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Adorable Chick

Italy, Greece and Montenegro diary : DAY 18 - 19TH May 2018

Lying right at the base of mount Vesuvius, the unique Pompeii city is located near the Bay of Naples (popularly called NAPOLI by locals). The city tops the list of most visited archeological sites in the world and finds place in the UNESCOs list of world heritage sites. It definitely makes a perfect day trip for the old and young alike.

It is devastating that this ONCE UPON A TIME glorious city was completely destroyed by volcanic eruption of MOUNT VESUVIUS. It is surprising that the exact dates of this eruptive destruction is not recorded anywhere and remains unknown till date.

We had allocated just half a day to visit this lost city. I now feel it was kind of underestimated. The experience was so unique and eye opening that let alone any history buff, even normal visitors should allocate at least an entire day on this site to do some justice. Only then can one understand and appreciate the then life of the ROMANS ,the engineering & architecture, history and social life. The excavation process is said to have been a great learning experience in terms of not only history but also science and many other aspects.

The climb down from mount Vesuvius gave us a fair idea of the amount of lava that would have erupted out of the “still active” mountain. ( read NAPLES AND VESUVIUS for full story). We were eager to visit Pompeii immediately after a short lunch break. The car drive took about 40 minutes between the two places. We purchased our tickets at the counter and didn’t opt for a guide. We thought it would be best to explore the place by ourselves, at our pace with the help of a detailed map provided by at the booking counter.

A long walk was expected considering the number of divisions the entire city was broken down into, for the sake of easy explanation to the tourists.

The ancient City appeared so structured, that the engineering minds which existed back then, amazed us. A wee bit of imagination could bring the city back to life in our minds. Luckily the map provided us help to navigate . There were 9 zones out of which we could cover only 2. That's how big the excavated city of Pompeii is. There are innumerable sites that it will easily take a normal person one whole day to understand the layout of the city and enjoy its history.

Tidy Desk

The structured layout is just unbelievable. The entire city is a product of a well thought out design and setup. It talks a lot about the quality planning that existed. Though the extent of destruction was quite evident, the archeologists and the maintenance staff have done a wonderful job of keeping this once upon a time glorious city intact in many ways. Gardens, theatres, bath area and pools, dining halls, small and big houses, streets, market areas, squares and much more, are clearly demarcated.

The huge amphitheatres, built just for entertainment and also clearly playing the role of a common meeting place are found in various divisions of the city. We had the opportunity to step into one such theatre that had steps running up to a great height. The wonders of ancient Roman architecture is really inexplicable. The sheer size of the theatre swept us off our feet. We spent a while climbing up to the last flight of steps. This place would have easily accommodated the entire city for sure. What comes to our mind, while standing on that ground is that, despite being subject to such massive destruction and lying covered in debris for that many decades until excavation, the remains that can be seen today seem so strongly. The brick and stone work is noteworthy.

Walking into the residential area, we spotted finely designed mosaics and pillars, decorated street squares, each one out beating the other. One such street displays a wheel impression of an ancient chariot . The houses seemed to be split into various categories, depending on the status of their owners in the society.