Tooot toooot! Ok it didn’t actually make much noise at all but this morning we took off south via one of Italy’s fastest trains to Naples, and then caught a less-fast train to Pompeii.

We had time to stop for lunch in the restaurant in our hotel (Hotel Del Sole) and relax in our room before heading off about 50 metres down the road to the entrance to the Pompeii ruins. We were fortunate to have a solid breeze so the heat was bearable.

To be honest I didn’t hear very much of what the tour guide had to say because I was constantly trying to keep one four year old and a rogue six year old from running too far ahead, falling too far behind, running in general, climbing etc. Pretty hectic. But what I did learn was how advanced the city was (and it actually is enormous in size but considered small by comparison).

Because I am ignorant, I also didn’t know that the city wasn’t actually destroyed by lava but by the enormous ash cloud the eruption produced. So people suffocated or were crushed when buildings collapsed under the weight of the ash. They estimate around 1,100 people died.

We got to walk up what was the main street of Pompeii which was complete with a “fast food” joint and loads of houses, some finer than others, and of course – a brothel! Kelly, please make sure Mark knows that yes, there are dicks on the walls, and yes, I took photos. And yes they are below 🙂

“Fast food” store front complete with a painting of various Gods who the owner hoped would bring good luck.
The Queen Street Mall of Pompeii
One of the finer homes for its time, complete with mosaic tiling which once apparently warned of there being a ‘guard dog’ (in writing as well as with the image of the dog)
The public ‘arena’ where gladiator-esc events would take place, minus the lions and tigers because the arena was too small. Our guide said it is assumed now that most slaves did not die in these battles because it would be took costly for the slave trade, but that they probably just played dead! There were actually a few “gyms” throughout the city, where men (naked!) would actually work out. They prided themselves considerably on their physique and living a healthy lifestyle. How far society has fallen! Excuse me I just got some pizza cheese on my keyboard..
Inside one of the bath houses, of which there were four in total (found so far). Men and women were separated of course. They even had saunas/steam rooms which were ventilated with raised flooring and fueled by a fire running in the next room. So advanced!
This is inside the steam room area, complete with a water fountain so you could cool off if you wanted to. They even had a latched window which you could ask to have opened if you were struggling with the heat.
The ornate ceiling inside the bath house.
Yes.. fountains.. These are actually really great. The water is cool and really delicious.
Hardy with his new pal Mila who is being held by our guide Matea. Obviously due to the similarities in looks, Hardy is calling him Mitch!
Mount Vesuvius herself.
DICK PICKS ARE AN ANCIENT CONCEPT. Just as Mark said, there are dicks on the walls to casually suggest which direction a brothel may or may not be in. In case you missed it, or needed another ‘sign’ that yes you should indulge yourself, they also had them on the ground!
And if you did follow all those subtle hints, here is what awaited you! A lovely tiny concrete bed! What a treat.

Despite what felt like an enormously long walk home (it was probably one kilometre), we ended the day on a high with a gorgeous dinner at iMatti, just down the road from the hotel which had a courtyard area out the back and a grassed area for the kids to continue their Lion King adventures. Funnily enough, I tried to convince Hardy to just have dinner with me in the restaurant, but he said no (ouch). And I’m glad he did, otherwise we would have missed out. He teaches me a lot, mostly to stop being such a downer and get out there!

Sunset in Pompeii

Courtyard at iMatti (above and below)


  1. Just who is having the best time, I wonder??? Looks like he is leading the way!!! Glad things are settling and you can enjoy Italy!! Love dad

  2. Your photos are bringing back many memories, I think I have the similar photos of the appendages 🤣🤣 so glad you are getting to experience the beautiful Italy and Hardy is enjoying himself. 😘😘

  3. Haha hilarious 😂 will be sure to let Mark know! Have been filling him in on the blog posts! Xxx

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