|From the ancient cities filled with art and culture, to the stunningly beautiful and romantic Riviera, one of our favorite cruise itineraries is the Western Mediterranean. |
Italy is the focal point of many Med cruises, and for us, no cruise would be complete without a visit to the historic ruins of the city of Pompeii, which is a short and scenic drive from the port city of Naples. Each time we visit, we see parts of the ancient city we haven't seen before.
On August 24, 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and spewed tons of molten ash, pumice, stone, and sulfuric gas into the atmosphere. Pompeii was buried with so little
warning, that it was literally frozen in time. The city remained buried and undiscovered until excavation began in 1748. These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman Empire.
Step through the Marina Gate and into the past. You'll see the remains of what were once busy marketplaces, where the stone streets still have grooves in them from the doors to the storefronts being pulled shut, and from the chariot and wagon traffic. Get a glimpse of what life was like as you stroll through the city where you are able to see how all the classes lived, from the magnificent villas of the wealthy to the slave quarters. Colorful frescos are still evident on some of the homes and businesses, as well as beautifully crafted mosaics at the entrances to the villas. View the remains of the forums,temples, roman baths, amphitheaters, and yes, even restaurants.
The best time of day to visit Pompeii is in the morning, before the heat of the day becomes too
intense. Follow up your morning visit with a leisurely drive down the Amalfi coast. For sheer beauty, this narrow and twisting drive can't be beat. From the picturesque towns and villages tucked into the towering cliffs, to the rocky shoreline, brightly colored flowers, and sun-soaked beaches, you will want to stay forever. But..the next port of call and adventure still awaits!
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