Before going to bed, we stopped at the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei built in 1873. The modern town was founded in October 1891 as a result of this shrine not because of the ancient ruins. Catholics continue to make pilgrimages here (we're guessing mainly for the pasta).
Into the Ruins
The road to the ruins was guarded by a dog and a recycling container pictured with a sexy half-naked Roman soldier. Both of these challenges were met with little difficulty. Once inside old Pompeii, the first thing you notice (and can't stop noticing) is Vesuvius, quiet and imposing, unrepentant, peeking over your shoulder. And of course you think, what kind of fools would live so close to a volcano? (Flagstaffers, perhaps? Is that what you're thinking? Look, the S.F Peaks are dormant! That said, if you know Flagstaff or have lived with a mountain constantly over your shoulder, well, this is a very familiar feeling. )
|Porta Nocera Gate|
Above, Monet wondered if she found the oldest ever pizza oven. "What do you think, Mark?"
"Sure. Sounds great." Mark peered around. "Leaf! Leaf! Stay right there! Don't move!"
At this point, Monet started unpacking camera gear. "I'm going to get out my tripod." And below you can see one of Monet's few successful tripod shots at Pompeii. For some reason, they didn't allow tripods, and a guide quickly told her to put it away. Maybe they thought the legs would damage the stone streets? No clue. She smiled and complied, but needless to say, Monet was not happy.
|House of Ceii- Hunting Scene Fresco|
"Oh, man. . . Where did he go now?"
|barbell for gladiators? wine press?|
|The Thermopolium- the modern equivalent would be a fast food restaurant|
|The Triangular Forum|
Eventually, we found each other at the Garden of the Fugitives
We got pretty quiet here. It's an intense thing to see, the poses of people while they died. We missed the famous guard dog of Pompeii (see below, a picture of the dog from Trip Advisor), which was probably a good thing. Monet hated to see dogs in pain. "I have never been so affected by a tourist attraction as I was by Pompeii in both positive and negative ways. It is an amazing site to behold."
|eerie... family of three?|
To lift our spirits, we finished our tour at the theater
|Leaf will be a thespian one day|
So, after three hours inside of old Pompeii. . .We started walking back to modern Pompei. We wished we could have spent more time at the site, there was so much to see, but we needed to start biking to our next destination. We had to reach Sorrento before sundown and Mark was getting anxious.
|View of Modern Pompeii from Ancient Pompeii|
Monet's Mileage Count:
- Naples to Pompeii: ~18 miles (+2 for riding through town and a slight detour)
- Walking around the ruins: ~6 miles
Get to the ruins early (8:30 AM). We were nearly the first ones there and visited the old cemetery first. It was like a ghost town. Around ten, the tourists from Naples show up and getting clear photos proves difficult.