On Pompeii: The Visit

The A Day in Pompeii exhibit stimulated many personal reflections. Even through the recent post, the wide variety of comments from readers added to my experience.

Although all of us recall our early thoughts of Pompeii during are elementary school years, some readers shared their experience of visiting the historic city. For us, the year was 2007. We were aboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas as it docked in Naples, the last stop before disembarking from our wonderful 12-day cruise of Italy and Croatia.

The day started as any other cruise day by me wondering about the view outside the cabin – and there was Mt. Vesuvius standing tall and quiet. We had a full day planned as we took a tour that included a brief stop in Sorrento,  driving the Amalfi Coast (simply stunning), and a wonderful lunch in the seaside resort town of Maiori before the final stop in Pompeii.

The day was full of sunshine and great views, yet as we approached Pompeii, a light drizzle came from the gray cloud cover now hovering over us. Given that we had already seen much on this day, our time in Pompeii would be limited to about 2 hours; yet, in that short time, we would capture the essence of the culture and the surreal nature among the ruins as Vesuvius watched our visit. Below are a few of our pictures.

Across the Forum to Vesuvius

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Walking Down “Main Street”

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One of Many Frescos

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Courtyard for a Wealthy Homeowner

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Directing the Way to the Bordello

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Some Ruins

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I also remember looking up toward Vesuvius wondering homes are up there. Since 79 A.D., Vesuvius has erupted at least 28 times, including three in the 1900s with the last being 1944. I took this at the exhibit. I wonder when the next eruption will happen. Will we ever learn?

PS (and a post-publish addition)

Here is a 4-5 minute tour of Pompeii by Rick Steves. Enjoy.

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38 thoughts on “On Pompeii: The Visit

  1. We spent a day visiting Pompei and it wasn’t enough time. it was so much more interesting than expected and we wanted time to explore everything. Maybe we’ll go back, By the way – the hotel we stayed at was one of the best hotels we’ve stayed at in Italy and the restaurants were wonderful. Did I mention the tasty gelato?

    • Simple … (actually Joe),
      Welcome first-time commenter! I’m all over the board with topics here so I hope there’s something here for you to return.

      Thanks for sharing your visit. Wow … an entire day wasn’t enough – and we only had a few hours! Tasty gelato in Italy is so hard to find. ;) Thanks for visiting and hope you consider returning.

  2. Great images my friend. I watch lots of science and history programming on TV, and among the most fascinating are the ones that recount past disasters and examine the possibility for them to repeat. And when it comes to volcanic eruptions, Vesuvius, and all those people living in its danger zone, always figure prominently. Other creatures don’t have the capacity to recognize the dangers the way we can, and yet we ignore them anyway. We are truly a strange species.

  3. What a wonderful opportunity to see such a fantastic site…yes, it was probably mid-elementary school when I first remember learning about Pompeii and being semi-horrified at what little I could imagine! Your photos are really wonderful. The photo of “main street” is really something! Debra

    • Debra,
      Not only was that day wonderful, the entire trip was spectacular! I’ve been thinking about using that trip in future posts. Meanwhile, glad you enjoyed this post and thanks for stopping by.

  4. I love how you and your wife have done so much traveling together and how you tend to travel on board wonderful cruise ships. That visit to Pompeii must have been so incredibly interesting. Didn’t they live ‘modern’ lives for such an ancient time. And looking at the current photo, it’s so surprising to see people living and working in the firing line of another eruption. Real estate there would have to be cheap! xx

    • Spiced,
      LOL … Interestingly, we never talked about or had the urge for cruising, but friends of our got us to cruise Alaska in the late 90s … and know we frequently discuss future ones. No question – it’s a wonderful way to travel, well, at least for us.

      Pompeiian culture was known for being advanced for the times. At the exhibit, seeing a plumbing device that diverted water was mind boggling to me.

      In terms of today, Pompeii is suburban Naples. I can understand homes being nearby and the site being in a very busy area, but living on the slope of Vesuvius is another matter. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Hi,
    Fantastic photos, such a great civilization gone in no time at all, it really is mind boggling. All the knowledge that these ancient people had also gone, the wonders that could of been passed down to the next generation, the eruption did not leave us much, just a small insight in how these people lived.

    • Mags,
      Well said about the knowledge that was lost. I have often wondered about the people who safely got away and their stories, and if any of them ever return years later. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Excellent travelogue Frank. Thoroughly enjoy it. You musings on, “when…” and “will we ever learn?” remind me of the oft quoted phrase (credited to George Santayana), “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I would say, “Those who IGNORE….”
    Also reminds me of the phrase from Matthew 7:6, Do not, “cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet and turn and tear you to pieces.”

    I’ve come to accept the fact the some people will never learn. While that may seem fatalistic – it’s something that’s proved out over and over again. Does that mean the stories shouldn’t be told? No, It just means don’t waste your breath telling the same stories to the same people who don’t listen. I also think of how people have employed these questions to other situations – but the answers the same. Thanks for stimulating my brainwaves this morning. :-)

    • Mobius,
      Thanks for sharing your many great thoughts about will we ever learn. Today, Pompeii is very much suburban Naples, so I can deal with population centers. But the lights on the mountain side are a great example of those ignoring! Thanks again for sharing your excellent thoughts.

    • Kay,
      I imagine The Lady of Style always has the urge to travel somewhere for vacation. Meanwhile, hope you have the current trip that pays the bills is a good one. Thanks for visiting.

    • Lynn,
      Unfortunately, our stop in Sorrento was brief, but it was at a inlaid wood shop that was wonderful. I recall it being above the city overlooking the water. With that said, I guess I have reason to return! Thanks for visiting.

  7. I have been fascinated by Pompeii since first reading about it in National Geographic as a child, and how Vesuvius laid waste to an entire metropolis. I’m glad you were able to visit it in person.

    RJK

    • John,
      You are very welcome. The recent visit to the Pompeii exhibit sparked the look back to the actual visit. BTW – since you are not very far away, consider visiting the A Day in Pompeii exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center through mid-August.Thanks for commenting.

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