Rome was our home base in Italy for five days. From Rome we decided to travel south to Naples as we call it in the U.S. However if you want to navigate the train system in Italy it is helpful to know the names of the cities, not just the U.S. version. To get to Naples look for a train to Napoli.
We took the Trentalia Frecciarossa from Rome to Napoli Centrali train terminal. This train was more expensive than others, however it took just over an hour to get to Napoli. A less expensive train takes about 3 hours. So round trip we saved 4 hours of time. This fast speed train was comfortable and a smooth ride. It was the nicest train I have ever been on. While there was a lot of graffiti, Naples also had a lot of cool street art.
cimitero delle fontanelle
I found out about cimitero delle fontanelle by searching for catacombs. We took the train to the Materdei stop and walked to the cimitero delle fontanelle. This underground ossuary was created in the mid-1600’s in response to the Great Plague, thousands more were placed here in the 1800’s from a chlorea outbreak. It was then used as a cemetery for the poor. Consequently many of the deceased are anonymous . During WWII the Fontanelle was a bomb shelter.
In the late 1800’s the bones were neatly stacked.
The cemetery has several tunnels off of the main. There is very little light, but down one tunnel there is a beam of light from the street that illuminates the statue. This area is actually made the hair on my arms stand up.
The main reason we came to Naples was to see Pompeii. Despite visiting in October, it was really hot. Similar to the temperatures to Phoenix, Arizona in the fall. I didn’t expect it to be quite that hot, so we were glad we arrived early.
If you are in Italy, Pompeii is an incredible place to explore. You could easily spend an entire day here or two. I really felt rushed to see everything in a day. There are very limited signs to describe what you are looking at, so it is very helpful to take a tour or take a self-guided tour (headset).
One of the most popular spots is the House of Vetti. Not only is it one of the largest preserved houses you can, amazingly, see many well-preserved frescos.
One of our fun adventures was the hike on Mount Vesuvius. We took a bus from Pompeii to Mount Vesuvius. The bus ride took about an hour. Hiking up Mount Vesuvius is one of our favorite memories in Italy. At the end of your hike you can grab a glass of wine and take in the gorgeous view, it is Italy after all.