TRAVEL THERE: FINALLY POMPEII
A short bus ride from Sorrento took us to Pompeii and you guessed it, another shopping opportunity. This time it was cameos and they had my attention, but first I had to visit the restroom. On the way out, I did peek at a few of the price tags. I quickly realized the amount represented was one I was unwilling to pay for more jewelry. I love the stuff, but I have so much of it I go years without wearing some the pieces. Others in our group did submit to the temptation of the beautiful pieces of handiwork and I’m glad they did. Obligatory shopping out of the way, it was time to visit the ruins of Pompeii
Best Guide Ever
So far, besides the heat, crowds and seasickness (none of which Paolo had any control over) we’d had a pretty good day of touring. I’d figured out that we had a pretty darned good guide. He had a great personality. He spoke impeccable English. He actually cared about his tourists and was proactive about seeing they had a good day. Obligatory shopping was available, but not shoved down our throats.
So far, there hadn’t been much in the way of historical information to pass on, but what he had shared was at least reliable and polite. However, it wasn’t until we actually entered the ruins that I figured out just how extraordinary he was. This guy was a professor teaching Italian history at some Italian university. He could have had us calling him Dr. Paolo, but he just wasn’t that pretentious. It was sort of like we were a group of American acquaintances and he was showing us around for the sake of friendship.
As soon as we entered the ruins, it became something completely different. We were in a place that he loved and was very knowledgeable about. He shared his information with us like a boy proud of scoring in futbol. I heartily wished I had a whole day to spend with him at this site, rather than just time for a quick stroll through one section.
How amazing this place is! You must go. It’s not like Capri – get there if you’re nearby. No, this is put-it-on-your-bucket-list good. Start making definite plans to get there.
I wish there was a way to share just how good Paolo was. He made the place come alive. He explained what a building was used for. If it was a home, he described the sort of person who would live there, what his schedule for the day would be, what he would wear, what he would eat, who lived in his home with him, how to know whether he was important or not, who came to visit at what time and where the owner would go when he left his home. He talked about the kind of food served in cafes and the bread baked in the bakery ovens. He pointed out architectural advances and items we use in our buildings today.
I soaked it in like a sponge. I wish I’d thought of recording him so I could listen to all he said again. I loved walking around the city and though it had died many centuries ago, it still seemed to vibrate with energy.
I’m rambling now. I will show you some photos from the ruined city to spark your imagination. If you join us next week, I’ll get us back to the boat for some Italian food.
2 thoughts on “Pushing on to Pompeii”
It’s amazing how much a great guide can add to an adventure. Always a pleasure for me to have a guide that knows the history of the place we are visiting. You were so lucky!
I realize that. The others we had on the trip ranged from mediocre to hopeless. The only guides I have ever had that were anywhere as good were all in Egypt and they were all getting their PhD’s. They weren’t as much fun as Paolo, though.