Monday, June 09, 2008

Discovering the Past

Today we ventured in the direction of Pompeii, continuing on to the site of Herculaneum, a town that we covered in 4 meters of mud when Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D.

Today we see an entire town just as it was over 2,000 years ago. There are houses, baths, restaurants, bakeries, and other businesses. We were amazed that much of the original wood is still intact, as are beautiful mosaic floors.

As so often happens, successive civilizations built right over top of the city covered with mud, so that today the town of Ercolano towers over the excavated ruins.

We then took the train to Torre Annunciata to visit Oplontis, a villa which was the home of the wife of Nero. It suffered a similar fate in 79 A.D. and is still in the process of being excavated today. Oplontis is evidence of a lavish life-style, which included a 61-meter swimming pool and beautifully frescoed walls. The many amphorae discovered in the excavation are remarkably well preserved.

All this looking at ruins has piqued my interest in visiting the national museum in Naples, which houses many of the artifacts uncovered during these excavations.


Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Love the ruins! Also loved the pic of parsley growing out of a wall. Oh yeah!!

I'm so jealous of you on this trip, though in a few days I will be feeling sorry for you, returning to DC where it's hot as hell.

Take in that sky ... here we've got the metallic sky, mosquitoes and foul air of midatlantic summer. Sigh ...

8:13 AM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

Reya's right- this place sucks right now.
Poor Jakey is petrified of these awful thunderstorms we've been having.

The parsley wall is also one of my favorites!

10:25 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Ephesus and Pompeii all in the same trip. I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to walk down streets so old.

12:02 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

It has been so great to visit Italy, Greece, and Turkey again via your blog and photos. Now I'm even more eager to go back there. I love being places where you can really "feel" the past. That old vibe is just everywhere in that part of the world.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous lr said...

Great to have caught up with your travels this morning. I would love to visit the ruins you've seen. I do hope you get to the museum, too. I'll be interested in knowing second hand what is there.
Your meals are divine! Fresh beautiful and with the four of you as cooks delicious as well.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- Yes, I love the parsley wall. The sky is amazing here.

Gewels -- Jakey is such a baby when it comes to storms. I hope he doesn't drive you nuts in his frenzies.

Kristin, LR -- The old stuff is such a treat. Walking on those streets is quite an experience.

Cyndy -- Welcome! I'm so happy to have you as a reader!

2:08 PM  
Blogger steve said...

My god girl you are still on vacation?
I'm sorry I don't get to see you so much anymore.
great pics.
Love the dihes from yesterdays post.
parsley out of the wall?
Reminds me of the car i had that had Marijuana growing in the floorboard!

Cheers barb, and say hey to David.

1:52 PM  

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