"And the walls kept tumbling down on the city that we love Grey clouds roll over the hills bringing darkness from above But if you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?" -Pompeii, Bastille These words by the British band 'Bastille' accurately describe what must have gone through the minds of those dying while buried under several layers of lapilli as Mount Vesuvius erupted on the 24th of August, AD 79, leaving a ghost town of what once used to be a thriving settlement. The ruins of the city, replete with its temples, forums, public baths, markets, theatres and even brothels for that matter are captivating. Taking a guided tour from the station itself is a great idea because the audio guides that are available at the ticketing counter for around 7 Euros aren't of much help owing to the fact that the numbers on the map do not correspond with the numbers on the ruins. Avoiding this ambiguity is imperative because there is a lot of walking involved anyway. Keep yourself hydrated. Getting there: Pompeii and Vesuvius share the same train station with Pompeii being right across. Circumvesuviana trains run from the Naples Central Station to Pompei Scavi-Villa Dei Misteri and the ride is around 40 minutes. You might not get a seat in the train so beware of pickpockets. You have to shell out around 6 Euros for a two way journey and it is a good idea to start a little early in the afternoon. Tickets for Pompeii are available at the entrance 'Porta Marina' which is next to the station and come for 11 Euros for an adult. If you are visiting during the summer, the closing time is 7:30pm and 5:00pm for winters. It is advisable to see Vesuvius and Pompeii together by spending the first half of the day exploring Vesuvius and devoting the second half to Pompeii.
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
259 Kms from Pompei
If Rome can be described as the city of ancient wonders then Florence is certainly the city of medieval marvels. Known as the cradle of Renaissance, Florence is also the birthplace of the most famous Italian poet - Dante Alighieri and the city where Leonardo da Vinci underwent his apprenticeship. But what amazed me is how underrated Florence is as a tourist destination. Whereas Rome is a pretty hyped up city, Florence is more of a hidden gem. It does not get the same glory as Rome but is certainly no less glorious. To use a cricket analogy, if Rome can be called Sachin Tendulkar then Florence is definitely Rahul Dravid.We chose to begin our sightseeing in Florence with Palazzo Vecchio as it was open till 7 pm which gave us sufficient time to explore it. This medieval palace cum fortress, originally built to host the members of city council and later used as a residence by dukes of Florence, currently serves as the town hall and contains mayor's office and other municipal offices.
262 Kms from Pompei
Rome 3 days Youth Hostel: Des Artistes This hostel is clean and close to the train station. Their roof terrace and buffet breakfast is a favourite among the travellers. Hotel: Tuscolana This is a value for money hotel five minutes from the metro line and half a block from the city bus line. There are some graffittis that spoil the neighbourhood's ambiance, but don't let that get to you. It is situated in a safe middle class neighbourhood.
133 Kms from Pompei
Sperlonga is a beach town that is about halfway between Rome and Naples. It is easily accessible via the slow train line towards Napoli and get off at Fondi-Sperlonga and then you just take a quick bus ride to the main city. It’s only an hour and a half from Rome or Naples so many Romans and Napolitanos spend July and August here. It is close enough to either city so that if god forbid they have to work during their holidays it’s an easy commute. Sperlonga has a long beach promenade lined with restaurants and shops and then the soft sand beach runs parallel to it. The beach is mainly covered in a blend of colorful beach umbrellas and most Italians will spend all day on the beach, not leaving until around eight thirty or nine when the sun goes down. The town is also great to explore and is located on a hill that you can climb that gives sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea.