Yesterday, we went to Pompeii. For me, this was one of the ‘must see’ destinations on this trip. We found out that we could easily take public transportation from our house to the doorstep of the Pompeii archaeological site, so we decided to give the car a rest this day. It was a piece of cake, 5-minute walk to bus, bus drops us at Sorrento train station, and train takes us to Pompeii Scavi station 50 meters from the entrance to the ruins. Total travel time with waiting and connections was about 1 ½ hours. I did cost about 35 euros for the family to make the trip.
We decided to hire a guide at the gate, and were able to split the cost with two Finns so that we paid only 40 euros, which was what the cost would have been to rent audio guide handsets for all four of us. The live guide was definitely the way to go. Rafaele was so informative and interesting. He spent two hours with us. Pompeii was simply amazing. For me, the high point was when we were in the House of the Faun and we saw the mosaic of Alexander the Great and the wimp Darius of Persia in battle. My heart leapt! This mosaic is pictured in the History textbook that I had taught from for so many years. Upon reflection, I knew this mosaic was in Pompeii, but in the moment it had completely surprised me. Later, I read this is a copy and the original is in a museum in Naples, but that does not matter, the House of the Faun was where it was discovered.
That night we watched a BBC drama on Netflix called ‘Pompeii – The Last Day’ which in dramatic form reinforced the story of what we had all seen and learned about that day. This was a very good way to seal the information about Pompeii for the boys.