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The Ruins of Pompeii


More Adventure travel tales in Italy:
Sightseeing in Rome
Naples
Florence
Medieval Siena
Venice, City of Water
Other Southern European Tales:
Athens, Greece
Monemvasia, Greece
Olympia, Greece
Cappadocia, Turkey
Selçuk, Turkey


Streets of Pompeii with the Vesuvius in the background

The ruins of Pompeii are our main reason to come to Naples. It is a fascinating idea that this flourishing town was completely covered in ash during an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in the year 79. After the streets were excavated 1700 years later, the victims were still almost intact lying in the streets. Other than the reconstruction of these victims, we also like to see the mostly intact streets and houses of Pompeii.

From Naples, we take the train that moves around the Vesuvius towards Pompeii. Underway, we notice that the people here are not afraid for a new eruption, the complete surroundings of the mountain are built full with crowded suburbs. Pompeii is rebuilt as well. Consequently, we have to pay attention to not stop at Pompeii itself, but at Pompeii Scavi, the ruins.

As we enter the ruins of Pompei, we do not know what to expect. Other ruins mostly consist of the remains of temples, but it’s different here. All streets of the old city are completely intact, as are most of the walls of all the houses. The roofs and the interiors of the houses are mostly destroyed, but it is easy to imagine how the people used to live here. Mostly rich Romans lived here, and different nice wall decorations and mosaics can still be found. Specific buildings like the bakery, snack bar, and brothel can still be identified.

Plaster reconstructions of the victims of PompeiiApart from the normal houses, there are obviously also the temples and amphitheatre. But we have to search more to find what is more important for Pompeii: the plaster reproductions of the victims of Pompeii. The eruption of the volcano hit Pompeii unexpectedly, and the citizens did not have time to run away. So the streets of Pompeii were scattered with victims when they were excavated. Many of these bodies were reproduced in plaster, which are on display on different places in the ruins of Pompeii.

Currently, the ruins of Pompeii are completely clean. The plaster reconstructions of the victims are the only macabre signs of the horror that took place here. The ruins with the sleeping Vesuvius in the background make an almost peaceful impression. It is a fascinating place to be, where the history of ancient Rome is so close to your hands.

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