Friday, December 29, 2017

A visit to the lost city of Pompeii

September 21: We will be visiting Pompeii excavations for the better part of the morning; have lunch at Sorrento and get a distant view of Positano on the way back. 

Maiori to Pompeii Ruins

Pompeii was our first phase of the visit on September 21, 2017 and we started around 8:30 from our hotel in Maiori. I was quite excited after listening to a briefing on the eruption of Vesuvius that happened in the past with a video and pictures by our accompanying experts, Dr. Andrew Becker and Dr. Trudy Becker.  However, words fail to describe the extent of devastation that followed the eruption. The populous city was completely buried in earth and rocks within a matter of 2 days after inhabitants, human and animal, were burnt to death.

Pompeii ruins (Scavi de Pompeii)

Vesuvius eruption : Source :

Pompeii is about a little over 45 miles from Maiori and takes about an hour. We traced our route part of the way back to when we arrived from Naples. Then we followed a highway and our bus was parked at the entrance ' Piazza Esedra'. Facing the gate, we could see the Naked Man statue on the hill on the left.

We were met by our local guide, Signor Niccolo, a slightly-built energetic guide who mixed lot of information interspersed with jokes. He did an excellent job and left a lasting impression.

We followed him through the passages; the walk along the ruins; visiting some landmark locations such as the House of Menandro with the garden in the courtyard and decorative frescoes; the bakery with milling devices made of lava and the baking oven; the tiled Stabian public baths; the forum and the granary where the various body casts of folks and animals are stored.

Entering the ruins  

The street towards house of Menandro

Inside the house of Menandro 

Courtyard garden: House of Menandro
(Source: Ray Austin)

Main street with gaps for carriage wheels

The bakery showing the mills used for grinding
(Panificio di Popidio Prisco)

House with the lucky (naughty) symbol in its fa├žade (Source: Al Kehew)

The Stabian bath (Source: Al Kehew)

Forum with the granary on the left and Vesuvius in the back.

Roman dog (cast) from the ruins    

We only saw a small portion of the ruins. Besides what we saw there are many objects unearthed and now on display in museums in Naples; the British Museum and other places.

Three Graces in Pompeii
Romans traded with Arabia, India (pepper and spices) and China. According to Pliny the trade was so large that Rome had a deficit and the Indians demanded gold.  An Indian Ivory statuette of what is wrongly attributed to the Indian Goddess, Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) was found in Pompeii. The statuette is perhaps that of an Yakshi (a demi-goddess) from the Gandhara period.


Ivory statuette of Indian origin found in the ruins

I very strongly recommend this site, (Google has done a great job) if you want to literally re-visit Pompeii, or recollect what you saw when you visited:

For video specific to our visit, view it on You Tube.

We are moving on to Sorrento...

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