Ever since I was little, I’ve been intrigued with the legacy of the Old Roman Empire and its flourishing cities. Being in Rome for the first time – seeing the old Colosseo in all of its glory – was already like walking in a real-life time machine, but nothing could prepare me for what I’d see and feel when walking in the lost, but eternal city of Pompei.
Pompei, an old-Roman town-city of about 11.000 souls at that time, was located near modern Naples in the Campania region of Italy. This flourishing city, along with Herculaneum – now known as Ercolao – and many wealthy villas in the surrounding area, was almost completely destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) of volcanic ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. A tragic story really, but that’s not why this city is called ‘eternal’.
After the eruption, the volcanic ash buried the city ‘alive’, so the objects and houses that lay beneath the city have been well-preserved for more than a millennium because of the long lack of air and moisture. A real trip down history-lane!
It’s amazing to see how people lived two thousand years ago! You can see yourself strolling around the streets of Pompeii, just like its citizens back then. You can even spot some two-thousand-year-old advertising-wall art on the former shops and restaurants. HOW COOL IS THAT?
Walking into people’s houses, experiencing what they saw and felt while walking into their gardens, .. It really is quite the experience for somebody who’s into history .. It really left its mark on me, and I can recommend it to anybody who’s visiting the area!
One side-note: make sure you have some spare change and some cash in your pocket. We had to pay for our parking spot, but it was SO FREAKIN’ DIFFICULT to pay by card, and literally NOBODY wanted to change our 20 euro bill for some coins .. And on top of that, the card-reader at the Pompeii-entrance wasn’t working for weeks – and they looked like they didn’t care that half of the people wanted to pay by card – so you are forced to pay with cash .. Ugh .. Oh, those Italians ..