One of the most visited locations in the whole of Italy, cruises to Pompeii are a worthwhile place to visit for anybody with even the slightest interest in history.
The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. was a tragedy – for the 3,000 people who were caught beneath a massive wave of ash and debris there was not really an escape from the destruction. In terms of archaeological discovery, Pompeii has been a veritable goldmine for those looking to preserve the past.
In effect, the eruption had one massive benefit – Pompeii now stands as one of the best preserved ancient towns in the whole of the Mediterranean. Unlike other historical sites where only a few pillars and outer walls remain, the ash that smothered Pompeii created an environment where the smaller details of history might survive. The main forums, the baths, the houses, and even primitive graffiti have been well-preserved by the shelves of debris for hundreds of years. As such, cruises to Pompeii are one of the truest and most riveting ways to get to grips with Roman history.
Cruises to Pompeii don’t begin in the midst of the ruins however. Your first stop is bound to be the city of Naples, long a favourite of cruisers venturing along the Italian Coast. This vivid city is no stranger to history itself – ancient Greek streets combine with centuries old markets to create an authentic experience from the moment you step off your ship. As enchanting as Naples is however, it’s important to remember that there are tons of routes to help you reach the ruins of Pompeii – whether it’s by rail or by bus, at the most it takes just 25 minutes to reach the historical site.
The brilliance of the ruins of Pompeii is that the backdrop is as immaculate as the buildings. Towering over the whole thing is the massive Mount Vesuvius, now a sleeping giant which serves as an epic reminder of the disaster which struck the township.
When taking cruises to Pompeii, it’s important to remember that although they’ll be people trying to sell you maps at nearly every opportunity, you won’t need one. Pompeii, unlike other townships in the Roman Empire, was built in a grid pattern for easy navigation. Today, numerous signs (most of them in English) denote the major attractions of the ruined city. Not to mention that planning your trip in advance using Google maps is an ideal way to explore easily.
The green lawn of the forum, the echoing spaces of the bathhouses, and the imposing barracks make for particular highlights, but remember to take in the finer details which make Pompeii such a unique historical site. Houses with mason jars still in them, fine mosaics, and the figurines which mark the entrance to the famous Temple of Apollo are all fascinating aspects of the township not to be missed.
Cruises to Pompeii are not just a day trip, but an invaluable look into the past unlike any other on the Mediterranean continent.