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Pompeii,  A City Rediscovered

Pompeii, A City Rediscovered

ITALY, SITES TO SEE, TOURS

I studied Pompeii at school and have always wanted to see it for real. It was every bit as interesting as I thought it would be. It’s incredible how much they have managed to preserve, it really does give you an insight to how people lived back in those times.  And to finally stand on the actual streets and touch its buildings, all you can think is Wow!

Pompeii was an ancient Roman City near Naples, Italy that at its height had a thriving economy based on trade and agriculture. It is said that the city had a population of some 10k to 20k inhabitants. Pompeii along with Herculaneum and Stabiae were destroyed in 79 AD in the volcano eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which blew its top sending poisonous vapors, volcano ash and debris for miles and wiping the town.   It covered the entire city of Pompeii in 23 feet of volcano ash and debris.

 

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All of the city’s roads were paved using blocks made from the lava of Vesuvius, and most of Pompeii’s roads included pavements or sidewalks. We were absolutely fascinated with the grooved ruts of the streets’ cobblestones. In some places the grooves were 4-5 inches deep. You can imagine how many years it took for the stones to be worn down from the passage of carts and chariots rolling through.
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One of the things we noticed was this symbol (below) on some of the buildings around Pompeii. Cover your kids’ eyes when you take a peek inside the Lupinar, the best preserved brothel of ancient Pompeii. There are a few original wall paintings in the building, demonstrating the lustful activities that occurred there. My guess is the pictures were a sort of menu so that customers could make their choices by just pointing. One of the largest brothels that we visited consisted of ten small rooms with stone beds to serve their customers. Pompeii turns out to be a city known for hedonistic pleasure seeking that was filled with wine bars and prostitutes.

 

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The Phallas Symbol of the Lupinar House.
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Original Wall Painting in the Lupinar
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Original Wall Painting in the Lupinar
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Stone Bed in the Lupinar
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Streets of Pompeii
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House Numbers on the Street of Pompeii
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House of Menander, Pompeii 
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House of Menander, Pompeii
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Arcaded Court of the Gladiators
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Arcaded Court of the Gladiators
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Arcaded Court of the Gladiators
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House of Menander, Pompeii
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Fresh Water Fountain, Pompeii

 

The plaster body casts of the bodies of the victims from the eruption are everywhere in Pompeii. It reminded us that the Pompeii ruins were the final resting place for thousands of people who were unable or chose not to leave when Vesuvius erupted.  Each body tells a story: some show the absolute horror on the faces. While others show sorrow as if they were waiting to die.

 

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The Pompeii ruins are a must-see, plan on spending at least three hours or the whole day wandering through the ruined buildings. Take your time and revel in the glory of the past.  It is truly amazing that these ruins were unearthed and in such good conditions.  Most tourist don’t get to see everything.  Only half of Pompeii has been excavated, so you never know what new things will be uncovered for your visit.

 

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

27 Comments

  1. Emma
    September 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm
    Reply

    How amazing to visit for real, it looks even better than how you imagine it! Must go one day! 🙂

    • Carmen
      September 3, 2014 at 1:15 am

      Hi Emma, I was always fascinated with the story of Pompeii. Being able to walk around the city and seeing all the houses and things that had been excavated was a real treat.

  2. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey
    September 1, 2014 at 10:00 pm
    Reply

    These photos are a great reminder of my visit there. Such a sombre place, and I am so glad that it’s available for us to see and remember the sad event. Thanks for linking it up!

    • Carmen
      September 3, 2014 at 1:36 am

      Hi SJ, It’s hard to imagine that there’s still more of the city to uncover. What will they find next?

  3. Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    September 2, 2014 at 4:23 am
    Reply

    We spent more than half a day walking around Pompeii. Since we had the kids along, my hubby stayed with them down the block while I took a look at the Lupinar. I declared it “too crowded” so the kids didn’t argue about not seeing it. Their dad went back later to see if the Lupinar was “still crowded.” Alas it was, so the adults got to see it but the kids did not. LOL

    • Carmen
      September 3, 2014 at 1:39 am

      Hi Michele, It wasn’t so crowded the day we went. My husband and I got a kick out of some of those pictures. We couldn’t believe how small the rooms and beds were to fit two people in. One can only use their imagination. 🙂

  4. Simone
    September 3, 2014 at 4:18 am
    Reply

    We visited Pompeii in June and really enjoyed it. The preserved history is absolutely amazing!

