On the sixth day of our Disney Cruise to the Mediterranean, we were awakened by the sound of thunder. There was no rain at the time but there were clouds and noise. We arrived in Naples shortly after we got out of bed. Naples is the third-largest city in Italy, after Rome and Milan. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. There are Greek settlements that were established in the Naples area in the second century BC. For us, it was going to be our entrance point to Pompeii and the volcano that destroyed the city, Mount Vesuvius. We then boarded our bus and rode to the base of Mt Vesuvius where we switched to 4 wheel drive vehicles that took us up a bumpy, windy dirt road to 1000 feet above sea level where we hiked an additional 1000 feet up a 40% grade to the summit of the volcano.
While we were exploring the caldera the clouds rolled in and a thunder storm started. The lighting actually struck near enough that some people were knocked off their feet. The rain started as we were walking down. Part way down the path one of the park operators came up and told us you need to get down as quickly as possible since was not safe.
We made it to the bus meeting spot but there were no vehicles to take us down so we waited in the rain until they arrived. Then we rode down the mountain to find our bus. There was one family from our group that had been held at the top because of the storm so the rest of us waited at the transfer point for them. Then, once we were all together we headed to lunch at a vineyard where we were served breads, dry sausage, cheese, spaghetti and pastiera. After our delicious lunch we boarded the bus to Pompeii. In 75 BC Mt Vesuvius erupted sending many feet of ash onto this city of almost 200,000 people. Many people lost their lives and the town was buried under the ash. In about 1749 people started excavating the city to reveal what life was like at the time.
It is a huge city and was incredibly modern for its time with one exception and that was that there was no drainage so all the waste would run through the streets. It was incredible to see how well preserved this ancient city was. We were able to see paintings on the walls of the houses.
Excavation work continues on the city still today. After spending a couple of hours in Pompeii we boarded the bus back to the ship.
If you have the opportunity to visit Pompeii , whether on a Disney Cruise, another cruise line or on a vacation to Italy, it is well worth it. Please let me know if I can help you plan your cruise.