Pompeii - where time has stood still

It is hard to get your brain round the fact that the wall decoration that you are looking is almost 2,000 years old. In one of the rooms it is almost Art Deco in style.

This is the town that was preserved under ash and pumice for almost 1,700-years after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The eruption is said to have lasted two days, burying Pompeii under 60 feet. It was discovered by accident in 1748.

The columns show how there was, originally, a second level.

The ash and pumice, because of their lack of air and moisture, have preserved Pompeii in quite remarkable condition over almost two millennia.

Entering you gather in the forum area which is impressive enough until the guide explains to you that it was originally on two levels. Those pillars held up the next level.

bath house ceiling
Detail from the ceiling in the bath house

“Guide?,” you may query, if you are the independent type who likes to do your own thing.

Yes, Pompeii is one of those places that a guide can really make your experience of the place more fulfilling. A good guide will point out the details that you might miss on your own. A good guide will also be able to take you round avoiding the crush.

hunting mural
Hard to believe that this hunting scene was painted 1,700 years ago

Pompeii, after all, attracts 2.5 million visitors a year.

The streets are laid out much like a modern town and it has remarkably similar facilities, including the baths, shops, the theatre and, yes, the brothel.

The theatre is impressive. Built in the 2nd century it was extended in the reign of Augustus by a wealthy vine-growing family. It could accommodate 5,000 people. The theatre’s sponsors even had their name inscribed in brass on their seats.

Pompeii villa
There’s almost a touch of Art Deco about the wall decoration

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