Pompeii, Italy (Naples)

October 13, 2009

Returning to Pompeii was a real treat.  The detail of what has been uncovered is amazing.  One of the most interesting things was seeing the chariot ruts etched into the solid stone pavement.

The chariots must have been heavy, and there must have been a lot of traffic on these streets.  Our tour took us through the hotel which served as a brothel, which had pornographic frescoes which are quite well preserved.  We also saw the tribunal, the temple, and the forum, or town square.  The last has a major exhibit of artifacts found at the site - all sorts of pottery PLUS casts of several people and a dog that died under the ash when the city was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.  Apparently most of the people had left the city after being warned that the volcano was about to erupt, but a few didn’t, and we can now see how awful it must have been to die that way.  The last photo is of what we were told was a fast food restaurant, of the type they had back then.  We also learned that apparently many people in the city had problems with lead poisoning.  They had piped water in the city, but those pipes were made of lead.  Took us a long time to learn, didn’t it?

For us, Pompeii will remain a place we want to return to.  So much has been accomplished there since our previous visits, and the work continues, so there will always be something new to see.  It is interesting to Susan to compare Pompeii with Ephesus (in Turkey, which Harry has not seen).  What we saw in the latter was lots of public buildings, and there was little evidence of what the homes were like (at least on the tour I took).  It is huge, so you get a feeling for the size of the city, but in Pompeii you can see how people lived there.  The estimated size of Pompeii in AD 79, when Vesuvius last destroyed it was about 20,000.  This is at least 200,000 population smaller than Ephesus.  Maybe that’s why it’s easier to see how people lived in the city.

Pompeii is a must see when visiting in the Naples area.  

                                                          Pompeiian Fast Food Restaurant

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com