Vesuvius and Pompeii

Trip Start Jun 07, 2008
Trip End Jun 28, 2009

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Monday, October 6, 2008

Today we drove down to Pompeii to see Mt. Vesuvius and to see the ruins of Pompeii. I was excited to see it because I saw an exhibit about it in San Diego at the Museum of Natural History when we thought we were going to move there, but...that's a different story. I was also excited because my Matthew's mom, Michelle, gave a presentation about it to my class last year and it looked really interesting. I was also a little scared because I did not want Mt. Vesuvius to erupt when we were in the red zone (which is when you are within 3 miles of it - you will die!).

Pompeii was a big Roman city on the coast. In AD 79, Mt. Vesuvius erupted and rained ash, fire, stones, and smoke down on Pompeii for three days straight and it was completely buried. People thought they would be safe in their houses or in caves, but everyone was killed. One navy commander named Pliny saw the volcano erupting and even though he was safe in the water on his ship, he came closer to try to save people and he and all his men died. One of his descendants was a great writer and he wrote down the story of Pliny and Pompeii.

Pompeii is a huge ruin, much bigger than Ephesus and Carthage. You can still the see the ruts from wagons and chariots on the streets. And in some of the buildings, they made plaster casts of people's bodies who had died. We saw some of them - they looked sad and were trying to shade their faces from all the ash and smoke. There was also a plaster cast of a dog who was howling and kicking his legs up. We also saw the baths which had a room with lots of small statues of Atlas holding up the earth. Atlas was a Roman god who had to hold up the earth because he did something wrong. And we saw the Temple to Apollo and a statue to him. There were amphitheatres and also a barracks for the gladiators. Pompeii was very interesting. But I was glad when we drove farther away from Mt. Vesuvius!

This afternoon we drove to Nocelle, the highest town above Positano, then we walked even farther up towards the top of the mountain. There is a path all the way to the cross on the top, but we did not walk there because it was getting late. Tonight Mom and Dad are going out to dinner and we have a babysitter - hooray!
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