Pompei is way bigger than I had realised, it is not a village but a city.
It is very easy to get to Pompeii on the train. The circumvesuviana train line between Sorrento and Naples has a stop practically by the main entrance. I paid €4.70 for the train from Sorrento and €11.00 entrance fee.
I didn’t expect this, it is huge, and quite overwhelming. I lasted 4 hours and was exhausted. It’s a very physically demanding site.I saw a few tourists who were bigger or older sitting resting at various times struggling with the uneven large cobbles, steep slopes and high steps on and off the road. This all makes for a level of concentration similar to hiking round a rocky headland at the beach. Its really hard work after a while. And I wouldve have said, anyone in high heels would suffer but then I saw an older Italian woman looking quite glamorous in her very high heels. 🙂 (For anyone else wear walking shoes and take a big bottle of water!)
It is in a gorgeous elevated setting with beautiful views of the very mountain that razed it. I can see why they built here. I would’ve happily moved in in 78ad. There are small hut sized homes, palatial homes, theatres, gardens, sports areas, necropoli, villas, temples and on it goes. All anihilated in 79ad. It is fascinating. Some of the structures date back as far as 300bc.
The most moving places are of course where the casts are displayed and of the Villa dei Misteri which is still very complete and thus where we can most easily relate to the devastation. Ghosts of human suffering and death.
I found myself walking the perimeter of the site to get off the cobbles, away from the crowds and to really feel what it would have been like to live here. It is a very beautiful, peaceful place. In many ways it is a city sized cemetary and that feeling was evident for me.