Sunday, January 4, 2015

A day at Pompei

Hi my lovely readers,

Here's how our day at Pompei Scavi (Ruins of Pompei) went down. My older sister, Nooshin, and I took a train from Rome where she currently lives to Napoli (Naples) and then immediately from Napoli to Pompei. This is the cheapest but fast way to get there for those of you on a student budget like we were. There are two stations in Pompei, both of which are within walking distance to the entrance to the ancient city. Although some people like to spend an entire day taking a tour of the ancient city, we felt like a half a day of exploring the city was enough for us. A lot of what remains of the city is now in museums and temporary exhibitions around the world. Regardless, it is just striking to walk through this city knowing what had happened there years and years ago. For me it was such a strange and beautiful feeling to walk through the remnants of a city and trying to imagine the people that used to live here and how their lives were based on the shadow of a once glorious past. It is also just mind-blowing to think how easily your life can change or end in a day without you even expecting it. 

If you like to read more about Pompei and how Mount Vesuvius' sudden eruption destroyed it within minutes, click on this link:

We also got lucky that Italian men have a thing for charming foreign women so we got a free tour of the city from a very sweet older Italian tour guide who insisted we walked with him to learn about the city. Although our mini-tour was in Italian, as we both know the language, there are tours offered in English as well.

Indoor bath

I'm the Faun :/ ha ha lame I know...
The house of the Faun (Italian: Casa del Fauno) was built during the 2nd century BC, and was one of the largest, most luxurious private residences in Pompei. It is one of the most luxurious aristocratic houses from the Roman Republic, and reflects this period better than most archaeological evidence found even in Rome itself (Wikipedia).  
One of the vineyards located within the ruins of the city - We were told that these vineyards are being rebuilt to recreate the wines of the ancient Roman times, using the same grape varieties and winemaking techniques of the time.

Amphitheater of Pompei - oldest surviving Roman amphitheater 
Teatro Grande or Amphitheater exterior
Inside the amphitheater 
Walking through the streets

Actual people, children and adults, in the position they were when the mountain erupted and turned them into stones eternally. This was one of the most fascinating and scary things I have ever seen in my life. Some of these people were screaming in agony and their screams are on their faces still. 
The rocks I'm standing on were put here to be used as a bridge since the city's sewage would go straight through the city and people had to step on these to avoid stepping in the sewage while going across the street. Imagine the smell!
Yes, this is what you think it is. This was eternalized in the sidewalk stones and points towards the city's only, and secretly bustling, brothel. Ugh.
The road to the brothel. It was hidden from sights behind this building on the left, because the men liked to do their business in secret. Double ugh.

On top of each little room, with no doors, is a drawing of the position each lady specialized in. This helped the guys to avoid asking questions and to go straight in the room that pleased them at the moment. Triple ugh. 

Yes, we posed on one of the beds inside one of the chambers. The beds are made of stone! Talk about uncomfortable! Once the men were done, they would go to the cashier stand, also made of stone, pay and leave. 

Pottery and stoned people storage!
Terrifying, isn't it?

One piece mosaic in one of the houses

Grazie mille for reading guys and girls! I am obviously here to answer your questions so do comment below if you have any. And don't forget to follow my adventures on other social media outlets such as Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Till next time :)

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