Pompeii, Italy (Pompeii, Italia)
Ahh Pompeii, where archaeological dreams are realised. If you're a longtime follower of my blog (hello mum, dad, Finn and Katie) then you'll know that I visited Pompeii two years ago. That didn't stop my enthusiasm for seeing it again. We were in the area, after all, and I loved it so much the first time I wanted a refresher. Also, our roadtrip companion Fabienne had not seen it, and she studied archaeology! At university! And so, we went.
had entered just as the site opened for the morning we were bombarded with a tour group horde that would make the Huns wet themselves, so we skipped ahead a few numbers on the audio guide list to get some fresh air.
The bath house that had just been opened two years before was still one of my favourite parts of Pompeii for all the details that were still visible.
Look at that ceiling! Beautifully preserved. We managed to be the only ones in there briefly by fleeing all the tour groups who were gawking over the forum, but barely managed to make it out alive once the throngs pushed their way in.
that were open to the public. These change when the archaeological teams are assigned to new areas, so we were able to see abodes that were closed the first time. That's reason number two that you have to revisit!
there! These were some of the best preserved frescoes of the lot! I do have an amusing anecdote about tour guides, though. We overheard one guy going totally off-script (I hope) saying "Now, I will show you a goddess. Nee-keh. Nee-keh! Look! She is a goddess." It didn't stop there, he kept going in that vein for a while.
1. It might not be open to the public in time due to degradation, government mismanagement and earthquakes! Many of the frescoes are not protected under glass so anyone can damage them. Even when they're not trying to, you can see scrape marks where people's bags have rubbed against the walls and chipped off the ancient plaster. This will happen if it's not protected! I've also nudged a wall on occasion and felt immediately guilty.
2. They are frequently changing which parts are open or closed for further excavations and restorations, so two visits with a little time between them means more to see! That awesome villa with all the great frescoes wasn't open on our first visit, but I hope it's open on my third!
3. Such a large site can be difficult to fully absorb in one sitting. On both visits we spent much of the day exploring, and by the end of a full day walking and reading and listening and oohing and ahhing you're pretty exhausted. I suggest picking a general circuit on your first trip and then reversing it on your second for this very reason.
And to finish I will leave you with a few reminders: bring plenty of water, be prepared to walk a lot, don't join a tour group unless you have to, and plan to come back soon y'hear?