Life in the Roman town of Pompeii was splendid until the faithful day of August 24, 79. The inhabitants were unaware they had built their humble abodes and town at the foot of an angry volcano, carrying about their everyday lives like the rest of the surrounding areas. What started as a massive earthquake then erupted into a full-fledged ash spewing time, as Mount Vesuvius detonated her fury and rage. Pumice, ash and toxic gases exploded for 18 hours straight, annihilating every living creature and structure in her path. People were suffocated in the gases and buried beneath more than 23 feet of ash, encasing them in the exact positions they perished in.Eventually, the bodies began to decay, creating air pockets inside the ash shells, and when the town of Pompeii was discovered in 1748, excavators learned that they could fill these tombs with plaster, creating molds of such final resting positions.
(One really cool piece of information regarding the city of Pompeii is this: the town is swarming with stray dogs. Now, some of you might be thinking of diseases or rabies…. some might be afraid of these hairy creatures and not want to go…. don’t fret! The city welcomes them, and protects them. A veterinarian actually comes into the city once a week to inspect the dogs and treat them with any ailments they have, and food and water are left around for these little angels. They truly are the most friendly animals I have even come in contact with, and coming from a dog lover, I wanted to take them home with me. It’s a pretty enlightening beginning of a city that perished in a tragic ending. And that is why you will see random dogs in some of the following photos…..)
Today, there are numerous molds of these bodies on display throughout Pompeii, that have so vividly and amazingly captured the catastrophe of human disaster.
Visit during the day, and you can tour the surprisingly very large town and marvel in homes that still contain paintings on the walls, Roman bath houses and even their very own version of a “Red Light District,” complete with brothels with stone beds.
Apparently the Pompeii peeps were into much erotica, as there are still penises on walls and sidewalks in the stone, which make for great photo ops for us immature tourists.
Aside from the penises and residue of prostitutes, many visitors have claimed to see shadows passing through the town or apparitions have appeared in photos taken. Those who dabble in the world of spiritual and psychic matter believe spirits appear in photos as orbs. Upon researching Pompeii myself, I came across many of these orb photos all taken in the same room, which sparked my interest as I too have photos in this room of what once were the baths, and my photos are saturated with these so-called orbs.
Visiting in the night, however, is feared by many, as loud screams have been heard coming from inside the city limits. Also apparent is the ever-changing scent of sulfur that comes and goes, remnants of the volcanic tragedy.
Pompeii is an easy day trip out of Rome with tours available to purchase should you opt for that route, or a simple train ride away. The town is very close to Naples and Sorrento, so visiting is easily doable. I arrived via bus, and I have heard some horror stories regarding a few of the trains, particularly those leaving from Sorrento, so use caution.
Visiting the town of Pompeii is an awesome glimpse back in time. From the shells of what used to be homes, to restaurants and a forum, the town was extremely modern for its day. Check it out yourself, and keep an eye out for any shadows, your ear open for screams and double think that cold chill you get when walking past the dark corners of the Roman town.
….. and marvel at the grooves in the cobblestone streets from the chariots that once rolled through….