Posted on September 23, 2012

The urban landscape of metropolitan Rome gave way to and even more relaxed tempo of Southern Italy as we drove down the highway towards Naples. The tour guide’s soothing voice had once again put every other person in the bus to sleep; those awake either needed to hear the day’s itinerary or trying to soak in the sights speeding down both sides of the bus. We’re going to stop at Pompeii, a city famously destroyed and buried by volcano ash in 79 AD. It was only about 300 years ago that the city was discovered and studied, contributing much to our knowledge of Roman life.

The Odeon, a small music hall with that seated 1,500

Terracotta containers serving hot “fast” food in Pompeii’s many thermopolia

Frescos on the walls of residential villas hint a more colourful Pompeii in the past

A rectangular impluvium collected rainwater that poured down from the compluvium above, draining the water to a cistern for daily use

Doric columns in the House of the Diadumeni

Stepping stones allowing pedestrians to cross what was essentially a horse carriageway that doubled as part of a drainage network with constantly flowing waste water

Fresh drinking water available at the intersection of Via dell'Abbondanza and Via Stabiana, once supplied by an aqueduct

A frigidarium, a room to cool off after a hot bath in the Stabian Baths

The Roman forum at the center of Pompeii with Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed this very city, in the background

12 columns in the middle of the internal court of the Macellum, a food market, supported a roof. Fish scales were found in large quantities in a nearby drain, leading archeologists to believe that fish were scaled here

Southern walls of ancient Pompeii in view, with the mountains of the Sorrento Peninsula visible in the far background