ominously overlooks the remains of the Forum at Pompeii
ash and volcanic mud entombed and preserved many of the residents
and most of the buildings, all of which disappeared beneath the
deposits soon after the eruptions ceased.
79 A.D., Mt Vesuvius, (in the background of the photograph above) erupted with
catastrophic force, generating a pyroclastic mix of hot gases and
ash that flowed down the slope of the volcano and buried the towns
of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The devastation was immediate and
deadly, as the hot
At the time,
Pompeii was home to over 10,000 and the violent eruption of
Mt. Vesuvius was unexpected and tragic. Within minutes, the
town was buried and lost to history until
rediscovered in the fifteenth century. It was not until the
18th century that serious excavations were undertaken. Due to the
moral attitudes of the time, many pieces of erotic art (which was
common during the Roman Empire) were hidden, reburied, or, simply plastered over. These works of art are now on
display for adult visitors.
Touring the excavations
at Pompeii can
take many hours, if you desire to tour every element of the site. For
many visitors, two to three hours will allow you to cover the most important
buildings. See the website of the superintendant of
Archaeology for Naples and Pompeii for
information on visiting.
Note that Pompeii may close during periods of intense rains, as
the soil in the area is prone to collapsing when soaked.
It is easy to imagine a thriving city in Pompeii. Buildings
are marked by signs, helping you to navigate the area.
The interiors of many of the buildings are in surprisingly good condition.
Although many of the original decorations (statuary and frescoes) have been
removed (for display at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples), there is still much to see at Pompeii. The mosaic on the
text indicating "beware of the dog" and is one of the most popular
and photographed mosaics in the Pompeii ruins. Many of the wall paintings
the use of perspective and most are colorful and quite detailed.
The ash deposits from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
covered the town so rapidly that it perfectly preserved the town,
its buildings and inhabitants as they were at the moment of the
Amphorae, pots, statues, art and human bodies were encapsulated and
If you need information about another travel destination, try
Destination Guide Index
or Googling ThereArePlaces.
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Pompeii and Amalfi Coast Small Group Day Trip from Rome
From Viator Tours
|The Lupanare (Ways
12, 18), one of the most famous buildings in Pompeii, reopened
in late 2006 after a year-long renovation. The Lupanare
(the Latin word "lupa" translates as prostitute) was
the city's only purpose-built brothel. The walls contain
numerous erotic frescoes and the building is one of the most
popular sites in Pompeii.