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Pompeii + Necrophobia?

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Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Hi,

I will be in Rome on my own for six days and was planning on taking one or two day trips to Naples and possibly Pompeii. I've heard amazing things about Pompeii and would like to see it however I have mild necrophobia which means I have a fear of corpses, coffins, tombs, cemeteries, etc. It is bad enough that I can barely stand to drive past cemeteries and funeral homes unless I am with someone.

I was wondering how ' bad' Pompeii would be for me, especially as I will be travelling on my own (with a tour of course). Would be better for me to go elsewhere? If so, any suggestions as to where or what tours?

Thanks

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1. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Well, that's difficult to say, given the fact that Pompeii is literally a massive entombment. If it's the actual viewing of tombs or graves that disturb you rather than the concept itself, you might be okay.

There is a necropolis in Pompeii, the tombs are for the most part ruins..perhaps you could do an image search to see if it's something you could tolerate. If not, it does limit what portions of Pompeii you could access without passing through it.

Of course, the plaster casts may be disturbing to you, but they are really just that...plaster that was poured into the voids in the ground left by decomposed remains. If they do bother you, they are scattered in various areas around Pompeii, and it may be difficult to avoid them entirely.

Again, if it's not the nature of the place that disturbs you, an alternate choice might be to visit Herculaneum, where there are no casts and (if I recall correctly) no tombs.

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2. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Just wanted to add...since you mentioned that you'll also be in Rome. There's a very popular archaeological site near there as well, at Ostia Antica. If anyone suggests that as an alternative, I want to mention that you literally walk through the Necropolis there to enter the site, and many sarcophagi are scattered throughout the site.

Zuke

http://zukini.travellerspoint.com/toc/

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3. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

I would also suggest Ostia Antica as an alternative to either Pompeii or Herculaneum. (I do recall there being plaster casts in Herculaneum, and it suffers from the same bigger issue as Pompeii, re the nature of the site itself.)

Ostia, on the other hand, was abandoned over time, so no traumatic story there.

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4. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Ostia is much easier to get to also.

www.ostia-antica.org

Rick Steves has a free download thru iTunes, it was easy to follow

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5. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Michael and ocpony, as much as I enjoy Ostia Antica, I don't know that it would be appropriate for Natalie. As you may recall, the first stretch that you walk through before you get to the gate of the city is, in fact, a Necropolis. If just driving by a cemetery gives her trouble, I imagine that walking through one, regardless of the age or absence of remains, may be even worse.

According to a quick web search, there are no casts at Herculaneum, confirming my memory, but I agree, the nature of the site may be a bigger issue.

Edited: 29 April 2014, 20:45
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6. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Sounds problematic for you based on your own description of yourself.

I don't understand - you are thinking of taking more than one day trip from Rome to Naples? Why not stay overnight in Naples one night instead of going back and forth to Rome - first, it's not cheap to do that trip and it's time consuming.

I'd do something in the area if this is a concern for you; there is plenty to enjoy in Naples, the Amalfi Coast, Capri (which as ancient ruins) and easy to reach from Naples - www.capri.net

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7. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Don't be concerned. Tours enter and leave through the Porta Marina (Marina Gate). There are two necropolisis - one on the way to the Villa of Mysteries. If you wanted to see the Villa of Mysteries you have to use this path - there is no alternative. The other necropolis is near Porta Nocera - this area is currently closed due to a collapse and it's out of the way anyway - you would have to deliberately want to visit it. The plaster casts of the victims can be avoided - they are located in the Macellum, the Stabian Bath complex and the Garden of the Fugitives. There are also a couple in the storage area to the side of the Temple of the Triad (temple of Jupiter) at the top of the Forum as you face Vesuvius.

The Stabian Baths are stunning and have just been renovated but you can see the Forum Baths instead - they are not as well preserved but they'll still give you an idea of how the residents spent their leisure time in the bath houses.

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8. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Thanks everyone for your help, I think Pompeii is definitely a no go for me.

Herculaneum sounds fascinating and a great alternative. I think I would be able to visit there if I was travelling with friends, however I will be on my own for about a week here. Hopefully I'll be able to see it next time!

The Necropolis outside Ostia Antica, how big is it, or how long does it take to walk through? Are the sarcophagi empty? I am wondering if I could probably blast some music, look down and leg it.

MrZukini your travelling blog was very helpful, thank you, I will definitely keep it in mind when refining my travel plans.

MomCat1992 - Sorry I was a bit unclear there, I meant that I was interested in taking a day trip to Naples, and then another one to somewhere else, but an overnight trip to Naples sounds like a good idea, thanks.

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9. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

Why can't you go alone on the train from Rome to Naples - it only takes 70 minutes on the train, then grab the local train downstairs in that same train station in Naples to go to Herculaneum? It is all very easy to do -you don't have to forego it just because you are alone - There are many solo travelers and not speaking Italian is really not a problem.

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10. Re: Pompeii + Necrophobia?

MomCat1992, I would love to go to Herculaneum some time in the future however I would rather be with people I know and trust to take care of me if I have a panic attack due to my necrophobia. I have visited the Killing Fields near Phnom Penh in Cambodia with my family and barely got through the tour even though I avoided the parts with human remains.

So those places are not a good idea for me when I'm on my own, which is extremely disappointing.

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