Last week I was able to go on a wonderful trip to Sorrento, Positano, and Capri. But perhaps the most interesting thing for me was to go see the ancient ruins of Pompeii.
According to my tour guide, Pompeii was originally a pre-Roman town that existed for around seven hundred years before it was taken over by the Romans. The town itself was twice as old as our country is before it was finally overtaken by Mt. Vesuvius. The eruption lasted two days before a giant cloud of ash fell onto the city, burying it and its inhabitants. In the process the ruins were remarkably well preserved. I had never even seen a Roman ruin before this, so I was completely taken away. It was interesting to see things like the “statues” of the people who died, the forum and the temple to Jupiter. As I was there, I wondered what must’ve gone through the minds of those people. How many survived? How many fled to the temple in hopes of averting this disaster? It was almost like I was bearing witness to an ancient crime scene.
If you are in the south of Italy, I strongly recommend you go. I felt like history was ripped from the pages and put right in front of me. It is a very surreal experience and there are very few very well-preserved places like it. I suggest you get a tour guide, because you can learn so much more about what you are seeing. With the tour guide I think I was better able to appreciate the ruins.
Europe in general has so many old places. It’s somewhere you really should go just to experience the many different cultures in it. For my last week here I’ll be going to the Sistine Chapel as well as the Roman Forum and some other places in Rome, so watch out for that post! It’s been such an amazing time here.