Pompeii is an archaeological site of world fame. I am pretty sure that in many countries it is an important element of the school curriculum. Despite its high historical value I appreciate it of somehow different reasons. The buried city is a unique site where you can admire social life with all its complexities.
I have always had an impression that history taught in school is fragmented: particular areas of human activity are discussed separately making it difficult to imagine what the every day life of ancient people looked like. Pompeii is different: you may see and touch the city as is was centuries ago.
…a complex city of ancient times, transfixed during the eruption that buried it in single night, on August 24th 79 AD.
Walking the ancient squares, entering the theater, moving along streets, walking into houses and shops creates exceptional opportunity to imagine life of this city buried under ashes of Vesuvius Moreover, from the majority of places in Pompeii you see the volcano that is still there which makes on some visitors creepy impression. The site is really HUGE. To visit all wonders you would need to spend there weeks. It is clever to know in advance which objects and buildings are most interesting for you and to focus on them. Because of its size the crowd of tourists is usually well distributed among the most interesting spots.
Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata became UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site is Ferrara. Much less known than Pompeii it is a perfect example of renaissance architecture and urban planning. You can join me and stay in Ferrara to get familiar with this stunning piece of architecture. Click here for more details and book today!
Best things to see in Pompeii:
- Amfiteatro– it is the oldest known amphitheater dating from 70 BC. Its excellent condition allows to imagine the splendor of the city, the noise made by the crowd and the fights. The size of this building is overwhelming.
- House of the Faun- it is the biggest villa in Pompeii with internal gardens, luxury atrium, gorgeous reception room, and the famous mosaic showing the battle of Alexander the Great. It is worthy to see as the gardens are still shadowed by the trees that allows you to relax in warm weather.
- Via dell’Abbondanza – the main street running east to west. Along the street you may see the small shops and restaurants with equipped kitchen. You can enter to many of them and even feel as the ancient citizen.
- Forum Baths- people of ancient cultures were very fond of personal hygiene and every large city had at least one public bath. Using water supplies the inhabitants of Pompeii could enjoy the luxury of cold and warm baths.
- Bakery – places like bakeries, shops and small manufactures are excellent example of good organization of life in the city. All 33 bakeries were dispersed across the city so each dweller had an easy access to buy a fresh bread.
- Thermopolium of vetutius placidus (places for hot meals) – this might surprise you but ancient people used to eat out their midday meal (we would probably call it lunch today). Inside the building you will find the stonework counter were equipped with a set of the urns containing the hot meal.
- Garden of the fugitives – this is the most dramatic scene in Pompeii showing the bodies of people who desperately tried to flee the inexorable eruption. Watching these petrified figures you actually realize that the whole city is a giant graveyard and that one night turned this vibrant city into buried city.
Good advise: if possible use alternative entrance (i.e. Porta Nocera) and leave then main Porta Marina to the organized groups. Be prepared that due to the continuous conservation works on site some of the buildings might be unavailable to the visitors.
Highly recommended: take a ride with Circumvesuviana train. Unforgettable!
The feature photo was downloaded from flickr.com, licensed on Creative Commons. Author: ‘ho visto nina volare’.
Have you ever thought about visiting Italy? Here is an alternative way on how to visit Italy and get really close to the Italian way of life. I created a project ‘I love Ferrara‘ so you could join me and experience how beautiful and tasty Ferrara is. If you wish to immerse in Italy book your holiday now!