On my Carnival Magic tour, the ship stopped in Naples, Italy. There’s plenty to do in this port – you could choose to spend time in Capri, or the towns on the Amalfi Coast. But I decided to go to Pompeii, because I had always been fascinated by the doomed city in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius.
The monster eruption, which took place over two days in 79 AD, buried Pompeii under 4 to 6 meters of ash and pumice. What’s fascinating is that the city was then lost for over 1700 years, when a farmer accidentally discovered it in 1749.
Pompeii is one of Italy’s most popular tourist sites and receives 2.5 million tourists per year. I went with a group from the cruise ship and I found it hard to hear the guides as we went through the UNESCO World Heritage site (read my thoughts on cruise ship excursions – this one would have cost $89.95 for four hours). Lots of crowds, as you can see from the photos.
Still, Pompeii is worth a visit, if only as yet another reminder of nature’s power. This year we’ve read plenty about hurricanes and tsunamis and earthquakes; Pompeii shows quite clearly that natural disasters have beset civilizations throughout the centuries.
Carnival cruise line sponsored this trip, but the opinions are those of the author.
Don Faust | Partner, Contributor and Photo Editor of the travel site www.caroundtheworld.com, winner of 2010 Lowell Thomas travel writing award.