Located near Naples in Italy, Pompeii is a city that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The falling ash came so quickly with just the right recipe of ingredients that it managed to preserve the city just as it was.
Frozen in time for you to explore. Exploring the ruins of Pompeii is a fascinating experience to say the least.
This once thriving and sophisticated Roman city now contains preserved buildings, streets, pots, frescoes with vibrant color in tact and even bodies. Yup, human bodies!
I recommend giving yourself most of the day to explore it. Start in the areas furthest from the entrance and work your way back to avoid the tours and crowds.
I did a tour and appreciated the amount of information but you can go about it self-guided style as well. These are some of my favorites spots in Pompeii:
Being close to sea, this was a port town. Meaning lots of sailor visitors for short periods of time. Someone quickly realized how profitable a brothel would be here and made one.
Because the sailors were from all parts of the world they came up with a sign system to guide men of all languages to the building – the carved penises in the stone roads pointing in the direction of the brothel. No joke! We’re talking 79 AD and earlier. LOL
Once the sailor arrived at the brothel [a tiny building with stone beds] the language barrier was again a problem, so they painted beautifully colored frescoes on the wall with sexual positions/services making it as simple as point and pay. A visual menu if you will. #clever
The Forum & Its Baths
The forum is near the main gate and therefore quite crowded all day. It was the main center of life in this city. It also has baths nearby that are well preserved [The Forum Baths].
Garden of Fugitives
This is where you will find the preserved casts of people who did not survive the eruption. Those who didn’t make it out of the city in time were preserved by ash and casts of their remains later created.
My Italian tour guide made sure that we knew the archeologist that discovered how to create the casts properly was an Italian. 🙂
The amphitheater is where games were held for entertainment.
There are lots of homes with colorful frescoes. My favorites were the House of the Small Fountain, House of Venus, House of the Faun [the largest in the city named for the staute in front], and the House of Sallustio which was probably an inn with a little food shop in front of it.
There are many bath houses to explore throughout the ruins.
There is a lot to see in addition to the above. These were my favorite areas. If you enjoy history and really want to see everything you may not even finish in one day.
Please note that it gets oh so hot in the summer, aka the day I was there. Make sure to dress appropriately and bring lots of water. I recommend the guided tour and as noted begin in the least crowded areas, away from the entrance, and work your way back.
Thanks for reading! Have you been to Pompeii or is it on your destination list? Please let me know in the comments below. Grazie! Ciao!
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