Pompeii pt. 2

Posted on February 26, 2012

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The weather was gorgeous this time around in the once ash covered city. After a night of re-exploring the town and enjoying a delicious dinner of gnocchi pasta I was ready to once again make an attempt on the ruins. With an early start I was able to avoid the crowds that swarm upon Pompeii in good weather.

I was disappointed to see that I couldn’t climb the steps and view the coliseum from above, but luckily enough I was able to actually enter the previous stadium of gladiators. I’m unsure if it was due to the lack of company or if it was a feeling I would have gotten regardless, but coming through those gates and stepping onto the grass of the archaic arena gave me a rush. You could tell it was an ancient site and the silence that I was privileged to enjoy gave me chills. I felt as if I could have spent hours just sitting there soaking up the atmosphere of the timeworn arena, for it simply had an aura of history, however I pressed on hoping to stay ahead of the tourists who were undoubtedly on my tail.

As I wandered the ruined city I couldn’t help but smile, it was a very interesting place and it’s very obvious why it has been such a popular destination for so many years.

Once again fortune struck as a suspicious looking character approached me, he asked me multiple questions in a fast-paced manner that most all Italians are known for. I told him I couldn’t understand much Italian and he immediately switched to an understandable English tongue, apparently he wanted to show me some bones. Eagerly I accepted the offer and was whisked away down a side street to a locked gate. He looked up and down the road and it was obvious he wasn’t supposed to be doing this, all the more exciting for me. As he unlocked the gate he motioned me in and quickly locked it behind us. As I followed him through the ancient building, he led me up a set of stairs to another locked gate. After breaking out his large keyring again and opening the obstacle he motioned me in and kept watch, inside were some of the skeletons that Pompeii is famous for. I spent a solid thirty minutes examining each one with fascination. There were three sets, two singles and a couple. He explained that the couple was well known for the fact the man was seemingly protecting the woman, a heart-warming sentiment. Once I had my fill I made my way out as he locked all the gates behind us, thanking him profusely for his disregard of protocol and gave him a tip for his efforts. I’m sure he doesn’t do it purely out of the kindness of his heart but my few euro seemed to make him happy as he disappeared down another road, surely in search of more tourists who needed doors unlocked.

 

As I finished up my wandering of the city I was very glad I had made another effort to visit. Pompeii is steeped in history and even with the masses of tourists it’s a very enjoyable stay. It’s on the top of my list of places I’ve seen during my stay in Italy and once I make my way back I’ll be sure to revisit the old town. With Pompeii, the Bay of Naples, and the Amalfi Coast all in such close proximity it’s not a mystery as to why it’s such a popular area. Yet another place I’ll never forget.

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Posted in: Italy '12