Introduction to Pompei

Pompeii, Italy, is a town located in an area of southern Italy known as Campania, which is close to Naples. The town is renown for its rich history, however, its true claim to fame is it destruction by the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in 74A.D.

Ancient Pompeii was a thriving Roman town before its destruction by the volcano. The town was successful in agriculture and a large producer of wine and oil. Many wealthy ancient Romans had vacation homes in Pompeii and the city boasted an amphitheater, large public baths and an aqueduct. With a population of an estimated 20,000 before the volcanic eruption, Pompeii was a modern Roman city.

Ancient Pompeii was under layers of ash until excavations began in 1748.

Since then major discoveries have may it a top travel destination for tourists from around the world. Excavated Pompeii revealed ancient ways of living that were unknown. Tourist visiting this excavated site today can peer back into history and witness the early lives of the citizens of Pompeii. Many of the towns have buildings and frescoes, which are still intact and available for viewing on walking tours.

Perhaps the eeriest sites to view are the plaster casts of those citizens who did not survive the volcano but died exactly where they had attempted to flee or hide. Some of the most controversial artifacts to see on a visit to Pompeii are the ones with sexual overtures, in recent years the Italian government has become more permissive in allowing the viewing of these relics. The Italian government has established extensive tours which cover not only the history and the geography of Pompeii but also those of nearby towns.

Photo by Stuck in Customs on flickr


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