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Having watched many historical documentaries about Pompeii and being fascinated and horrified at the fate of its people, I was really looking forward to this trip. We opted to travel by train from our base in Sorrento. A quick, cheap and easy journey, and not at all the nightmare described by our holiday rep who was trying to entice us onto the expensive coach trip… entry not included! In fact being over 65, and fortunately having our passports with us, entry was free, thank goodness we noticed the sign, as very gallantly the young man professed to be amazed that I was indeed that great age. The headsets we hired with an English translation we found rather confusing as the numbers the spoke of did not appear to relate to what we were seeing – oh well! In vain we walked the interesting ruins looking for the remains of those who had been caught in the lava. One of the custodians finally took us to a gate around the rear of a house and showed us an unrecognisable shape which was currently being excavated and restored, for this we had to pay a few extra euros, and he seemed to be doing quite well out of this unauthorised outing. Finally we reached some cages where four bodies were displayed along with a number of other artefacts. We asked where all the bodies were buried… only to be told that an exhibition was now touring Germany, presumably part of the deal to pay off Italy's debt to the EU. I cannot tell you how disappointed I was, and this year I now understand that same exhibition will be coming to the UK. It is an interesting place, but without its human story it does lose quite a bit of its allure.

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