For the rest of my Black Girls Who Brunch Guide to Rome head here.

I spent the days before heading to Rome finalizing our activities for the trip including day trips.   I shot my sister a text message and asked, “Hey do we need to go to Pompeii?”  She responded, “What is Pompeii.”   I was flabbergasted! Apparently my sister slept through that part of World History, so I spent the next thirty minutes explaining how the ancient city of Pompeii was destroyed and covered in ash after a volcano eruption in 79 AD, only to be discovered centuries later.  Now intrigued, she spent the next hour learning everything she could about Pompeii and hours later called me and said “OMG now we must go to Pompeii!” So with that we were booking a Day Trip to Pompeii to tour the ancient city!

Getting There

There are so many ways to get to Pompeii from Rome.  The most popular one is take the train to Naples and coordinate transportation from there to Pompeii.  We knew that we also wanted to swing by the Amalfi Coast, so after a lot of research we determined that the best bang for our buck was to book with a tour company.  The tour we settled on was a bit pricy, but it included everything we needed so we went with it.  Through our tour, we had transportation to and from Rome, a guided tour of Pompeii and a quick stop over in Amalfi.  It was completely worth the money!

Inside Pompeii

Day Trip to Pompeii-19

Once in Pompeii, we were greeted by our guide Ilaria (Hillary in Italian).  Our guide just so happened to be an archeologist, so out the gate I trusted that she knew what she was talking about.  Here are a few cool things that we saw  and learned about

  • I had NO clue how big the Pompeii site was until we arrived and looked at a map. It really is a full on ancient city that you need a map to maneuver.   Plus there are very few signs explaining things found in Pompeii. For those reasons, I highly recommend having a guide.
  • There are still parts of Pompeii that have not been excavated!  Leaders have been focusing their funds on maintaining the site so the rest remains covered in ash.  Our guide shared that the undiscovered part likely includes more of the same (shops and homes).

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    The mound behind our guide includes some of the unexcavated parts of Pompeii.

  • Archeology is really an amazing field.  Researchers have gone as far to determine the plants found in Pompeii and replant them to give visitors a more realistic look. Day Trip to Pompeii-7
  • The term stepping stone may have originated here.  Without a sewage system, the streets were littered with human and animal waste.  Citizens used the raised stones to cross the street without getting in all of the muck.
  • Mount Vesuvius still looms over the city and is still an active volcano!  Apparently it lost about half of its size after the Pompeii eruption. Day Trip to Pompeii-12
  • As we walked down the streets we passed homes and shops.  Our guide called the shops “ancient fast food.”  Here, food was served in terra-cotta pots.  Researchers even found remnants of the food in the pots and gained a better understanding of the Pompeiian diet.
  • The tile of the floor in this home was still completely intact.  That is just beyond amazing to me! Day Trip to Pompeii-14
  • Pompeiians were obsessed with phallic symbols believing they were good luck.  You will see them all over town, including this one that points towards the city brothel. Day Trip to Pompeii-1
  • The public baths are still in great condition.  There is even a part that still has a fully intact roof.  Our guide explained that ash filled this area from an adjacent room first providing support for the roof as ash piled on top.Day Trip to Pompeii-15
  • Probably one of the most famous images from Pompeii, the “bodies” of the victims.  An archeologist noticed “gaps” within the ash, so he poured in plaster to determine the shape.  He soon discovered these gaps were actually the decomposed bodies of the Pompeiians.  The plaster gave them form and some even include bones.    They have even completed DNA tests on the bones to learn more.Day Trip to Pompeii-18

The Takeaway

I have shared before that I LOVE history and have a whole bachelors in it.  But even I doubted how interesting Pompeii would be to visit.  I must say I was completely wrong, it was probably one of the most exciting parts of the trip.  Since Pompeii is huge, it can be overwhelming, so I would say plan to have a guide during your tour.  It will cost more yes, but you certainly would get more out of it!

For the rest of my Black Girls Who Brunch Guide to Rome head here.

The Rome Guide-Day Trip to Pompeii