Another famous site and somewhat of a landmark (or whatever is left of it) is the ancient Roman city of Pompeii where its residents were the unfortunate victims of death by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Numerous Roman scholars and poets wrote about the events that occurred there despite almost all of them having never been there at the moment of eruption and some of the reports were written many years after the actual event. Hell, even in modern times people have made a movie out of it even though the Vesuvius erupted over a millennia ago. But due to its well-preservation of the site, I think both the volcano and city have become famous over time especially after its re-discovery in recent times. People in modern times have a literally an experience to go back in time and see how life would have been back in the ancient times of the Roman Empire. Much has been written about the Roman Empire but very few physical legacies have been left to the progeny to look after and study.
Pompeii for some reason reminded me of Delphi, Greece with its statues and the style of buildings. I guess it’s no coincidence that the success of the Greeks would eventually be passed onto the Romans who later conquered and ruled over Greece.
The hike up Mount Vesuvius can be challenging one if you are not in shape and it’s a hot day – not all tourists who make the trip to the mountain don’t even try to hike. They just give up and go to the nearby cafe to sit down and coffee it away. Well, good thing I was in shape but the bad part was that it was a hot, sunny day. At least the bus did most of the work – I just to have to finish it by going to the top of the volcano. It kind of reminds me of Hitler’s Eagle Nest where the bus did all the work and all I had to do is take the elevator up and walk around on the top of the mountain. At least it was not the Inca Trail going up towards Machu Picchu. However, once on top of the volcano of Vesuvius, it can give some stunning views of the nearby areas unless of course, the weather is terrible blocking your views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
This is definitely one of the better sites to go see any kind of Roman ruins to because of the preservation that the city of Pompeii went through. Some of the walls even had political graffiti on them that historians and those who study Latin can see how colloquial Latin looked like. There have even been bread that was preserved in one Pompeii home as the people baked bread in their stove as the volcano erupted and even after many years, it did not disintegrate due to being protected from the elements.
Tip: I recommend taking a tour to do this tour because the guide can explain certain aspects of Pompeii that regular people would have missed as well as you don’t have to drive because driving conditions in Italy can be challenging. Another idea to get the most out of this visit is to think and imagine being a local Roman living there so you understand how life was like before the volcano eruption. I took the tour from Rome which made things easy for me instead of trying to workout the transportation and logistics. It was similar to my trip out to Stonehenge where someone else took care of the driving since these places are notorious for speed cameras in order to generate tax money out of unsuspecting foreigners.