Take an early morning train from Roma to Napoli.  It is about 3 hours from the central train station in Rome to Piazza Garibaldi in Naples.  Purchase tickets for the Circumvesuviana while in the train station in Naples and then head downstairs to catch the next train.  They leave very frequently.  Get off the train at Pompeii Scavi, which puts you less than a quarter mile from the entrance.  Obviously, wear good walking shoes.  I am always amazed when we do a day trip and see a scowling woman wearing heels or visibly ruined intricate sandals while walking around an archeological site.  Don’t be that lady.  Reverse the order of things for your return paying attention to the last times train depart your locations.
BBC has a detailed article about the disaster of Pompeii.  In AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted burying the town of Pompeii under 13 to 30 feet of volcanic ash raining down for over six hours.  Historical accounts of the eruption show the town was completely unprepared.  People and animals were killed either by the heat or suffocation, and the city was essentially stopped in time.  Pompeii is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site receiving over 2,500,000 visitors each year.
You can see the structure of columns as they existed under the beautiful facades.  It was very cold and rainy when we visited, which added to the mystical atmosphere.  (My attire was not warm enough, forcing me to purchase a cheesy Italia soccer zip up outside the entrance and experience the price gouging-blah!)
The original copper statue of the dancing Faun is held in the National Museum in Naples.  I am thankful for the replica in its place helping us to see what it was really like at the House of the Faun, which was built in the 2nd Century BC.
The volcanic ash preserved Pompeii to an unbelievable extent.  Original paint colors are seen in this courtyard.
Modern day architecture and interiors would never stand up to the quality of centuries old construction seen here.  I could not believe they let us walk on these amazing mosaic floors.  Cayle and I were basically tip toeing around on some of them, I’m sure looking ridiculous.
Modern day familiarity with Russian River Brews Pliny the Younger and Pliny the Elder received their names from the first hand accounts recorded by Pliny the Younger of the Vesuvius eruption from his position across the bay.  Pliny the Elder, his uncle, died while trying to rescue victims in Pompeii.  Pliny’s letter gives the most detailed account of the event.  Pliny the Younger has been labeled the best beer in the world.
Pompeii is an easy day trip from Rome.  You feel an enormous presence surrounding you, and feel entirely connected to to the history of humanity.  You don’t want to miss it.  If the weather had been nicer we would have picnicked out in a courtyard.  If you have time, visit the National Museum in Naples where many of the larger, detailed mosaics and sculptures are preserved from Pompeii.  Fill your belly with some delicious pizza while you are at it, and only then jump back on the train for your return to Rome.

Here is a blog created by and for people who have worked on the archeological excavation and reconstruction of Pompeii if you want more information: Blogging Pompeii

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