Monday, July 23, 2018

Italy-- Pompeii in a Day

Where is your favorite place on Earth to travel? Do you have any of those places that you could go back to over and over again and wouldn't think twice about it? For me, that's such an easy question. Dev and I have been to 8 countries together, but I've been to well over a dozen in total and my favorite HANDS DOWN is Italy. What's not to love? The food, the incredibly friendly people, the history, the beautiful natural landscape... I mean, it has everything. 

Dev and I went to Italy in the spring of 2016 and I have been itching to go back ever since. We did not get to see/do everything on our list... we didn't even come close. But I figure that just gives us a reason to go back again to see the rest. :)

I'll attach our itinerary for anyone who is curious what our 10 day trip looked like.

This is a quick recap of the beginning of our trip.

At the airport ready to go! I'm wearing my favorite travel hat, gingham shirt, Toms (seriously the BEST travel shoe ever), and skinny jeans.

Using Chase points (See Dev's post here for an explanation), we were able to "purchase" first class seats for our flight there. We had upgraded to first class for free before because Dev travels so often, but not the kind of upgrade where you get your own cubicle and your chair lays down flat into a bed. I'm a teacher-- these aren't the kind of luxuries we can normally afford. So naturally, we played it really cool and didn't freak out/take a million pictures/request all the free champagne possible... ummm, wait that's EXACTLY what we did. :) 

The good news: this was really freaking cool and a great way to kick off vacation. The bad news: it was so new/exciting/fun to me that I didn't want to sleep... which made for some intense jet lag when we finally arrived. 100% worth it though in my opinion.

So when we arrived, we walked around Naples for a bit and then checked into our gorgeous hotel (again, this was free with points. Devin knows how to work some travel points!) and headed to bed early (like 8pm) because of our jet lag. We figured if we went to bed early, we'd be able to wake up early and get started on our day too. The plan for the first full day was to go to the island of Capri but the weather was a little chilly and cloudy that day. We knew if we went to Capri we wouldn't be able to see the beautiful views, so we decided to switch it up and go to Pompeii instead. 

After breakfast at the hotel we walked to the Stazione Napoli Centrale, the Naples Central Train Station. On the way there, we saw orange trees lining the streets, because what else would you expect in the most adorable country?

See the oranges in the trees behind Dev?

We purchased our tickets and hopped on the train for a quick 30 minute ride to Pompeii. The town of Pompeii is adorable and surprisingly a very normal town  (I don't know why I expected the entire town to be ruins?? Obviously that was not the case)

Me in the town of Pompeii. My jacket is here. This jacket is perfect for just a little bit of warmth and rain protection, which is just what we needed on this day!

We made our way to the ruins after a quick 10 minute walk and were truly amazed by what we saw. It was incredible how well preserved everything was. The town of Pompeii was buried by volcanic ash in 79 AD (some of the buildings are much older than that) and yet some of these buildings were preserved so well you can truly picture what their lives were like. Obviously there have been renovations along the way, but it is incredible to see life in Pompeii as the Romans did during that time. We were also blown away by how civilized the people of Pompeii were considering it was 2,000 years ago. 

Dev by some frescoes inside a wealthy home

The ruins of Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius in the background.

Me inside the courtyard of someone's home. Again, jacket is here

 This was someone's home. You can see all the different doorways leading to various rooms in the house. I'm standing by what would have been their open air courtyard. 

 Another gorgeous fresco. 

This was actually a restaurant. People would sit or stand behind the bar area and their food would be in those little holes there. 

One of the things we were so surprised to see was how ornate many of the homes/buildings/frescoes/d├ęcor was for 2,000 years ago. The ceiling in this building was so intricately made and amazingly well preserved for being 2,000 years old.

Without a doubt one of the most somber parts of Pompeii was seeing the bodies of people who tried to protect themselves from the volcanic ash. The people who covered their faces and crouched down to try to hide/protect themselves were very moving. It was also so sad to see the dogs who tried to run and hide. Again, it was so incredible to see these knowing they were 2,000 years old.

The Forum of Pompeii with Mt. Vesuvius in the background. Also some very strange statues we didn't understand. Clearly there was not a statue of a blue angel laying on its side in the middle of the Forum 2,000 years ago, so why is it there now?? If anyone knows, please fill me in!

Walking through an alleyway of ruins and we realized we had the place to ourselves, had to stop for a picture of course!

Our first, but definitely not last, gelato experience! Devin got chocolate chip cookie flavor and a mystery flavor. I got strawberry. Delicioso! Clearly one of us wasn't ready for the picture here...

 A little jet lag and one super long day later, we were a little tired on the way back to Naples. One of us was a little more tired than the other :) We went back to our hotel to freshen up, went out to grab some pizza and wine for dinner, and then headed up to the rooftop hot tub for a little more vino.

On Day Two we ventured over to the island of Capri and then hopped on a train to Rome. I'll post a little more of our trip next week, see you then! :)


  1. You guys most certainly traveled there in style!! I love Italy but have never been to Pompeii!! xo, Biana

  2. Omg I'm so jealous of you flying first class! I totally want to do that someday!

    1. We did it all with points!! I'll post about it in the next week or two, come back and check it out!