The lost city of Pompei

Only a few people know that but when I was younger, I wanted to be an archeologist. I think because it was the perfect combo of architecture and history, and I also loved mythology, specially the Greek and Roman ones. I remember reading in this old encyclopedia about the history of Pompeii, the city that was buried under the ashes of the Vesuvius volcano, and it always fascinated me. I dreamed about exploring the remains of this lost city, frozen in time by something so powerful yet so unexpected.

 

 

Pompeia Pompei Vesuvius Vesuvio

The powerful Vesuvius seen from the lost city of Pompeii!

 

Pompeii Pompeia

I couldn`t wait to explore every part of this incredible city…

So when I went to Rome, I could not miss the opportunity to finally visit this amazing city. It is not far away, you can get a train to Napoles and from them another quick one to Pompeii. From Rome to Naples, depending on how fast (and expensive) they are, it can take from 2:30 to 4 hours to get there. Perfectly fine to leave early in the morning and come back in the end of the afternoon.

 

Pompeii Pompeia

Some impressive views of the city. Like looking through someone else`s window…

 

Pompeia Pompeii

Ever place that I would look, I had an amazing view for a picture there. Needless to say these are my favourite kind of places!

If you`re thinking that Pompeii is just a bunch of ruins… Well, you`re wrong, my friend! Keep in mind that, since I had always been a “Pompeii freak”, by the time I got there, I already knew a lot about the city. Yet, nothing I read in the books had prepared me for what I found there…

Pompeia Pompei

Pompeia welcomed me with the most impressive ruins and spaces!

 

Pompei Pompeia

Panoramic view of Pompeii and the Vesuvius…

The city is HUGE. Ok, yes, I took my time exploring it, entering the houses – some so well preserved, with the original mosaics and tiles, that you can almost expect to see someone there – and I took a lot of pictures, good ones, but still, it took the whole afternoon for me to see (almost) all of it.

Pompeia

I was really surprised to find perfectly preserved mosaics like this one. Resisting the passing of time…

I have been to historic sites before, most of them in Italy, but seeing A WHOLE CITY that is one big archeological site is kind of overwhelming. I touched the walls, closed my eyes, tried to imagine how they lived. Pompeia was one of the biggest italian cities before this catastrophe, with an estimated population of 11.000 people – we are talking about the year of 79 AD!

Pompeia Pompeii

Some roman columns and the the Vesuvio.

As incredible as it is, some parts of the city are so well preserved that you can get a clear image of how they lived, how did the interior of the houses looked like, the colours, the finishes, the details…

Pompeii Pompeia

A palace interior: The mosaic on the floor and a painted mural on the back wall.

 

Pompeii Pompeia

Painted wall inside a house of Pompeii.

Even just writing about this I get shivers, but because the city of Pompeii was lost for over 1.500 years, and the tragedy that struck was so fast and final, even the bodies of people – and some dogs! – were preserved under the layers of volcanic ashes. Some of them, like the ones in this photos I took, were frozen in time, posing still for eternity..

Pompei people

It is impossible to see this and not be impressed… Those are not sculptures, they were real people, preserved by the ashes and the lava.

 

Pompei people Pompeia

The destruction of Pompeii was so fast, everything was kept perfectly preserved and is now exposed for people to see…

By the way, did you know that the people of the city didn`t die of burnings or because of the lava, they suffocated over the ashes? (Is this a heavy topic for conversation on a travel blog? I think it`s important to know, to understand…)

Pompeii

This is the courtyard of a wealthy family house. I can almost imagine people living here…

Historical facts aside, the city is beautiful. You can feel the energy of past generations on it`s walls, you can immerse yourself into their lives while in their courtyards, with water fountains perfectly preserved. You can almost see gladiators fighting in the arena, or hear the singing in the amphitheater.

Pompei arena Pompeia

Did you know that the amphitheatre of Pompeii is the oldest surviving roman amphitheatre?

 

Pompeii amphitheatre

Wineyards and the amphitheatre of Pompeii.

 

Pompeii theatre

This was a smaller classic theatre for plays and music presentations.

And as I prepared to leave this amazing city and get on the train back Rome (sound like home! hahaha), with the last rays of light over the Vesuvius and the most beautiful pink sky, I said goodbye to Pompeia and to it`s many lost souls, and I quietly thanked the universe for having a chance to live this.

 

 

Pompei Pompeia

This golden light was simply amazing, don`t you think?

 

Vesuvius Vesuvio Pompeia

Sunset over the Vesuvius volcano… Bye bye Pompeia!

My archeologist side was as happy and amazed as it will ever be…

 

 

Showing 2 comments
  • Jen
    Reply

    This looks incredible! I would love to explore the area and want to make sure I hit the south of Italy on my next trip!

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  • […] Using one vanishing point like this gives the effect of walking with me alongside this place, creating a bigger connection between photographer and viewer.  This was taken in Pompeii, in Italy, and there`s a whole post about it here! […]

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