Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Where in the World : Pompeii, Italy

After 3 days of sightseeing, food and wine in the region of Tuscany {Florence as base and 2 half day trips to Pisa and Siena) we packed our bags, took an early train out of Florence and traveled  south to the region of Campania. After 3 hours of relaxing train ride, we reached Naples which served as our base for this leg of the tour.
There was no time to waste. As soon as we deposited our luggages in the hotel we took another train to Pompeii. I was looking forward to this part of our itinerary because one of the nuns from the convent I used to visit when I was younger came from Pompeii and she told me lots of stories about the "city of ruins" and Mount Vesuvius.

It took us 30 minutes from Napoli Central  to Pompeii Scavi station and walked about 100 meters to reach the ruins.

The entire cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum were completely buried in volcanic ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Since then, the volcano has produced a multitude of eruptions including a large one in 1631 that killed more than 4,000 people.

Pompeii was totally forgotten for nearly 1700 years until excavation stated in 18th century that gave way to the discovery of the ruins - a glimpse of what was life like in this once prosperous town thousands of years ago.

The photo above was believed to be the Basilica.

The narrow streets of Pompeii were paved with large blocks of stone punctuated by raised stones at regular intervals that pedestians used to cross when the streets are flooded. Notice the indention along the path - a chariot track.

The forum with part of Mount Vesuvius on the background.

To date Pompeii remains to be one of the world's best known archaeological sites. When we were there,  archaeologists were still at work. What was unearthed so far is just a a glimpse, although a very good one of of the ancient city of Pompeii.

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