|Sep 22, 2005 - Pompeii|
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|Excavation Work still ongoing|| ||Artifacts at Pompeii|| ||Body casts from Victims of Vesuvius|| |
Mount Vesuvius, a dormant volcano looming over Naples and the region threatens to erupt again in the future causing devastation of unknown amounts. This same volcano has already provided one of the world's most famous volcanic eruptions on August 24, 79 AD and buried the Roman port city of Pompeii under several metres of burning pumice stone killing about 2,000 of the towns 20,000 people. Today, what is left behind is an archaeological site representing one of the best preserved ancient cities of the old Roman empire giving millions of visitors each year a glimpse into the day to day life of the early Romans.
Pompeii is easily accessible from Naples by train that drops you only a few short minutes from the entrance. We were staying in Positano on the Amalfi Coast and took a local bus to Sorrento where again it was an easy train ride to Pompeii for the day. Similar to Ephesus in Turkey but on a much larger scale, you can spend hours wandering the old stoned lined streets of Pompeii that still have track marks from the old Roman Chariots that use to ply the streets. Walk past ruins of wealthy Romans homes with frescoe paintings still visible on the walls and original mosaic tiled floors in the entry ways. Stop at the roadside takeout restaurants and see the counters where pots of food were kept warm for hungry patrons. Browse what was once the market area and today houses hundreds of artefacts that have been salvaged in the excavation of Pompeii. See ancient urns, columns and the eerie site of body casts from victims of Vesuvius in their final moment before meeting their fate.
Let your imagination wander and envision Romans in their leisure time as you visit the Teatro Grande and Teatro Piccolo (large and small theatres). Or dream of the days of the gladiator as you enter the Anfiteatro (Amphitheatre) floor where some 20,000 bloodthirsty Romans would have roared to the brutally violent entertainment and battles to death. Walk to the nearby Grande Palestra, an athletic field where Romans participated in sports and swam in the pool and perfected their athletic abilities.
Pompeii is a must see for every visitor to the Naples region. If you enjoy Pompeii you can further explore Herculaneum, also a victim of Vesuvius, where similar to Pompeii, excavation of the ruins continues on today. Clear your mind and turn it back to the times of early Romans with their chariots and gladiators battles. Pack a good guidebook on Pompeii and Herculaneum or hire an experienced guide to help you relive in your mind the way life was in old Roman times.