Pompeii is an impressive sight. if you can get past the entry way. As you walk toward the ruins of the "Lost City', there are throngs of salesmen in tiny booths selling useless touristy items and guidebooks. "Signori", "Sir", "Madam", as they try to guess your nationality and draw your attention into their marketplace. Best to keep your eyes down and walk quickly as if you know where you are headed. I am having flashbacks to time spent in India with similar situations of sales people at every sight, grabbing hold of your arm, 'please', 'take a look'. Eyes averted, NO, thank you, No. You have to be firm, you have to be short and direct. I am not interested in this, it makes me squeamish and uncomfortable. It is a large barrier to seeing these types of mega sights, but this is one we have to see.
Pompeii was once a thriving metropolis that had changed hands in many wars before becoming part of the Roman Empire. It was finally destroyed and partially buried in 79 AD by a giant eruption from the volcano Mount Vesuvius that also destroyed the nearby city of Herculaneum. Mount Vesuvius still looms menacingly over Pompeii and the whole Naples area. In Pompeii, you can see remnants of ancient Roman life, from the villas that the wealthy people inhabited, to the Roman Bathhouses, to the Coliseum or amphitheaters and temples. It is really quite amazing, the sophistication of the buildings and the grandeur they once had. The size of the ruins, comprising an entire town, is also impressive. Definitely worth a visit, but like the guidebooks say, it is wickedly hot in midday and there is no shelter from the heat. Go in the morning or late afternoon, take your time, and savor the experience of palpable history.