We left the ship as early as possible and headed straight to the train station. We really wanted to maximise our time at Pompeii since it’s such a large site. There are 2 trains that can take you from Naples to Pompeii, the Metropolitano train and the Circumvesuviana train. We opted to take the metropolitano train to go there because it would bring us to the much quieter east entrance. There are usually no line ups at this entrance. From the east entrance we planned a ‘one way visit’ through the archeological site and exited out the main entrance to take the Circumvesuviana train back to Naples (avoiding any backtracking). The Metropolitano train was much nicer and more comfortable than the Circumvesuviana train.
Pompeii is an entire city that was buried by ash from the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s incredibly well preserved. It was built around the 8th century BC and was known as an important exporter of wine and olive oil. There’s still a vineyard there today!
Amphitheater – quite impressive and the first site you’ll see when you enter the east gate. It’s one of the oldest buildings in Pompeii, built around 70 BC.
The Praedia of Julia Felix – a large complex from the 1st century BC and one of the first homes unearthed during excavations. I loved the gardens and thermal baths!
Walking along the streets of this ancient city is amazing and to think this was all buried under 25 meters of ash!
House of Venus in the Shell – there’s a beautiful Venus fresco here.
House of the Faun – built during the 2nd century BC and one of the most impressive residences in Pompeii. The mosaics were amazing!
Lupanar – the ancient city’s brothel had a line up to enter! Each room had a stone bed and above each door was an erotic fresco.
Taberna di Sotericus – one of the taverns in Pompeii.
There’s even a bakery that was incredibly still intact.
House of the Orchard – has a beautiful little garden of oleander. The bench with a series of holes was thought to be used for coins.
House of Menander – this is one of the city’s richest houses. It had beautiful artwork and decor!
The Large Theatre – built around the middle of the 2nd century.
Stabian Baths – these baths date back to the 2nd century BC. They are among the oldest known baths in the Roman world.
Sanctuary of Apollo – this is one of the oldest places of worship in Pompeii.
Temple of Jupiter – built in the mid 2nd century, Jupiter was the ruler of the gods and the protector of Rome.
The Basilica – it is said that this is the oldest existing basilica, dating back to the 2nd century BC.
Forum – the center for everything that encompassed daily life in Pompeii.
Forum Granary – an area that was once the fruit and vegetable market. Today it’s used to house the many important artefacts from the city. It was heartbreaking to see the plaster casts made from the impressions left in the solidified ash by the bodies of those caught in the devastating eruption.
Pompeii is an amazing archeological site to visit and we’re glad we spent the entire day exploring this ancient city!
Where we stayed: Holland America-MS Koningsdam-Mozart Deck 👍