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Monday, May 30, 2016

Pompeii

Our 3rd day in Rome we woke up bright and early and hopped on a bus destined for Napoli, Italy. Napoli is a pretty big city that sits sandwiched between the ocean and Mount Vesuvius, yep, the volcano that took out Pompeii. I remember as a child being so fascinated by Pompeii so when I found out that we had the chance to visit I was beyond excited. And, just like everything else we did in Rome, it didn't disappoint ;)

Just a quick recap on Pompeii, it was a huge thriving city in early AD but was covered in dust and ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.

As you walk in you immediately get kind of an eerie feeling. These people were going on about their regular daily life when an earthquake hit, then a tsunami was heading their way and the volcano erupted. Just imagining the terror they felt in those moments, not really knowing what was happening or what to do. We were also told that all the people died from the gases from the volcano before they were covered by the ash.  Most were in their homes when they died.

Homes along the hillside walking into the city.

Right when you walk into the city there was a stadium. This is where gladiators would come and fight.
While there we also found out that these people had no idea about Jesus yet therefore they had no guilt. This actually surprised me but makes a lot of sense. No one felt guilt until the creation of Christianity so that's why fighting and killing was just a way of life. 
some of the original marble was preserved and still looks beautiful today...2000 years later.
I climbed to the top of the stadium to catch a glimpse of Mount Vesuvius, which I might add is still an active volcano.

As we walked on through the town on cobblestone streets we saw where homes, bath houses and stores once stood and thrived. 

Public water fountain

 Inside a bath house

What we consider a kitchen with their ovens in one of the homes. How these structures have stayed so preserved is amazing.


More preserved marble


 The tour guide said that Pompeii was like our modern day Vegas. Because it was on the sea many sailors would stop in too see what it was all about. All the buildings and walls were painted red. Here are some of the walls that still have the red paint.

These are pots that they kept wine in at a local bar.

 Temple of some sort

Wall in a bath house

Archways in a bath house

Standing on what was the main street with stores lined on each side.

 A bed in one of the homes. It was believed that the people of Pompeii were very small. The tallest man was only 5'2.

 A living room in one of the homes

 Now this was the only 2 story building left standing...the brothel. The tour guide said that all the buildings were 2 story but when the ash hit the town it knocked off the top floors. This brothel was tucked in between a bunch of buildings so the second story of was saved.
So the brothel was quite interesting ;) I won't post the pictures but when you walk in above each doorway was a painting of what was "offered" in that room. Shockingly all the pictures were in perfect condition and were quite graphic ;) The pictures were there because people from all different countries and languages would come to Pompeii so this made it easier. It was definitely an experience walking through, ha!

Another bath house...I was just shocked at the condition of the floors. Beautiful!

After walking through the streets we made it to what was their town square with Mount Vesuvius right there overlooking.

It is true that there are preserved human bodies to see at Pompeii. I had always been told this but to actually see them is a whole different experience.

This is a small child

An adult man
They said as they were excavating the site the came upon a body. Once the body started being in contact with air it immediately started to deteriorate. To preserve the bodies they came upon, once they discovered that it was a body, they injected plaster into the skin and let it harden. Then they would dig the bodies out, leaving them in the exact position when they passed. All the human bones are still in these bodies.

We just stood there in complete awe. I can't even explain how it felt to see this. Something that is definitely worth experiencing. 

Pompeii was quite the experience. I want to go back and spend more time there and take the kids one day. It truly is like stepping back in time when you walk through the town all while being watched by the giant volcano that in one swoop wiped out an entire city. 
The tour guide told us that Vesuvius is still active and could erupt really anytime. There are 2 million people that live in the city of Napoli with only 1 road that leads out. The fact that anyone would live in this city is beyond me.

Next Rome adventure...the Vatican!

1 comments:

  1. What a neat experience! I've always been fascinated with this too and would love to see it in person! So crazy!

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