BELIEVE THE HYPE - Pompeii is really an amazing place. I've never experienced such clear peek into an ancient culture - especially one that was as advanced and as interesting as Ancient Pompeii. As you probably already know, the entire ancient city was buried under ash from Mount Vesuvius' volcanic eruption in 79 AD. Even though it was a horrible tragedy for its inhabitants, the city itself was partially destroyed, yet greatly preserved. The most amazing part is that there's still so much more to uncover. If you’ve ever had an art history class, or if you just like ancient Roman history, you will probably understand the nerd-tastic giddy happiness I felt by strolling around those ancient streets. It saddens me that many of the tourists that visit don’t respect the delicate preservation process and are slowly causing this place to disappear once again - and this time for good. If you have the means, I highly suggest thinking about giving a little bit to help preserve this unique archaeological site. There are many volunteers and well known archeologists working on site, but they are in desperate need for more funds. Click here to donate.
And yes, Pompeii is one of those places that inevitably jam packed with tourists year-round, so we made it a point to be up bright and early to be of the first to go in. Later in the afternoon, the giant tour groups arrive in their buses from Naples and the other surrounding cities and it becomes a bit harder to enjoy the history. As for the non-ancient Pompeii, it sucks. Don’t even bother. Get in, see the ancient part, and get out. Trust me.