Monday, January 16, 2017

Italy Blog #80: Pompeii - Part 1

Tom, Maria and Rob
In this Italy trip blog, we finally arrived at Pompeii. Our tour guide was a fiesty woman named Maria, who was like a walking encyclopedia.  Because there is so much of the now unburied city of Pompeii open, we'll explore it over a couple of blogs. This is Pompeii Blog #1 - What was the city, the eruption and rediscovery.

WHAT IS POMPEII? It was a major ancient city founded at the mouth of the Sarno River. It was surrounded by the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius (5 miles away). It was filled with artisan shops, taverns, cafes, brothels and bathhouses. There was a 20,000-seat arena, open-air squares and marketplaces.

Walking up from one of the 7 entrances
A WALLED CITY - The city was surrounded by a wall, and there were 7 entrances. We walked through one of the entrances and up a stone walkway into the city.
MOUNT VESUVIUS ERUPTS - In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted. It buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick carpet of volcanic ash while it incinerated the city of Herculaneum on the other side of the volcano. 

According to, "as more and more ash fell, it clogged the air, making it difficult to breathe. Buildings collapsed. Then, a “pyroclastic surge”–a 100-miles-per-hour surge of super-heated poison gas and pulverized rock–poured down the side of the mountain and swallowed everything and everyone in its path.By the time the Vesuvius eruption sputtered to an end the next day, Pompeii was buried under millions of tons of volcanic ash. About 2,000 people were dead."

WHEN RE-DISCOVERED? - A group of explorers rediscovered the site in 1748 when looking for underground water sources, they were surprised to find that–underneath a thick layer of dust and debris–Pompeii was mostly intact.

According to Maria, our guide, when we were there in May 2016 one third of the city still remained covered by ash and soil. So far, 45 of 66 acres have been unearthed. Archaeologists are still digging it out. To the right is a photo of a large part of the city that is still  buried under grass, dirt, and ash.

NEXT: Pompeii Part 2: The Amphitheater

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next