Friday, June 20, 2014

6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 4 Napoli & Pompeii

Date of Travel: 17-22 Jan 2014

Day 4: Monday 20 Jan (My birthday outing)
The Ruins of Pompeii City

We had mostly covered what we had planned for Rome, so we were searching for another place to visit nearby Rome. Many friends suggested Venice, but to me, that was just too far. HH was very surprised to find out that Pompeii was so near to Rome, and was excited to visit. She told us about the stories of the volcano and how people died there. It sounded interesting. To get there, we had to go to Naples first, and then take another train to Pompeii. Naples rang a bell in my head. I had often watched movies about Naples, being a beach town, with many resorts and palm trees. On hindsight, I think I mixed it up with Naples, Florida and not Naples (Napoli), Italy.

So Pompeii + Napoli it was!

Pompeii, from what I gathered, was an ancient Roman resort town for the rich. Researchers believe it was founded between 600-700 BC, and captured by the Romans in 70BC. Disaster stuck when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, and buried the population of 20,000 people under 4-6metres of ash. Over 1500 years later, it was discovered once, and rediscovered again in 1748. The objects beneath the ash have been well preserved due to the lack of air and moisture. Rumors say that the rich people had already fled when the volcano erupted, leaving behind the poorer workers who died there. The most ghastly part of this story is that the bodies disintegrated, leaving behind a cavity under the ash. During the excavation, they filled up the gap with plaster, in order to re-create the bodies lying underneath. So you can even see the expressions on their faces when they died. Ghastly!

We took the train from Termini for 1 hour 10 mins to Napoli, and then transferred to a local line train to Pompeii Scavi station (40 minutes ride). The excavation site was directly outside the train station and once again, we were awe struck by its size and the details they uncovered here. I saw 2 wild dogs walking around, they looked quite cute. But HH (with her bottomless pit of knowledge) said that these are wild dogs and very unfriendly.. one once bit a pet dog, and the pet dog contracted some rabies disease. Have a look at the photos from Pompeii. I haven't gone to see the movie Pompeii, but maybe they may look familiar to you.

This is the Forum area - the city centre

This is where they kept all the artifacts they excavated

This is the market place, specifically for butchers

Sorry, I did not dare to go near enough to see the face. Horrifying thought

They used part of the ruins to turn it into a restaurant on the left

This is part of the bath house

And that is the bath area at the back

After leaving Pompeii, we took the train back to Napoli, and decided to wander around the city. Only after having returned to Rome, did we find out more about Napoli. It is Italy's third largest city, but supposedly have the highest crime rate in all of Italy. It was an eye opener for me, to see the poorer side of Italy and where organized crime still takes place. Have a look at the scenery I took from the train, and you'll know what I mean.

This is what a train stop looks like

Typical housing along the way
I was trying to locate a famous restaurant in Napoli. I had taken a google map photo, and we were going to walk there from the main Napoli train station. Along the way, a guy approached me wearing a jacket, and when I got near, he removed an Ipad from his jacket and whispered "Buy Ipad?". I shook my head, and he snuck it back into his jacket. That Ipad clearly looked used! I walked farther, and the same tactic was used, but this time, it was for Iphone 5 instead. At the time, we did not know about the crime rate. Ignorance is bliss! We continued walking, and we got more and more surprised looks at this 3 Asian fellas wandering around Napoli town. The streets got quieter and quieter and it was raining and gloomy and dark. We gave up on finding that restaurant, and just ducked into a pizza place just to avoid the rain. When we finally sat down, the guy friend with me said, he was SO AFRAID that someone will just dash out and mug us, but he didn't dare to say so!

This was the street where we ducked into a pizza place

Thankfully, we got to taste some fantastic Napoli Pizza! That hole-in-the-wall place turned out to be rather large, with an underground restaurant. Unfortunately, not many photos of Napoli, as our dear photographer was too afraid to bring her camera out in this neighbourhood, plus the rain didn't help. She got scared, when she suddenly saw several cars having steering locks where steel encompasses the entire steering wheel. She knew something wasn't right if cars were so afraid of being stolen.

Underground, there was a huge dining area

The base was so thin and soft, I can't imagine how it held the tomato + cheese. Bellissimo!!

The base got so soft, that everything mushed together. Tasted like Pan Mee after that

Never order hot chocolate in Italy. It is so thick like eating Chocolate Gravy. Yucks
Although we had another 2-3 hours to kill, we decided to wait at the main train station instead. At least we felt safer there. Hahaha what a joke. But it was still an experience that we will never forget. Pompeii was a great visit.

Expenses today:
Train to Napoli = €69 x 3pax
Train to Pompeii Scavi = €2.90 x 3pax
Toilet at Pompeii Scavi = €0.50 x 3pax
Entrance to Pompeii city = €11.00 x 3pax
Pizza Lunch = €17.50
Hot Choc, Coffee & Strudel = €4.10
Magnets from Napoli = €1.00 x 3pcs
Fanta Lemon = €1.60
Dinner at Termini = €10.90 for 2pax

Continue reading on Europe2014:
How I Ended Up In Norway In Jan 2014
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 1 & 2
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 3 Visiting The Pope!
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 4 Napoli & Pompeii
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 5 & 6 Florence
4 Days in Barcelona - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 1 
4 Days in Barcelona - Day 2
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 3 & 4
4 Days In Berlin - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Berlin - Day 1
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 1
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 2
Northern Lights in Tromso Norway - Day 3 & 4  

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