Pompeii, with Vesuvius Watching

Mount Vesuvius overlooks the unearthed ruins of Pompeii, a Roman town that was buried under the volcano’s ashes in A.D. 79.  It wasn’t until the 1700s that the town was rediscovered, and it was since excavated out of around 15 feet of ash under which it was buried. We stopped at the ruins after a very long day of many trains, on our way to the Amalfi Coast from Vernazza.

Arriving late in the afternoon, we found a pleasantly light crowd of other tourists at the site after enduring a sardine-like, melting hot train to get there. The detail found in the excavation was simply amazing, with many mosaic floors, wall paintings, and of course victims of the eruption (those escavating would fill their skeleton frames with some sort of plaster cast while preserving the contortion of their bodies as they were found).

As we were nearing the end of our tour here, a man approached us:  “Hal-lo! Excuse me! Have you seen erotic paintings?”  Having not done my reading before the tour, I was naturally concerned by this questions. Luckily, Aaron realized the man, in his broken English, was looking for the town brothel, which had also been unearthed. Complete with private rooms (with beds), and Kama Sutra paintings on the wall, it was seemingly the most popular site.

We left Pompeii, boarded a train to Sorrento, and quickly found our bus to Praiano, leaving Vesuvius behind (though not far behind). A hectic and tiring day would be followed by intense laziness…

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