Join us as we visit the Ruins of Pompeii, Italy in this travel guide covering this ancient Roman city near modern Naples, in the Campania region of Italy, in the territory of what is now the comune of Pompei. Pompeii was destroyed by volcanic ash and pumice during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius back in AD 79. After thoroughly exploring the pompeii ruins we head into modern Pompei city to visit more attractions and eat pizza at our favorite pizzeria.
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Visiting the Ruins of Pompeii, Italy Travel Guide Transcript:
While many travellers visit Pompeii on a day trip, we chose to base ourselves here for a few days. The main draw, of course, were the ruins of Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was buried under ash and pumice when Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. We spent half a day walking through the world’s largest excavation and archaeological site, and what follows it our mini travel guide.
Our first stop inside the complex was the Amphitheatre of Pompeii. Built around 70 BC, this is the oldest surviving Roman amphitheatre to have been built of stone; for comparison the Colosseum in Rome wouldn’t come into existence for another century. We toured the grounds and also checked out the music exhibit on site, because it turns out a lot of bands have played here over the years!
After visiting the amphitheatre which is on the very east end, we started making our way into the city. The streets were cobbled and all along there were rows of houses and villas, many of them with impressive frescoes that tell the tale of a wealthy city with lavish homes.
One of the reasons Pompeii is so well preserved is because it was buried quickly by volcanic ash and pumice, plus the lack of air and moisture also allowed for the buried artifacts to be extremely well preserved. Stepping into the homes is like stepping into the past; you can still see the elaborate mosaic floors and vibrant frescoes frozen in time.
Continuing our walk through Pompeii, we eventually reached the Forum. This square would have been the centre of life for locals with temples, municipal buildings, and markets. The statue of the centaur, half-man half-horse, is a focal point, as is the view of Mount Vesuvius looking down on the ruins.
To finish off our visit of Pompeii, we walked along the southern edge of the ruined city where we saw the casts of the victims of Vesuvius. When archaeological teams began excavating Pompeii, they noticed there were large voids in the compacted ash whenever they were digging around bones. By pouring plaster into the spaces, they were able to capture the final poses of the residents’ last moments in the city.
One of the best discoveries of our time in Pompeii was Pizzeria Alleria, we stumbled here soaking wet on our first night in the city and we just couldn’t stay away after that. Here’s what the fuss is all about.
After that, we ended up getting a second Margherita pizza – the first one was just too tasty! – and then we also ordered the Nutella cheesecake, which was just as decadent as it looks.
We started our do-it-yourself tour of modern Pompei at Piazza Bartolo Longo, a beautiful plaza lined with palm trees right in the heart of the city. Standing in the square, it’s impossible to miss the Shrine of the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompei, where once you step you are greeted with painted domes and golden ceilings. And then from there, we went to the top of the bell tower for a 360-degree views of the city.
This is part of our Travel in Italy video series showcasing Italian food, Italian culture and Italian cuisine.
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