Pompeii, Part III

view of Pompeii, August 2007

Yep, yet another post on Pompeii. In fact, I took enough photos at Pompeii the other day to keep me posting for months. But seriously, this will probably be my last Pompeii post. Narcissus (wall painting), House of Loreius Tiburtinus, PompeiiI don’t want to overdo it. Tomorrow we are going to Herculaneum, which is less famous than Pompeii but in some ways more interesting. It too was destroyed in the eruption of 79 A.D. So my Herculaneum saga is about to begin. 😉

I took the above panoramic photo just as we were leaving Pompeii. At that point, my brain wanted to stay and explore the streets where we hadn’t been, but we were too exhausted even to contemplate such an effort. Here I was looking toward the theater (far end). The photo gives a vague idea of how vast Pompeii is. But if you want to be really overwhelmed, have a look at the map of Pompeii using Google Maps or Google Earth.

peristilio, casa degli amorini dorati, 2007This (left) is a view of the peristyle (an open colonnade encircling an internal garden) of the House of the Amorini Dorati, or Gilded Cupids, which received its name from the gilded flying cupids that at one time were part of its wall paintings and which are now preserved in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples (if you are in Naples, don’t miss visiting this museum, by the way). The house is very well-preserved and, I thought, one of the most striking (of the ones we saw on this trip, of course). The garden, by the way, displays its original marble decoration. We were lucky: this house had been shut for renovations for the past ten years and was reopened only last year.

Here is a typical street in Pompeii showing the stepping stone crosswalksstepping stones, Pompeii 2007 that city dwellers used in order to avoid stepping into the sewage that flowed through the city streets especially after a rainstorm. I learned from a recent fascinating documentary broadcast on Italian TV ( Superquark, for any Italians who read my blog) that Pompeii did not have a brilliant sewage system, unlike Herculaneum. These stepping stones are quite high, actually. Sensibly so, I guess! 😉 Besides being a bit on the narrow side, the sidewalks themselves are as high as the stones, more or less. I do not have a mathematical brain, so I have no idea how high, but I am sure this interesting little fact would be posted somewhere on the Internet. Hint: when visiting Pompeii, wear some sturdy footwear, since the ground can be uneven here and there, and in fact even these stepping stones are not flat. I slipped and almost fell on a couple of occasions. You really have to watch your step!

Gladiatorial barracks, Pompeii 2007

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