The ruins of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii are located just south of Naples in Campania, Italy. Once a thriving city at the height of the Roman Empire, Pompeii was destroyed in the year 79AD by a catastrophic volcanic eruption from Mt Vesuvius, which towers above the city. The eruption sent huge waves of heat and ash down across the area, killing the residents of Pompeii instantly. Around seven meters of ash covered the city, burying and preserving it for 1700 years. The ruins were rediscovered in the 1700’s and since then have been completely excavated down to street level. Frozen in time, the well preserved ruins of Pompeii gives excellent insight into Ancient Roman life.
One rainy morning, my wife and I caught the train from Sorrento, stopping at Pompeii station which is right at the doorstep of the ruins. Umbrella in hand, we paid the 11Euro entry fee and began exploring the ancient city.
The buildings are so well preserved that I actually felt like I was a Roman nearly 2000 years ago, walking through the aftermath of an apocalyptic event. Walking street after street I could enter peoples homes, see where they cooked and bathed, where they would have relaxed in their garden with some wine and where they would go to see a performance at the theater. I could actually see, touch and feel what it would have been like to live in those times.
Pompeii is beautiful and haunting at the same time and I felt privileged to be allowed to wander through this ancient city. It stands as a memorial to the thousands of people who died nearly 2000 years ago.
Have you been to Pompeii? What was your experience like?