It is not the high season in Italy, and Pompeii was packed to the gills! Fortunately, our hotel was right next to the ruins. Four hours of visiting ruins in the hot sun meant an early evening, but it is an amazing place.
To think that one moment, people were living their everyday lives, cooking, cleaning, working, and laughing with neighbors, and the next moment, over 2000 were completely covered in ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. And I was always mindful that Vesuvius is still an active volcano.
As you can see, we were not alone in wanting to visit at this time. The hotel clerk told me that the crowds are nearly always there, except in August, when it is just too hot. Even her family leaves in August, to go to the sea.
Still, we managed to get many pictures and to enjoy the experience. Pompeii had a communal feel. The houses were close together, with a rich person’s home next to a poor family. Politicians had the biggest and most elaborate homes, paid for by taxing their fellow citizens. Nothing new there. Below is the floor of a wealthy home.
What I found fascinating was the amount of the city already excavated and more being exposed, slowly but surely.
Also, the new life in trees, flowers, grass that thrives where much death occurred. The idea of life goes on is prominent here in Italy, as old buildings stand next to new condos.
Douglas had a ball climbing the steps of the amphitheater. I pretended to be orating, but no one seemed to be listening.
The most challenging part for me was the thought that so many people were lost in the blink of an eye. They did not really u derstand thevpower of the volcano, so they were not prepared to survive.
Warning for those who may be sensitive, some of the pictures are difficult to see, but I wanted to share how awful it was to imagine what occurred. The most difficult element were bodies still encased in dust.
I was enthralled by what I saw here. That Italy preserves the past, not destroying these ruins and putting up condominiums and parking structures was impressive to me. Here the past stands next to the present. We had planned to go to Mount Vesuvius for Douglas to hike it, but I was in a lot of pain, so we headed back to Montesilvano.
We stopped in a small village called Sulmona for lunch at a restaurant recommended by Lonely Planet, but nowhere did it state that it was a three-star restaurant, my first. The food was stunningly good, but expensive. We learned to ask prices, and if there are crystal and clothe napkins, it ain’t McDonalds. But, it appeared to be authentic Italian, with mostly local businessmen, and Douglas said his lentil soup was the best. That’s a great recommendation from a man who makes extraordinary lentil soups!
Two more days and we head home. Douglas says Monday, it is back to the doctor, because we don’t think I should still hurt so much when my clothes touch the surgical spot. But, thanks be to God for watching over us and helping us save a lot of our vacation here. Today is another Dougie Day, as I am resting. I tremble at what he might be doing, but he is happy, and as we have dropped events from the agenda, I want him to get as much joy as he can. Arrivederci!