8.8.13

... AD 79


While in the area, a visit to Vesuvius and the ruins of what was covered by its eruption AD 79, including of course Pompeii  and Heraculaneum is of course a "must". 

Vesuivius has erupted many times, before and after; three times during the 20th century, latest in 1944, but the AD 79 one was obviously one of the most destructive ones.


Pompeii was covered by some 25 m (80 ft) of tephra layers when it was first rediscovered in 1599 and when excavations were made during the 18th century. It has been a tourist attraction since some 250 years. You are of course impressed by what you see and, once again, looking on the traces of the level of civilization, including statues, paintings… you wonder why we had to wait for centuries before Europe could again produce similar master works, to get running water… We can even see pedestrian crossings! 

There were some disappointments with Pompeii concerning slow and unfriendly ticket purchase, lack of maintenance… , but it’s of course a place you must see. You need hours!!












Closer to Naples and the coast you will find the remains of another Roman city, which was covered by the same eruption, but to a lesser extent than Pompeii, Herculaneum (the present town is called Ercolano). Also here, the excavations started in the 18th century – large parts (75%) are still hidden by the present town. Herculaneum was AD 79 a coast town, more wealthy then Pompeii. Buildings have been better preserved, there are today less visitors… , definitely worth the visit!














Well, of course we had to climb the 1281 m (4200 ft) high Mount Vesuvius. You can come rather close to the top by car, hope to be lucky for parking space… and then walk for about half an hour, see the crater and get splendid (little misty) views in the direction Naples, Capri…


       

7 comments:

Jeanie said...

They both look fascinating, Peter. It's a real mind-trip to think of what they had been like in the day when the mosaics and all the structures were intact.

As always, fabulous photos. Very nice!

Starman said...

You must have had a great time. No one does this as good as you. Thank you!

Cezar and Léia said...

I visited this place in 2001, and your pictures brought me good memories.Wonderful images Peter, thanks for sharing!
Léia

Nadege said...

I didn't know you could go up mount Vesuvius. What a treat you are showing us with those fabulous photos. Thank you!

Studio at the Farm said...

GREAT post, Peter!!! Absolutely fascinating! I had read recently that Pompeii was not being maintained as well as it could be. But Herculaneum appears to be in great shape.
Thank you always, for your wonderful photos and information, Peter!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful, Peter! Thanks!

Nowadays, the most precious cameos are the ones made off that lava that covered Pompeii. Made in the 18th century when the excavations started, they became the rage among the fashion conscious ladies of the time.

Martha Stewart has a collection of these pieces. Lucky lady...
Maria

Synne said...

I've only been to Pompeii, but we also mounted the volcano. Almost unbelievable, and super exciting!