh grade (yup #nerd). I had previously learned about Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption that buried the city of Pompeii with smoke and ash. The people residing in the city didn’t see it coming, so they were caught off guard and were not at all prepared to evacuate. People were even buried alive (so sad).
The archaeological site is 2000 years old and is fantastic, even better than I had imagined it to be. Because it was buried, the site is very well preserved and archaeologists continue to excavate the site because it is so large. One of the things that surprised me was how advanced the people of that time were. They had aqueducts so affluent people had running water in their homes, they had zebra crosswalks for pedestrians to cross the street safely, stores lined up akin to today’s “Plazas”, and spas with heated saunas and water! I was also very surprised to hear how open minded the people were, using brothels was a normal occurrence and
prostitution was actually considered a profession. There were street signs pointing people the way to the brothel and once inside there were “menu options” as to what service you wanted. Homosexuality was also legal in Pompeii — it’s hard to imagine that all this was part of their culture so many years ago and we struggle with accepting so much of this as a society today.
The tour of the site lasted a few hours, it’s super important you bring a hat, wear sunscreen & use proper walking shoes. Without these items, your experience will be uncomfortable since the temperature was around 33°C. Because of the heat, and the fact that I was in Italy, I had my gelato of the day in Naples! The flavours were cotton candy & Nutella, it was AMAZING… probably the best combination of flavours I picked in the whole trip! Because I loved my experience in Naples & Pompeii so much I bought a small souvenir — a shot glass. Why a glass you ask…well because I have inadvertently started a glass/mug collection so it would fit into my collection.
Our trip ended with the bus ride back to Rome and enjoying the country side landscape once again. At this point, the majority of the passengers on the bus fell asleep (the heat makes you tired quickly). I took this time to make notes about the trip so I could tell you (my lovely readers) all about it! I hope that on your next visit to Italy, you’ll consider checking out Naples & Pompeii. My only regret was not having enough time there! Until we erupt into our next post, Dream, Explore, Adventure.
Trotting Traveller ♥