Pompeii - Volcanic Eruptions And Ancient Ruins

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Thursday, August 25, 2005

From Venice it was on to Rome - a full day on the bus. We only stayed overnight as the next morning at 7.45am we commenced a 3 day tour of Southern Italy, which was still run by Busabout, but is a bit more structured.

Our first stop was Pompeii via the city of Naples. Pompeii had been very much on our "to do list". It totally lived up to expectations. In AD79 Vesuvius blew its top and buried Pompeii under layers of burning fragments of pumice stone killing around 3,000 people. Because Pompeii was buried by the pumice and not lava, the disaster left behind fascinating ruins that provide an insight into the daily life of ancient Romans. 

The vast ruins include impressive temples, a forum, an amphitheater, baths and many streets lined with luxurious homes and shops. Some ancient shops where takeaway food was sold had round holes in the stone shop counters to keep food hot or cold! Many of the mosaic decorations and frescos are still intact even though over the years before official excavations began many items were dug up and plundered by the many intervening generations.

Then of course there are the Pompeii people. When the excavations began in the 19th century, they found that where a skeleton was, there was a cavity where the body had disintegrated and so a method was devised of forcing plaster of paris into the cavities which then took the form of the persons body around the skeleton in the position they died. 

Unfortunately for us, most of the people and animals are in an exhibition in Ottawa, Canada. The crazy thing is we were in the museum and at the entry and decided not to go in as we thought we are going to the real Pompeii we don't need to see this!!

Footnote: Spelling for the modern town is Pompei and the ruins Pompeii.
               The Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata and the Historic Centre of Naples are all UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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