I had been waiting my whole life to visit Pompeii. I love Roman history so I made Pompeii one of our ‘must do’ things in Europe. Pompeii is so huge and I took so many photos that I thought it deserved its own post! Stu had already been once before and didn’t particularly enjoy it so I was also on a mission to make him like it this time!
It was appallingly hot the day we visited as Italy was in the middle of a heat wave so it was exhausting being out in the sun all day but we both really enjoyed visiting and I think Stu did like it more this time!
(By the way, this is part 16 in my series on my recent trip to Europe. You can catch up on the previous posts in this series here)
We visited Pompeii on our way from the Amalfi Coast to Rome. It’s hard to imagine the Bay of Naples being the beautiful summer resort it was in Roman times as Naples today is large, sprawling and dirty. The smog in the air really affects the beauty of the bay and you have to use a fair amount of imagination to try and imagine it how it was. (Or watch Pompeii – not the best movie but it has shirtless Kit Harrington in it).
The amount of uncovered ruins is so exciting to see as it is a part of history preserved for us, but at the same time sad about the loss of around 20,000 people who would have died as part of the eruption of Mt Vesuvius which buried Pompeii (and Herculaneum).
This is the basilica, which is a place where business and legal transactions would have taken place. You can see the remains of the interior row of columns in brick, they would have been originally covered in stucco.
These are the remains of the Forum. You can see Mt Vesuvius looming in the background. The Forum was surrounded by government buildings, temples, the grain and food markets. The forum was the centre of Roman life.
The plaster casts of people you can see here were created during the excavations. The people who were trapped under the lava flow left air pockets of their final position over time and as they were excavating Pompeii they poured plaster into these air pockets to form these plaster casts of people in their last moments.
Water fountains were found at a lot of street corners as wealthy people had water to their homes but everyone else relied on public access to water. These fountains would have had a constant stream of running water, now there is a tap and you can drink the water from the water fountain! (Handy for us as it was a scorching day!)
This is the Roman Bathhouse. The stacks of tiles below the floor were an ingenious heating system. The gap under the floor would be connected to a room with a fire, which would then heat the space under the floor and voila! Under floor heating!
This has been a really photo heavy post and somewhat like a mini guided tour of Pompeii, but I’m so glad that I got to share Pompeii with you. Like I said, it had always been a dream of mine to come here and it was amazing to finally get there and see it for myself!
Have you been to Pompeii?
I’ve broken my Europe trip up into easy to manage pieces, otherwise I’ll be drowning you in hundreds of images at once! So you know what’s coming, I’ve prepared a list of the 24 parts of this series:
Part 1: London
Part 2: Cambridge
Part 3: Paris
Part 4: Amiens
Part 5: Battlefields
Part 6: Ieper (Ypres)
Part 7: Amsterdam
Part 8: Berlin
Part 9: Prague
Part 10: Cesky Krumlov
Part 11: Vienna
Part 12: Salzburg
Part 13: Venice
Part 14: Pesaro
Part 15: Amalfi Coast
Part 16: Pompeii
Part 17: Rome
Part 18: Florence
Part 19: Tuscany
Part 20: La Spezia
Part 21: Lyon
Part 22: Loire Valley
Part 23: Normandy
Part 24: Mont St Michel
Let me know if there is anything in particular you want to know about any of these places and I’ll try to include it in my post!
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