#9: The Frozen City Of Pompeii & That Damned Volcano

EffieMagazine.com, Effie Magazine photo Viaggio di Vanessa, Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius

Viaggio Di Vanessa #9

When I was planning my dream vacation to Italy, the one place I knew I had to go to was Pompeii. Netflix had a documentary about Pompeii that was very informative, “Pompeii Back From The Dead.” Immediately after watching it, Pompeii was on my bucket list (FYI, my bucket list is neither official nor do I write anything down, I just keep a mental note of stuff that looks fun to do someday).

Pompeii is located about two hours away from Rome. It’s an easy train ride into Naples and a bus to Pompeii. Or you can take a tour from Rome, which is what I did. A tour from Rome will cost you anywhere from 170 – 200 bucks, but it’s worth it.

In 79 A.D., Pompeii was a popular sea-side city. The wealthy had summer homes here. Pompeii was what the Hamptons and Malibu are today. The big exception is that neither the Hamptons or Malibu have an active volcano within miles of them.  In August of 79 A.D, Mount Vesuvius exploded all over the place, killing over 16,000 people in Pompeii and surrounding cities.  The people died from the volcanic ash that when mixed with moisture of the beautiful seaside air turned to pumice stone! The pumice and ash are said to have rained down on the people for over 18 hours.

Oh, and the gas that caused the explosion shot into the air several miles high, then turned in on itself and rolled down the hill into Pompeii at about 400 degrees Celsius, killing everything in its path. Those Romans gods must have been really, really pissed off about something.

The bodies that weren’t completely incinerated were left frozen in time in a 20-25 foot deep hardened molten cast of ash and pumice that covered the city for thousands of years, until the 1700s when the city was discovered again and excavated.

It can take you two weeks to tour all of Pompeii, I was only there for six hours, so I just went to the highlights of the city, like the Gladiator training area, the bath houses and the market. But the main must see, are the brothels! Don’t judge, this is history and culture.

Slave women and girls worked the brothels. There were many in the city, but one in particular that I went to in the poorest part of the city was considered the most popular. Along the walls of the brothels are frescoes of people in sexual positions. Flash is not allowed, but I did the best I could take good pictures, so look closely and you will see what I’m talking about.

Ironically, the most popular pharmacy in the city was located right next door  to the busy brothel!!! Now that’s a brilliant business strategy. Supply and demand!

I’ll be back Pompeii. And, next time I will spend much more time with you. Ciao!

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Click Here for Viaggio Di Vanessa #10: Il Mio Dolce Giorno

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