Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Snapshots - Mediterranean Cruise: Pompeii/Naples, Italy

One place that Justin could not wait to see was Pompeii and after going there I can now see why. For a little background history on Pompeii (I needed it). In 79 A.D. the volcano Mt. Vesuvius that was only 5 km away blow it's top and covered Pompeii in volcanic ash for 3 days. Due to this the whole city is very well preserved. It even has people frozen in time from the ash. This place was massive and so interesting.

The main square with Mt. Vesuvius in the background

The amazing streets that seemed to go on forever

The ash that buried Pompeii trapped the bodies of those that were still around.  When their bodies decomposed within the ash, molds of their bodies were left for archaeologists to make plaster casts so that we can get an idea of the last moments of their lives. 

Here is part of some Roman baths. This is actually some sort of locker system

For those that aren't Latin scholars, this mosaic at the entrance of a home says "Cave Canem" or "Beware of the Dog" - pretty neat to see practical things around the home.

Fresco from the interior of a home.

Me using the stepping stones to cross the street.  These streets were flooded daily to clean them, so locals used them to keep their sandals dry.

Fast food has been around a long time according to our tour guide. This was a stop and go food place.

Check out those grooves, caused by years and years of carriages and chariots running through here.  Yes, this is the original basalt stone.

After visiting Pompeii in the morning we headed to the Naples National Archeological Museum. We were excited because here they house the mosaic of Alexander the Great, but to our surprise when we arrived it was closed for renovations...bummer. Justin was really bummed out because he had done a report on Alexander the Great in school and really wanted to see this mosaic with his own eyes. I guess this gives a reason to go back. Actually a lot of the museum was closed which was a huge disappointment, but they did have one of the best statue collections.

Hercules

Artemis

Julius Caesar

Socrates

Wonderfully preserved frescos from Pompeii.  It was interesting to see what people chose to decorate the interior of their homes with......in this case we have Helen of Troy boarding a ship.

Scale model of Pompeii.

A great view of a street in Naples

Bye-bye Naples

--Marisa

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