Adventures in Italy

Ancient Pompeii vs Pompei nowadays

…The next day after breakfast we gathered our suitcases, checked out from the hotel in Naples and went on a train again. This time we were heading to Pompei. The ride to Pompei was only 40 minutes.

After arriving we started to search for our hotel. We made it to the center of the city and some of us stayed on a park bench with the suitcases while I and my friend went to ask the directions to our hotel from the locals. One guy came to us and tried to sell socks. He said his family needs money and that he has a baby or children. When we said we don’t want any socks he tried to sell us something else. He even showed my aunt’s belly and asked if she has a baby. He probably meant to ask if she has any children because my aunt is almost 50 and all of her children are grown up already. She looked at him with a surprised face and started to laugh.

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In the city square, we saw a line of flags from different countries. We were surprised to see that even our little country’s flag is up there. Being so far away from home and seeing our flag hang in the city square in Italy made our hearts warm and happy. We must’ve taken over 20 photos of the discovery. It might not seem too special for people from big countries but for us, it was a huge thing since the population of our country is only a little more than 1 million people.

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When walking on the street, asking for the directions to our hotel, someone came to us and offered a tour around Pompeii. We asked them if they could show us our hotel and they said it’s right around the corner. We didn’t take the tour since we had only one day in the city and wanted to explore it by ourselves. We went back to others, took our suitcases and headed to our hotel.

The hotel we stayed in was Hotel del Sole. It looked very beautiful, neat and quiet. We had to wait in the lobby for half an hour until our rooms were ready and then we got to check in.

After we took our suitcases into our room we went downstairs to eat lunch in the hotel restaurant. The hotel had two restaurants. One was on the ground floor and the other up on the 4th floor. The downstairs restaurant wasn’t as fancy as the one upstairs, in my opinion, but it was still very nice and beautiful. We got to eat in both restaurants during our stay.

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The downstairs restaurant in Hotel del Sole.

We ordered Italian basic meals: pasta and pizza. The food was great. I had pasta which also had some kind of tomato sauce on it. Most of the time when we ordered pasta, there was the same tomato sauce on it, although the pasta was a little different. Sometimes the sauce was different too.

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After the meal, we went outside to see the famous ruins of Pompeii. The entrance to the ruins cost 11€ and was a little cheaper for under 24-year-olds. Many places we visited in Italy had cheaper tickets to under 24 or 25-year-olds, including the palace of Caserta.

The entrance to the ruins was just a few minutes walk from our hotel. It was very easy to find that place since it was on the same street. It was very interesting and exciting to see the place that once was a beautiful city but after the ash of the volcano eruption covered it all, it had turned into a lost city which now is a popular tourist magnet. The city was dug out and tidied up and looked marvelous now. It felt like we were in some kind of old movie or lost at old times…

We saw the amphitheater, some old villas that still had color on the walls and vineyards. We also got a beautiful overlook to the entire ruins area.

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Ruins of an old villa in Pompeii.

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The view of the ruins.
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The old streets of Pompeii.

Later in the evening, we went to see how the Pompei city looks like now. It got dark pretty quickly. We kept an eye on the map to find a big mall. Until that moment we had seen only little shops in Italy. The mall wasn’t very different from the malls I had seen before. There was even McDonald’s in the mall. Some Italian girls introduced us some frozen yogurt place and asked us to come here and buy some of it. The frozen yogurt they offered was not cheap but it tasted very good so we both (me and my friend) took a different taste.

After walking around the mall for a while we sat down and saw some young girls talking to my aunt’s husband. It was funny to see how he tried to talk to them because he can’t speak English very well. Finally, we decided to go to help him. Turned out that these girls wanted to film us when we say “happy birthday” to someone in our own language. So we all gathered up and said “palju õnne!” while they filmed. It was a quite unexpected but memorable moment when I look back.

The next morning we ate breakfast in the restaurant upstairs which had a beautiful view of the ruins area. After breakfast, we headed to the train station once again.

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Keep traveling!

Next post: the beauty of Amalfi

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