The Archaeological Site of Pompeii at the base of Mount Vesuvius

View of Mount Vesuvius from the streets of ancient Pompeii.

On our last day in Italy, we had a fantastic day trip planned to Sorrento and Pompeii. The ship arrived at the Port of Naples around half 6 in the morning. Two hours later, we were driving past Mount Vesuvius, still visible even on a cloudy day. The drive to the Sorrentine Peninsula was pretty terrifying in a bus. The cliff roads are narrow, and the drops are sheer. I sat in the window seat hovering over a steep, vertical drop, and it felt like the bus was about to topple over at every turn. At the same time, my granny told me about a deadly car accident that happened on these cliffs. Thankfully, we made a stop at a lemon liqueur factory of Limoncello di Capri where we were offered delicious samples.

Molo San Vincenzo Lighthouse in the Port of Naples photographed at dusk.
Molo San Vincenzo Lighthouse, Port of Naples

The lighthouse on Molo di San Vincenzo in the port of Naples at dawn
The lighthouse on Molo di San Vincenzo

Mount Vesuvius volcano in the clouds and apartment blocks in the foreground.
Mount Vesuvius in the clouds

Tall fir trees at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background.
Fir trees at the Archaeological Park of Pompeii

Looking up at doorways and exterior walls in ancient Pompeii.
Doorways and exterior walls in Pompeii 

We made it safely to Sorrento. The weather was disappointing as the rain was relentless for the couple of hours we were there, and we spent most of it hiding in a furniture shop. We braved the elements when the rain ceased a little to go for a short walk among the citrus and olive trees lining the streets. I didn't take any photos with my camera in Sorrento and didn't include any from my phone as most of them are blurry. It is hard to take photographs while holding an umbrella. 

Evergreen trees in the ancient city of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background on a cloudy day.
Mount Vesuvius on a cloudy day in Pompeii

A mix of evergreens and autumnal maple trees in the Park of Pompeii.
Evergreens and Maple trees

Ancient Pompeii

Purple flowers of Lycianthes rantonnetii, the blue potato bush, Paraguay nightshade.
Purple Nightshade

Pompeii in the autumn surrounded with ancient brick walls, evergreens, golden maple trees and Mount Vesuvius.
Ancient brick walls in Pompeii

We visited Gargiulo & Jannuzzi, a handcrafted furniture store, for a woodcraft demonstration. We spent a good hour admiring all the beautiful and unique pieces of craftsmanship there. It was still early enough that we were waiting for the pizza restaurant to open. We decided to have some coffee and cannolis to shelter from the rain as we waited. My granny's verdict on the Italian pizza was that she could make a better one herself.
Another craft demonstration awaited us when we arrived in Pompeii. The craftsmen showed us the art of making cameo jewelry from shells. The carved shell pieces were so small and intricate you needed a magnifying glass to see all the details.

Close up of doorway architecture in the ancient city of Pompeii.
Architecture of Pompeii

View of columns in the Archaeological site of Pompeii.
Columns, Ruins of Pompeii

Close up of a ceramic clay vase in the archaeological site of Pompeii
Ceramic clay vase in Pompeii

Close up of an ancient thermopolium stone stove in Pompeii
A thermopolium in Pompeii

Ancient walls and structures in Pompeii.
Pompeii's ancient wall remains 

The rain eased off by the afternoon, and I was able to take photographs as we walked around the archaeological site. It was hard not to think about the history of Pompeii while strolling on the ancient stone-paved streets. An entire city became covered with ash from a volcanic eruption in 79 AD, and it remained buried for nearly 2000 years. It was preserved underneath 6 meters of dust and was discovered again in 1748. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe, and the last eruption happened in 1944. People living in this area  are living in the red zone. The tour guide told us how they must always be prepared to leave at short notice. 
We entered the site through Piazza Anfiteatro and walked through the Large Palaestra, an open-air square. Some of the places we saw were the Amphitheatre, Temples of Saturn, Jupiter and Venus, House of Cornelius, Thermopolium - a cook shop, the Civil Forum, and few others. One could spend an entire day exploring this historic city. 

Pompeii ruins and Mount Vesuvius in the clouds.
Mt. Vesuvius and Pompeii walls

View of ancient Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius on a cloudy day.
Ancient Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius

The House of Cornelius Rufus in the historic site of Pompeii.
Domus Cornelia in ancient Pompeii

View of a pool in the atrium of Domus Cornelia, Pompeii, Italy.
A pool in the atrium of Domus Cornelia

View of the temple of Apollo in ancient Pompeii.
Santuario di Apollo, Temple of Apollo

The cruise series has almost come to an end. Our last destination was an archipelago in the central Mediterranean sea that will be the focus of my next post. I also have a collection of sunrises and sunsets I captured at sea, and they will be the last post in this series. Hopefully, I get around to publishing them before the year runs out. 

Views from the historic site of Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the distance.
View from Pompeii

Ruins of Pompeii on a cloudy day with obscured Mount Vesuvius.
Ruins of Pompeii

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