While we were staying in Sorrento as our hub to explore the enchanting Amalfi coast, we took a day trip out to Pompeii to visit the infamous ruins. Many people decide to rent cars when exploring this mediterranean coast however, I advice against it. I am so glad we stuck to public transport, with the Circumvesuviana train it takes around 45 minutes or less to get to Pompeii from Sorrento. It is almost midway between Naples and Sorrento. Driving is not only less cost effective, but it also means you miss the great views along the way.
Many people wonder how long it takes to explore the whole site, FYI, it is massive. If you are on a tight schedule, 3 hours is definitely enough. We spent a full day as we also took a break to leave the site and have lunch in Pompeii- this is usually not allowed but with a wide smile and batting eyelashes the entrance guards let us off. This city is rather charming so I would designate an hour to stroll its street full of vendors selling food.
On the 24th of August in 79AD, the first eruption took the inhabitants of Pompeii by surprise and many people were killed by the monstrous tremors. But the worst was yet to come. The next morning,lava (as most of us know it) flowed through this city and it sealed the fate of everyone that was left. Scientist estimate that the lava was flowing at around 65km/h. Now that is a scene I can only imagine happening in a movie.
By the end of the volcanic terror, Pompeii was covered in around 6 meters of ash and that is what has kept everything restored, hundreds of years later.
This was my favourite ruin of the public bath:
We were quite lucky to have this showcase on during our visit. These aren’t real body remains but they were sculpted from the imprints left by the pompeians that were devoured by volcanic ash that day. It is a graphic image that takes you back to that morning.
Walking through the Pompeii site takes you through a different realm and whilst you can imagine these streets being filled back in 79AD, you become engulfed in the emptiness of what remains. It is definitely worth a visit if your in the area, make sure you wear comfy shoes to keep you going on the uneven cobbled pavements.
Cost: €11 and €6 for EU citizens aged 16-24
Tip: Get the audio guide for €6, it gives you interesting details about each station across the vast site and gives you some context of the ruins your standing on.