    • Carmen
      September 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Hi Simone, We went in April and it wasn’t very crowded. I would love to return one day and see what new finds that have uncovered.

  5. Sarah Ebner
    September 3, 2014 at 1:24 pm
    Reply

    We went to Pompeii on our honeymoon some years ago (!), but now the kids want to go and when I read your post I am reminded just why they would love it!

    • Carmen
      September 3, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Hi Sarah, It’s a great place to take the kids and have them wonder around the streets and take in all the history. They might also enjoy the climb to the top of Mt. Vesuvius. The inside of the crater is awesome and from the top of the volcano, it feels like you’re on top of the world.

  6. Milosz Zak
    September 3, 2014 at 2:24 pm
    Reply

    When I was younger, I went on a structured tour of Italy, and we had so very little time in Pompeii – I definitely have to return!

    • Carmen
      September 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Milosz, In order to see everything in Pompeii you probably need at least a few hours. Some of these tours rush you through the site and you miss out on a lot of things. We hired a private guide and I found it to be more personable.

  7. William Tang
    September 4, 2014 at 1:15 am
    Reply

    I would just love to visit Pompeii one of these days. Love the photos! Great job 🙂

    • Carmen
      September 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      Hi William, The history of Pompeii is very interesting. There was a story behind each house and building we saw which made it even more fascinating.

  8. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)
    September 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm
    Reply

    Love love love Pompeii! I spent almost a full day there and could definitely go back again. Actually, I’ll have to go back because we didn’t see any of the brothels! I think the areas were closed temporarily when we were there.

    • Carmen
      September 5, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Francesca, I can see spending the whole day there, it’s a big area to cover. Seeing the brothels for us was one of the highlights of the tour. We were amazed by how vivid some of those pictures were on the wall. I guess they wanted to make sure the customers got a chance to see what they were going to experience 🙂

  9. Adelina // Pack Me To
    September 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm
    Reply

    I have always wanted to go to Pompeii, something about the volcano erupting and stopping everyone and everything, literally in its tracks. Both horrific, but also somewhat fascinating, when you think about it.

    • Carmen
      September 5, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Adelina, It’s scaring to think that Mt. Vesuvius was so close by and they didn’t have any time to escape. Seeing the bodies frozen in time really makes you wonder what they must of gone through.

  10. Anna | slightly astray
    September 5, 2014 at 1:34 pm
    Reply

    I would LOVE to visit Pompeii someday! The history is so sad, but fascinating at the same time. I didn’t know about it being popular for adult activities! Lupinar sounds really interesting.. I was hoping you’d have included more pics of the original paintings… so I guess I need to go and see it for myself someday, hehe.

    • Carmen
      September 5, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Anna, I looked through some of my pictures after reading your post and found another one that I added of the Lupinar paintings. I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing them for yourself when you go. 🙂

  11. Maria from Nerd Nomads
    September 6, 2014 at 4:09 pm
    Reply

    Wow, great photos! Pompeii looks beautiful. I have heard so much about this place, but did not know that it was so well preserved. It is fascinating and sad how the ashes just froze everything. Now I really want to go there! 🙂

    • Carmen
      September 7, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Maria, The grounds are well preserved and you can see that they are still excavating more. This is a place where a good English speaking guide would make a huge difference, otherwise you might miss out on many facts and places.

  12. Lily Lau
    September 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm
    Reply

    I’ve been to Pompeii… when you see the expressions in those old inhabitants you think it could be perfectly you…

  13. Carmen
    September 20, 2014 at 2:01 am
    Reply

    Hi Lily, It gave me the creeps when I saw the body cast of the people. You start to wonder what must of been going through there minds, and what were they doing at the time. It’s very sad.

  14. Michele Peterson
    May 6, 2016 at 5:30 pm
    Reply

    It’s surprising how brilliant the colours are on those frescoes! The Pompeii exhibit came to Toronto’s ROM museum and you’re quire right, the body casts are quite eerie and moving.

    • Carmen Edelson
      May 7, 2016 at 1:58 pm

      The body casts were very creepy to see, but it’s definitely worth going and checking out!

  15. colombo things to do
    July 18, 2017 at 12:28 am
    Reply

    Great post! I’m already familiar with a few of these blogs but looking forward to discover the rest.

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