A Day in Pompeii

I’ve always been interested in history, and I remember begging for any and all books in the Eyewitness Book collection. I still have the ones I received and one was “Ancient Rome” and the other “Mummy”. Put both of them together and every since I held those books in my hand, I have wanted to visit Pompeii. When my friend Alex and I decided to spend our annual foodie-weekend in Naples, I knew the one thing I had to see was Pompeii.

We booked tickets online as not to have to wait in line at the entrance. We took an early train out to Pompeii and spent the whole day walking through the ruins, dodging the two downpours and then people watching in a café while eating our well-deserved treats in a café.

For some reason, on the one hand I imagined the city to look like Ostia Antica and on the other I thought it would be mostly covered with ash and I’d be able to see the thick layer. Luckily for me, it was more like Ostia and I marveled at the city. The vastness amazed me. It seemed to go on and on.

It was easy to imagine what it was like to live there. The bustling shopping area, today bustling with school students and tourists, the quieter residential areas with smaller homes and larger villas, the large theaters filled with chatting visitors, today modern-day visitors and guides making most of the noise, and the serene thermal baths, which still looked inviting. Here, I was amazed at the the hollow walls which were constructed in order to allow heat to circulate and warm the rooms of the baths.

We roamed around, entering some houses through the back and exiting from the front, imagined how old the frescos were, but how new they looked and enjoyed quiet courtyards which have since been replanted to give a sense of what it once felt like.

I listen in on guided tours and catch snippets of information about Pompeii. The streets are worn down where horses pulled carts and I enjoy walking across cross-walks, stepping stones as high as the sidewalks, but wide enough apart that aforementioned horses can pull the carts through the streets. How ingenius is that?!

It still boggles my mind that this city was perfectly preserved due to a horrific natural catastrophe, the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in the autumn of 79 AD, which covered Pompeii under 4-6 m of volcanic ash, and today I can visit it an imagine what life might have been like all those years ago.


3 Replies to “A Day in Pompeii”

  1. Aunt Gail says: Reply

    What an amazing place! So much history in those ruins, it must have been wonderful to walk through them, imagining what it might have been like all those years ago.

  2. Very interesting photos of Pompeii. I especially like seeing the painted interior walls still vibrant after being buried for 2000 years.

  3. Meradeth says: Reply

    Oh, my, that is just wonderful. Someday I’ll be able to make a visit! It really looks like you could expect people to walk out of their houses, carrying on their lives like nothing had happened…

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