The Petryk's Round-The-World Adventure 2007/2008 travel blog

Ancient Village of Pompeii (1)

Ancient Village of Pompeii (2)

Ancient Village of Pompeii (3)

"The Forum" of Pompeii (1)

Columns along the Via Del Foro

"The Forum" of Pompeii (2)

Barb in front of The Forum with the columns facing the Sacrarium...

"The Forum" of Pompeii (3)

Artwork on the walls of the Macellum (Marketplace)

Puppy living in Ancient Pompeii

View down Via Del Foro

Tile floor in dining room at House of Faun

View of Pompeii from bedroom window at House of Faun

Local wine shop in Pompeii

Mosaic altar in a place of worship

Vicollo Dei Vetti (Note stepping stones and chariot tracks)

Mill for grinding wheat at the bakery

Wood ovens at the bakery

Artwork on the walls of the brothel

Outside the Teatro Grande

Inside Teatro Grande (1)

Inside Teatro Grande (2)

Nick on the wall of Teatro Grande with Ancient Pompeii in background

View down street outside Teatro Grande

Outside the walls of Ancient Pompeii (1)

Outside the walls of Ancient Pompeii (2)

Outside the walls of Ancient Pompeii (3)

The Crater at Mount Vesuvius (1)

Nick at Mount Vesuvius

The Crater at Mount Vesuvius (2)

Barb at Mount Vesuvius

The Crater at Mount Vesuvius (3)

Lava and volcanic debris on the side of Mount Vesuvius

Cheisa San Giovanni in Vietri sul Mare

The Campanile of Cheisa San Giovanni in Vietri sul Mare

The Dome of Cheisa San Giovanni in Vietri sul Mare

The Dome and Campanile of Cheisa San Giovanni in Vietri sul Mare

Barb in front of a lemon stand

Look at the size of those melons....I mean lemons


Today we joined a tour to Pompeii with our guide, Lorenzo, a sixtyish year old gentleman who spoke Italian, English and German, who said he has been guiding tours for some 40 years. The ancient village was discovered in the 16th century but serious excavation did not begin until the middle of the 1700's in 1748. The city was basically stopped at a moment in time when it was covered by 20 feet of pumice and ash when Mount Vesuvius erupted on August 24 in 79AD....tomorrow will be the 1966th anniversary of that fateful day! The weight of the volcanic debris caused roofs of buildings to collapse, however, in some buildings, paintings and sculptures were found intact and there is still graffiti visible on street walls. The tracks carved into the paving stones from the weight of the heavy chariots can even be seen in some places along the streets. Another thing the ancient Romans figured out was that they did not like to get their feet wet crossing the deep streets when it rained and therefore they set stepping stones in the streets, just wide and high enough for the chariots to pass over which allowed the pedestrians to cross the streets without having to step in deep puddles of water.

Some of the highlights of Ancient Pompeii included:

Sacrarium of the Lares - a building that housed statues of Pompeii's guardian deities, the Lares Publici...

Macellum - Pompeii's market place which was fronted by a portico with two money changers kiosks...

House of Faun - the famous villa belonging to the wealthy patrician Casii. It was one of the largest "houses" in Pompeii...

Bakery of Modesto - carbonized loaves of bread were found during the excavation of Pompeii...

The Brothel - the oldest profession in the world existed even in Pompeii along the Vicolo

Del Lupan Are. Inside the brothel artwork was still visible on the walls...actually, the menu if you will, for the services available and at what price. There were also carvings of phalluses pointing the way (sorry) to the brothel set in the paving stones along the streets...

Teatro Grande - a Grecian influenced amphitheatre for concerts and events. The theatre could hold up to five thousand spectators which gives an indication of the size of Pompeii at that time...

After visiting Pompeii and lunch at a local Ristorante we headed towards Mount Vesuvius, stopping along the way for the obligatory product demonstration and show room visit for some of the local products with "no obligation to buy anything". Today it was a stop in Ercolano at a cameo and coral shop. We were shown a short video on how cameos were made from sea shells and then led into the showroom. The merchandise was quite lovely and the salespeople in the showroom followed you around like a puppy just in case you showed any interest in any one little thing, even though there was "no obligation to buy". No one purchased anything that we could tell and we all climbed back on board the coach for the trip up the mountain side to Vesuvius. We went back and forth along the many switchbacks as we crawled up the side of the mountain and after arriving at the point as far as the bus could go, we still had a walk of one kilometer at a steep incline on volcanic dust and debris to get to the top to see the crater. For those of us who have been to Haleakela on Maui, we are truly spoiled, being able to drive right to the top to view the crater. Here at Mount Vesuvius, you had to work for your view of the crater, and in the 40 degree heat, it was a bit of a struggle, but we made it and it was well worth the views......From the coach on the way back, we could see fires burning in the hillsides, not very far away from Vietri sul Mare, the flames bright orange with plumes of dark smoke in the mid-afternoon sun. Lorenzo dropped us off at Vietri sul Mare town centre and as we made our way to San Giovanni Cathedral we stopped at a fruit market to check out the lemons before catching the shuttle back to the hotel. We also stopped at a little grocery store to buy some meat and cheese for supper and the owner gave us a business card for one of the local restaurants, extolling it's virtues in Italian which we couldn't really understand but did make out "molto bene pesce" or "very good fish", so we may try them out tomorrow....Ciao for now....



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