Pompeii Things to Do Tips by sswagner
Pompeii Things to Do: 615 reviews and 1,140 photos
Artifacts from Pompei
As artifacts are dug out of Pompei, they are often taken to museums such as an important one in Naples. Just off to the side of the Forum, there are some storerooms containing some of the artifacts that have been found here. Pottery, statues, and even casts of the victims can be viewed here. There is still a great amount of excavation yet to occur here, therefore the exhibits should be constantly changing as more is learned about Pompei.
Those who enjoy the fine art of theater in addition to the incredible history of Pompei will not want to pass up a chance to see the ancient theaters of the city. I did have a chance to see one of three venues in the city. Marble stone made up the section of the lower seats, which were reserved for the ancient VIP's. This particular theater was on the edge of the city. Today, a visitor can still get a good idea of the size of it and get a chance to walk around it. A smaller theater is nearby. Pompei also has a larger amphitheater near another end of the city. This was used as a venue for gladiator combat and other performances.
The Romans have become quite famous for their baths, and Pompei does offer a variety of these establishments. There are some interior chambers still intact which can be visited. The men and women were kept seperate in these areas. The interiors contain a lot of artistic detail in both paintings and sculpture.
Historians have learned a great deal about Roman commerce by excavating the city of Pompei. There are areas around the city which have holes used to measure off certain items. Other holes or chambers are used to display the items for sale. Many of the storefronts can be identified by a groove on the streetside which indicated that a sliding door once existed. When the market was closed, the sliding door would be closed in order to secure the store. There are many bakeries, food markets, wine shops, and other areas throughout Pompei. The countertop areas with the holes typically indicate such a place.
House of the Faun
Many of the homes in Pompei have been heavily researched, especially those which belonged to the wealthier citizens. The House of the Faun is one of the more interesting ones due to its many chambers and scenic gardens. The house receives its name from a small statue found near the entrance. The ancient house was quite elegant with its marbled interior, paintings, and adequate space.
Streets of Pompei
A visitor to the ruins will have the chance to walk on the same streets that the ancients used. For the most part, the streets are run in a gridlike fashion. They consist of smooth stones and in some areas, elevated stones come up from the street to assist people who want to cross from one side to the other. The streets help to divide the city into regions. Today, a classification of regions exists that helps a visitor locate places on a map. Street signs have been placed on the buildings to indicate which street a person is walking. In some areas, fountains can be found. Fortunately, a few of them work today, and the water is safe to use for drinking. However, this was not always the case as lead pipes were used back in ancient times. Some of these pipelines are still visible in certain areas.
Citizen of Pompei
In certain areas of the city, the casts of victims are on display. These are the death poses of many who did not escape the sudden eruption of Vesuvius. It is important to note that these are not the actual bodies. They are simply casts made from where the body once was located. After the people perished, the ash covered them. In time, the bodies decomposed. All that was left was a cavity within the ash. As Pompei was gradually excavated, someone got the idea to pour plaster into the cavities. The cavities served as a mold and the result was the form of the people who died. There is enough detail in these casts to realize that the eruption was a painful experience.
This area is directly adjacent to the Forum. This area served as a large market. Wine and fish were two of the most common products sold here. The central area was likely used as a display area for fish, while other shops surrounded the area. There were a couple of casts of victims displayed here when we visited.
The Forum is the political and religious center of the city. The remains of the Temple of Jove (Jupiter) are easily visible in the open area. Naturally, this area was a popular gathering place. It was also the heart of commerce in Pompei. There are many columns, colonnades, temple remains, and some arches in this area. Vesuvius looms in the background as a reminder of the sudden death of this civilization.
Here is the mountain that destroyed and preserved Pompei at the same time. In 79AD, an abrupt 3 day eruption emitted a cloud of ash and toxic gas that quickly covered the cities of Pompei, Herculaneum, and Stabia. Unlike an eruption that consists of mainly lava, the ash is far deadlier because it travels fast, and it is impossible to breath when in the ash cloud. This would be similar in a way to the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in the United States. In prior years to the most famous eruption, an earthquake was recorded. Perhaps this was the only warning the people would get. Many of the citizens were still involved in repairing earthquake damage when the eruption came. The dense cloud of ash and volcanic material eventually covered what was left of the city. Vesuvius was quiet when we visited, and not even a plume of smoke was visible from the mountain. There had been at least one eruption in the 20th century, however it has for the most part remained dormant. There is a road that goes up to the mountain, and it is possible to peer into the crater of the most famous Vesuvius. Similar to Mt. Etna, many farmers take advantage of the rich volcanic soil to grow crops. Some wines are made from grapes which were harvested from the volcanic soil.
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