During our four nights in Rome, there was one absolute destination I had to leave the city for; Pompeii! Ever since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with all things space and history (One of my bucket list items is to travel to Roswell after all) and I would always receive books on historical events, natural disasters… and Pompeii was one such event which piqued my interest.
For this part of the trip I did research well beforehand, and every blogger and vlogger suggested at least 5 hours to get the full Pompeii experience. So I booked a train from Roma Termini to Napoli Centerali for 7:40am to arrive in Napoli by 8:50am, and then from there we would have to locate the Circumvesuviana line and buy a ticket from there to Pompeii. Now the train tickets to Napoli were possibly the most expensive tickets we bought for any transfer ($124 AUD) during our whole trip. The tickets to Pompeii from Napoli were approx. €4 each and was a forty minute train ride, but, finding this line was a challenge and a half, we missed 2 trains by the time we found it and then there were multiple cancellations and blackouts whilst waiting for the next one.
Eventually, the train arrived (and was literally like a video you watch of people boarding the trains in Japan, along with a few people punching on in our carriage due to the stampede to get on) and then we were heading to Pompeii!
This was a very crowded train the whole way there and combine that with no air con on board, a 30-something degree day with high humidity, it was very uncomfortable, but I was too excited to care just so I could get my butt to Pompeii.
When we arrived at the venue, the queue to purchase tickets was huge, so while Luke lined up for tickets, I joined the equally massive queue for the womens toilets… EWW! The only word to adequately describe the state of these toilets. No toilet seats, floors and toilets soaked in who-knows-what… I couldn’t go, I was going to hold this in for as long as possible.
We eventually got our tickets, and began a hike up a hill to enter the Pompeii ruins. When we first entered, I have to say I was very underwhelmed, but after about 10 minutes of walking, we entered a main square and that’s where a few of the key sites started to appear.
We spent the next couple of hours walking around, but the amount of tourists combined with heat, humidity and no breeze or shelter from the burning sun, we were looking for relief. We even looked at earlier trains from Napoli to Rome but on the day prices were up at nearly $300 AUD EACH! And we still had almost 8 hours to kill, so we did the next best thing we could think of – we caught the Circumvesuviana train line a bit further down and headed to Sorrento.
After another 30 minute train ride, we were in Sorrento, and already could feel the difference in temperature; it was far more pleasant here thanks to the ocean breeze.
We opened up trusty Google Maps on our phones to get the general direction to head towards, then began to wander around Sorrento for the next few hours.
This was the best decision we made, as Sorrento is amazing – by far our favourite part of Italy. It felt like we had entered a completely different country, as it was so clean and organised here. We walked down to Bar Syrenuse for a yummy pizza and refreshing drinks before heading off for the coastline to take in the views. After lunch (and using a toilet with a seat on it!) We headed off for the coast line and the whole walk there was beautiful – gorgeous buildings, even walkways, it was perfect!
When we got to Leonelli’s Beach lookout, we were gobsmacked! The view along the coastline here is breathtaking. I am actually shattered we hadn’t planned to venture further down the Amalfi Coast as this would have been a great addition to our trip.
As we had a few hours to kill, we each had a gelato and watched what we have dubbed as ‘the most famous seagull in the world’ as the amount of people that kept taking photos of or with this poor bird was quite amusing.
After a few hours, it was time to make our way back to the train to get back to Napoli for our train back to Rome, and as we were the first stop on the line, we thankfully had a seat for the duration of the ride. I cannot recommend Sorrento enough, and is a must visit when going to Italy.
Have you ever ventured somewhere that was unplanned and loved it? Share below!