FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Archaeological Dig, Pompeii

by Susan Van Allen

Aug 1, 2017
August 2017

TO BE IMMERSED IN A PLACE that 2,000 years ago was halted forever in time is one of the world’s most awe-inspiring travel experiences. Such are the ruins of Pompeii in Italy, south of Naples. Within the five square miles of this former vibrant port town, the fascinating story of how ancient Romans lived, thrived and suddenly died during the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the year 79 has captivated travelers for centuries.

Pliny the Younger, an eyewitness survivor of the explosion, described in letters a shocking scene on that long-ago August day, when a plume in the shape of an umbrella pine tree emerged from the mountain, a dark cloud poured across the land, screaming residents struggled to flee and, finally, when the mayhem stopped: “The sight that met our terrified eyes was a changed world, buried in ash like snow.”

Pompeii remained buried under 30 feet of ash until the mid-18th century, when farmers digging for water accidentally came upon the ruins of Herculaneum, a smaller nearby town also destroyed by the Mount Vesuvius eruption.

Teatro Piccolo

Teatro Piccolo © PRESS OFFICE, SOPRINTENDENZA ARCHEOLOGICA DI POMPEI

With much curiosity, Pompeii excavations began in 1748, and over the centuries archaeologists uncovered splendid treasures amid its densely packed buildings: sumptuously frescoed villas with intricate mosaic floors and sculptures along with bars, bakeries, laundries and shops. The town had a great social scene — there are three theaters (one for music, another for plays, a large amphitheater for gladiator games) and a brothel with entertaining frescos that illustrate services offered. In classic Roman style, there is an impressive forum — their version of a public square — with marketplaces and temples to honor the gods, as well as bathing establishments with the remains of intricate heating systems.

What draws visitors in emotionally to Pompeii are the skeletons that have been preserved as plaster casts. They are figures caught in terrifying moments before their death: a man crouched with hands overhead, a woman in the midst of a horrific scream, a twisted dog. “Though it may at first appear morbid, these figures tell us personal stories and bring a deeper element of humanity to someone’s experience of Pompeii,” says Fiorella Squillante, a guide for the Vesuvius vs Pompeii tour company.

About 2.5 million travelers visit Pompeii annually. As its paths are labyrinthine and highlights spread over its 163 acres, having a good guide is necessary for a fulfilling experience. Vesuvius vs Pompeii is an excellent, full-service choice.

Restorers of Casa dell'Orso Ferito © PRESS OFFICE, SOPRINTENDENZA ARCHEOLOGICA DI POMPEI

Restorers of Casa dell’Orso Ferito © PRESS OFFICE, SOPRINTENDENZA ARCHEOLOGICA DI POMPEI

“Now is the best time to visit Pompeii in decades,” says Squillante. Thanks to the recent Great Pompeii Project that put millions of euros toward restoration, buildings that had been closed for a long time finally reopened — such as the luxurious House of the Vettii and House of Venus, which features a gorgeous garden fresco of the goddess lounging on a clam shell. Also freshly restored are the extensive laundry establishment, Fullonica of Stephanus, and House of the Bear, a former wealthy man’s residence featuring fabulous mosaics.

Vesuvius vs Pompeii guides are native Neapolitans, passionate about sharing their homeland with travelers. “All our tours are customized according to the client, and we love to work with families, so adults and children have an experience in Pompeii they will never forget,” says Squillante. “We give drawing classes to the little ones and can provide for the disabled. Most importantly, our tours tell stories. As we move along, you’ll see details of ancient graffiti that many travelers miss, we’ll let you in on the spicy stories of Pompeii residents, tell you about the social life, how slaves and women fit into the fabric of 79 A.D. society here.”

The company also offers tours of the Naples Archaeological Museum, which displays treasured frescos, mosaics and artifacts from Pompeii. And guides love to share with you the culinary pleasures of the region, from the best pizza in Naples to delicious pastas and pastries.

Grapes at Sorrentino Vini

Grapes at Sorrentino Vini © SORRENTINO VINI WINERY

Thanks to fertile volcanic soil on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, wineries have flourished here since the days of the Roman Empire. Following that great tradition, just 10 minutes from Pompeii you’ll discover Sorrentino Winery, family-run for three generations. It produces award-winning wines that range from the classic red Lacryma Christi to white Falanghina, as well as innovative sparkling wines. The warm and welcoming staff provides transportation to and from the Pompeii site, so you can visit for a delicious lunch with wine tasting.

Then you are free to stroll through the vineyards, taking in the stunning view of Mount Vesuvius, the powerful force of Mother Nature that both destroyed and abundantly nurtured this beautiful land.

Pompeii Info to Go

Domestic and international flights arrive at Naples International Airport, about 18 miles north of Pompeii. Bus service to Pompeii costs about $13, taxis about $52. There is also the Circumvesuviana train from Naples city center or the newer Campania Express. Purchase the Campania>ArteCard online for entrance to museums and archaeological sites in the region.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Jul 30, 2021

American Airlines Uses Science-Based Targets to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

With more companies around the world becoming more environmentally friendly, American Airlines recently announced it committed to set a science-based target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This move will sharpen the company’s strategy for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and aligns its path with the global imperative of limiting temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

United Arab Emirates
Jul 29, 2021

World’s Deepest Pool Opens in Dubai

Deep Dive Dubai, home of the deepest swimming pool for diving in the world, opened in Dubai, in the Nad Al Sheba neighborhood. Guinness World Records verified the pool as the world’s deepest swimming pool for diving at a depth of 60.02 meters, or almost 197 feet, holding 14 million liters of water, equivalent to six Olympic-sized swimming pools.

eFlyer Reviews
Jul 28, 2021

JW Marriott New Orleans Review

Family gatherings are extra special this year and we chose to celebrate a milestone birthday in New Orleans. The JW Marriott New Orleans, across the street from the historic French Quarter, is ideally situated for exploring the city. Streetcars roll in front of the property and are especially fun for first-time visitors. Within a ¾-mile radius, we could walk to the National WWII Museum, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Sazerac House, Harrah’s Casino, the Shops of Canal Place and numerous restaurants.

Finest Punta Cana is Where You Should Stay Next

You probably didn’t know you needed to visit the Dominican Republic until you learned about the new, beautiful, modern, all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana.

eFlyer News
Jul 28, 2021

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ 2024 World Cruise Breaks Booking Record for Third Year

For the third year in a row, Regent Seven Seas Cruises broke the company’s world cruise opening day booking record. The 2024 World Cruise sold out around 11 a.m. on July 14, after going on sale that morning at 8:30 a.m. Fares started at $73,499 per guest for a deluxe veranda suite, up to $199,999 per guest for a master suite.

Sports & Games
Jul 28, 2021

Paddleboard Around the World with iROCKER SUP Boards

Now is the time to get out of the house, soak in the sun and try something new. From bread making to learning the latest TikTok dance, Americans picked up new hobbies since the COVID-19 pandemic. As travel gets busier, keep the momentum going with paddle boarding that can travel with you anywhere in the world.

Elevate Your Travel Experience with AirPass

As more travelers return to the skies, American is here every step of the way to ensure an elevated and seamless journey. Experience flying freedom with AirPass, American’s all-inclusive, pre-paid travel membership program.

Daily
Jul 27, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Okinawa, Japan, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel picks up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Okinawa with us.