Pompeii

We visited Pompeii as part of a group tour, which I highly recommend because the site is sprawling and crowded.

We booked our tour as part of a shared tour scheme through Mondo Guide. You sign up for one of their tours and if enough other people sign up, the tour goes. It did not include transportation; we made our own way to Pompeii. Once through the entrance and security, the first things you see are a large grassy area and an amphitheater. 

In many cases only the walls remain. The ruins are huge; this is only a small part of them. The large stones in the streets allow pedestrians to cross streets that become rivers when it rains. They’re spaced to allow chariots to pass through them. Since the chariots were built to a standard. 

The chariots left grooves in the volcanic pavers that you can still see today. 

Some houses have been partially restored. Here it shows a roof designed to collect water and funnel it into a central pool which then drains into a cistern. 

Ancient fast food. These are the remains of cooking pots that sold food to people who didn’t have their own cooking facilities. Which was most people, at the the time. 

ancient fast food

The wealthy had their own houses with central gardens. White stones were used in the floors to improve visibility in the dark. 

Roman household gods or spirits in a household shrine. 

household gods

The modern house on the left was built before the site was excavated. The ash was so thick no one knew the ruins were there. 

There was a  long line to visit the baths since someone the previous day had peed in a corner and they had to increase security. We remember the heating system (pictured bottom right) from the Roman baths in Bath, England

They uncovered a brothel in the red light district, complete with murals describing the different services. Also a carving in the street to point the way to the brothels. Pompeii was a trade city and many things were designed for the illiterate and the foreign. 

Here’s yet another ruined street and one of the public fountains. 

The last part we saw before entering the museum was a large public square. With Mt Vesuvius in the background. We wonder if those steps were ever squared off. They’ve been there for a while. 

Inside the museum are casts of people who died during the eruption. It’s nice to be able to visit such well-preserved ruins but this reminds you of the thousands who died during the process. If we hadn’t had a walking tour of Naples to rush off to, we would have spent more time wandering Pompeii on our own.