Yesterday, we arrived in Naples, Italy. It seems a bit backwards, more like coming to fall after a hot, humid summer, but instead we came to a beautiful spring day with flowering trees from a hot, humid summer in the Southern Hemisphere and the heat of the tropics. Naples and Pompeii, where we spent most of the day, are overshadowed by the two-peaked, active volcano, Vesuvius. We learned that Vesuvius, which erupted and buried Pompeii in 79 AD, was a single-peaked volcano until that eruption when it collapsed its single peak and became two.
Pompeii is amazing. The whole of Pompeii, a walled city, has been identified and about one third of it has been excavated. This process began in the late 1700’s and continues to the present. We spent two hours exploring the wonders, Roman roads with pedestrian crossings, detailed drawings of mythical animals adorning the walls of the homes of the wealthy, pots along the streets that were used for early fast food, the theater, remains of columns, the Roman baths, and numerous altars. We could have easily spent eight hours. We saw only one of the thirty brothels. We saw a wealthy home which showed many details of their lives, but we missed the large frescoes that are often pictured in Pompeii. We saw many artifacts that were found in the city, including casts of some of the bodies, lying as they had been found, but the important artifacts are in a museum.
We had a fabulous Italian lunch at a hotel outside the gate to the ruins of Pompeii, after which we road around the Gulf of Naples to see the sights. We finished the day in the Piazza Plebiscito, Naples’ famous town square, where we saw the Royal Palace, the church of San Francesco from Paola, the oldest pub in Italy, the Gallery, the Theatre de San Carlo, and the “Rodeo Drive” of Naples. Tomorrow, we are in Barcelona and at the moment, we are passing between Corsica and Sardinia. I’m off for a photo that probably won’t upload.