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Pompeii

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Naples, Italy.

  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
  • Photo of Pompeii
Photo of Pompeii
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If you don’t know of Pompeii you should go to great lengths to find out about it, and there are many ways of doing so, the BBC has made an excellent series, there are several great books or you can visit, but find out about it before you do.

Covered under layers of volcanic ash, Pompeii and its residents were preserved, just as they were in August 79AD, on the day that Vesuvius erupted. Excavation in the mid 18th Century dug back through the layers until the cobbled Roman streets of 79AD were again exposed, but below then there are several other layers of volcanic ash, so this wasn’t the first time Pompeii had been coated in ash or damaged by volcanic landslides.

The magic of Pompeii is in its state, so well preserved, with forum, amphitheatre, theatres, baths, houses, stores and brothel. It becomes clear that these lives were not lived as differently to our own as we may think, there is graffiti carved into the walls, fountains fed by aqueduct and even a municipal swimming pool. Frescos and paintings reveal more of the story, depicting images of people at work, play and prayer, many of them more racy than we'd display publically today.

Pompeii was a holiday destination then as well, a large ancient hotel has been uncovered. Estimates suggest there would have been up to 20,000 people in Pompeii at the time of the eruption.

Earliest attempts at excavation discovered gaps in the ash where people had decomposed and plaster was injected into them to capture these people’s final poses, this was as early as 1860, and you can see the terror on some of the faces. Resin was used for later human casts, and there are some of each still on display in Pompeii itself.

On the so called ‘Grand Tour’ or Europe, Pompeii in its current state has been attracting many visitors for decades. Excavation has stopped to preserve what remains and many of the buildings that were open earlier in the 20th Century and before are now closed, but there is still much to see. Local authorities try and herd visitors to the remains of Herculaneum to take some of the traffic of Pompeii, but though it is worth visiting, it is worth visiting also, not instead of. Walking the streets invokes a lot of thoughts and emotions and it's an important experience for anyone interested in history.

Written by  Howard Amble.

Other expert and press reviews

“House of Tragic Poet (Casa del Poeta Tragico)”

'This is a typical ‘atrium style’ house, although rather smaller compared to other grandiose dwellings. The name comes from the mosaic emblema in the tablinum, depicting the scene of a theatre rehearsal by a choir of satyrs, now at the Naples Archeologi… Read more...

Written by press. Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei

“Pompeii”

Pompeii and the other towns buried in the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius constitute the best preserved ancient Roman ruins in the world by far. Some of the best statues and frescoes from these ruins can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Naples, a must… Read more...

Written by  Mike Lyvers.

“Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata”

'When Vesuvius erupted on 24 August AD 79, it engulfed the two flourishing Roman towns of Pompei and Herculaneum, as well as the many wealthy villas in the area. These have been progressively excavated and made accessible to the public since the mid-18t… Read more...

Written by press. UNESCO

“The Pompeii Excavation”

The city is so well preserved that the hum of a normal day’s activity seems to echo in the stone streets as you wander among its houses, temples, public buildings and amphitheatres. Through much of the first two weeks of August in AD79, residents of th… Read more...

Written by press. Full article on Travel Intelligence

“Pompeii guide: A trip back to AD 79”

By Mary Beard for The Telegraph First Published 15 July 2009 Pompeii is unforgettable. It is the only place in the world where you can begin to understand, face to face, how the Romans of the first century AD lived: from the brothels and lavatories to … Read more...

Written by press. Continue reading on telegraph.co.uk

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The distruction of pompeii

The Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by a catastrophic volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius on the 24th of August 79AD. Buried almost instantaneously under several meters of volcanic ash, the city was preserved as it was on that fateful afternoon in 79AD.

It's an amazing experience to walk through the re-exposed town - small details of every day life in Roman times can still be seen - for example the original stone streets with Latin graffiti carved into the walls and a large number of well preserved frescos give archaeologists an excellent idea of how Pomeii's 20,000 inhabitants lived and provides an insight into the life of a city during the height of the Roman Empire.

Pompeii was rediscovered in 1599 but due to the scale of the task, excavation didn't begin until 1748. During the initial excavation of the site, human shaped voids appeared in the layers of ash where bodies had decomposed. These were injected with plaster to recreate the forms of the victims in their final moments of life and can still be seen at the site today.

what is average temperature in pompeii in May?

what is average temperature in May?

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Have a look at our <a href="http://www.worldreviewer.com/world-weather">World Weather Guide</a> at the bottom of the page for a hint about the weather.

Pompeii

The Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by a catastrophic volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius on the 24th of August 79AD. Buried almost instantaneously under several meters of volcanic ash, the city was preserved as it was on that fateful afternoon in 79AD.

It's an amazing experience to walk through the re-exposed town - small details of every day life in Roman times can still be seen - for example the original stone streets with Latin graffiti carved into the walls and a large number of well preserved frescos give archaeologists an excellent idea of how Pomeii's 20,000 inhabitants lived and provides an insight into the life of a city during the height of the Roman Empire.

Pompeii was rediscovered in 1599 but due to the scale of the task, excavation didn't begin until 1748. During the initial excavation of the site, human shaped voids appeared in the layers of ash where bodies had decomposed. These were injected with plaster to recreate the forms of the victims in their final moments of life and can still be seen at the site today.

Roman Daily Life

From the grooves in the stone of the roads, worn down by the chariot wheels, to the faded carved graffiti - 'Brutus for the Senate!' or 'Livia fancies Philippus' - the vivid remains of Pompeii remind us how little has changed in the tide of human affairs in 2000 years. You can almost breathe the same air the Romans did, and it is easy to imagine the panic of those last hours when the inhabitants fled, stumbling and choking, from the fiery ashes.

Sure, it gets crowded in summer, but if you can afford it, hire a registered guide at the gates - worth every penny. Allow two and a half hours and take water and snacks. A must for anyone venturing south of Rome - and indeed can be done in a day trip from Rome.

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