I have learnt that hostels offering breakfast can be hit and miss on just exactly WHAT is included. Luckily for me it seemed here in Naples I had hit the jackpot with toast and cakes along with a choice of juices and hot drinks to ready me for a day of exploring. Considering it was already getting melt your skin hot outside I was going to need as much food and drink as I could get for my planned visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Packing the daypack I set off to first get back to the main Naples train station before finding the Circumvesuviana train line and hopping aboard the train to Sorrento which would take me where I needed to go. As it would turn out getting some cash from the cash machine would turn out to be the hardest task as security staff and a complicated door entry system to the bank made a 2 minute task take 15 minutes.
Eventually on the train I made it to my first stop off point at station Ercolano – Scavi where Herculaneum is located. Exiting the station you could be forgiven for thinking you were at the wrong spot or required a bus to get there given the huge sign that greets you. Well its all much easier than that, simple walk on past the sign and down the hill (5-10minute walk) to reach your destination.
Walking through the entrance gate you can look down and see the entire site of Herculaneum. Which when you discover the entry fee of 11 euro might be enough for some as you pay the same fee to enter Pompeii and it is several times larger. Still I was determined to look around after finding the place and I’m glad I did. The site is much better preserved given it was right on the edge of the volcano’s wrath so many years ago.
With Herculaneum seen it was time to hop back aboard the train and make my way to the next station of Pompeii Scavi. To find the entrance leave the station and head right walking down past the line of food vendors (note they charge a fortune so bring food with you) and you will find the entrance to Pompeii.
Handing over another 11 euro to enter I was off to explore. Now this place is huge and it’s worth getting a map (I didn’t) as I walked for just under 4 hours and I’m sure I still only covered half of what there was to see. Sure a lot of it all looks the same but inside each building you will find something new to see that survived the destruction the volcano dished out.
It really is amazing to think that all of this still exists considering the volcano Vesuvius erupted in 79AD and buried everything. It is like the city was just frozen in time considering the pots and various other items that have been recovered from the site all still intact. Mind you the casts of people that died due to the disaster are a little spine tingling, they too were frozen in their scared, huddled state.
Calling it a day I dragged my exhausted self back to the train and onwards to my hostel where I could relax and wash the layer of sweat/sunscreen/dirt off. Eventually resting on the couch and admiring my pictures form the day I learnt that the hostel was providing the meal tonight. Sure it was only spaghetti but hey it was spaghetti in Italy and it was free.
After the free feed a few of us headed out into the streets of Naples with one of the staff members at the hostel for a beer to relax. A day well spent if you ask me.