The history of Pompeii is in-depth and does not begin with the Romans. It is a history worth exploring. Pompeii is situated next to Naples, just below Mt Vesuvius. The horrific day in 79AD when Vesuvius erupted leaving devastation, ended a prosperous life for many of those who lived there. For hundreds of years, those who bore the destruction were encased in ash over 80 feet deep, according to sources. A particular interesting account of the day is by Pliny the Younger, who lived during that time. http://www.pompeii.org.uk/s.php/tour-the-two-letters-written-by-pliny-the-elder-about-the-eruption-of-vesuvius-in-79-a-d-history-of-pompeii-en-238-s.htm
The ruins were unlike other Roman ruins I had seen because of the extent of preservation. Knowing the destruction, knowing people died in the middle of their daily activities, makes it more profound to see them. Did they know this ominous event was going to change or end their life? They were used to earthquakes. They knew the mountain above them was a volcano.
The tour can take you two hours or 6 depending on the routes you take through the UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a place to get some food and drink inside the site. You can see Archeologists at work inside the site.
Mount Vesuvius, according to research, is 17,000 years old. It last erupted in 1944. With a view of the sea, Capri, Naples and the Amalfi Coast, we ascended as far as we could drive. Then we joined in with other cars parked along the side of the road. There was a man under a tent collecting money for a ticket to ride in a van for the next leg of the journey to the top. You can walk up the road, but it is not entirely safe. The van drops you off, you buy a ticket at the kiosk, then a short distance away at a little shop for refreshments and souvenirs, a lady takes your ticket, then you continue to walk up a gravel walk. All the while I kept thinking, I am walking up a volcano, that caused enormous, and unforgiving destruction. Below that destruction of ash and volcanic rock, was a city preserved, giving us insight to life during Roman times. The walk is not for those with heart and lung problems; they warn you of that. At the top you get a glimpse into the crater. Those more daring than me were getting a better view a little further up. I opted for buying a postcard at a little shop, with a stamp of Mount Vesuvius, proving I had made the climb. A cold drink was welcoming on the hot June day. The view below was worth the climb. Later, back in the car, we ate sandwiches I had prepared, with prosciutto and mozzarella, then we finished off the cannoli’s. We were on our way to Rome.