Pompeii, Italy– Day Trip on the Amalfi Coast

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

As a UNESCO Word Heritage site, Pompeii is one of Italy’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing two and a half million visitors a year. Pompeii is considered to be one of the world’s best archeological sites because it is so well preserved.

Pompeii , ItalyPompeii was originally damaged after an earthquake in A.D 62, and then after the devastating eruption of Mt Vesuvius in A.D 79, this ancient city was buried beneath 13-20 feet of lava and ash. It was not until 1749, almost 16 centuries later, that Pompeii was accidentally uncovered and excavated. Ongoing excavations and restorations continue today.

Pompeii ruins, ItalyLocated at the Bay of Naples in southwestern Italy, Pompeii is only 17 miles south of Naples.  A few years ago I went on a day trip from Sorrento which including a drive along the beautiful Amalfi coastline and a stop in Pompeii.

Ruins of Pompeii, ItalyArranged through the wonderful family operated tour company, Pleasantravel.com  the experience was the highlight of my trip. The very knowledgeable English-speaking guide Stefano, along with the friendly and able driver Antonio, provided a fantastic personalized tour of the Amalfi Coast.

Pompeii Bakery, ItalyUsually I like to wander around in Italy on my own with no set agenda, but visiting Pompeii is an exception.  Pompeii is definitely one of those places where I highly recommend a tour guide.  Stefano explained that Italy has strict rules governing the official tour guides who are credentialed and have to be paid separately.

The two hour tour of Pompeii with Hector, who claims to be the “best” of the tour guides, was totally worth it, as he has been doing these guided walks through Pompeii for over 15 years. There is much to see and it was only enhanced by Hector’s explanations of what I was seeing. The weather left something to be desired as it poured most of the time I was there, but it still was an amazing experience.

What is so incredible about Pompeii is that it provides a clear picture of Roman life. There are homes, markets, villas, baths and even a 2-story brothel complete with frescoes depicting various activities. Almost 20,000 people lived here prior to it being buried.  The mosaics and intact pottery items are so awesome when you realize that these things date back almost 2000 years.

Pompeii Pottery, ItalyRecent collapses of some of the structures in Pompeii have brought to the forefront the need for ongoing restoration to this archeological site. Only one archeologist works full-time on this project but it was recently announced that the Italian government and the European Commission have agreed to fund 105 million euros to the Great Pompeii Project for the next four years. The funding will allow for more archeologists to work at the site and also for the important restoration to be achieved.

Guest Post By: Margie Miklas

Follow Margie on her blog at margieinitaly.wordpress.com

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