I certainly wasn't disappointed by the crowd numbers which exceeded my expectations! Having come from the south and relatively less visited areas of Sicily we knew it was going to be comparatively chaotic at the Scavi and we were right. Our train from Vietri took about 20 minutes and then we needed to find a bus. Being unfamiliar with the ticket system, we boarded a bus without any and were lucky to get a very accommodating driver, who with Jeremy's help, sold us tickets on board. By the time we waited in a very long queue to enter the site it was already late morning and incredibly hot.
I truly had no idea just how large the whole site is. Of course Pompeii was a thriving city at the time that it was buried under a seven metre layer of ash and cinder from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. I guess I was only expecting to see a portion of the city. Once inside and wandering the streets and peering into the buildings, the scale of the disaster becomes more tangible. It simply isn't possible for us to explore every corner but what we do manage to take in gives us an entirely different perspective and appreciation of the Scavi di Pompeii. At various points we happen to stand next to a tour group and catch snippets of their commentary. We are amused, but not surprised, to learn for example that the Romans had standard gauge wheel bases on all their carriages across their empire so visitors from Greece or Spain had no trouble entering the city through the narrow gates two thousand years ago. Australia couldn't manage this with their trains 100 years ago.