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Saturday, October 20, 2012

Walking in Italy's City of Stone - Pompeii

House of the Faun in Pompeii, Italy
House of the Faun in Pompeii, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By []Tony Maniscalco

There are many people who go walking in Italy for the sights and cultural experiences on offer - however, there are others interested in discovering Italy's history while on foot. One of the most interesting events to have befallen the ancient occupants of Italy was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, and the annihilation of Pompeii. Many scholars of ancient history are interested by the volcanic eruption and the remains of the city that can be discovered to this day. Whether you have a passing interest or you're a keen historian, the tale of Pompeii is absolutely fascinating.

The City

Until the year 79 AD, the city of Pompeii was a bustling, thriving Roman city of about 20,000 inhabitants. During the peak dominance of the Roman Empire, it was a popular destination for wealthy Romans to visit on holiday, much as people go walking in Italy in modern times! The city, having been built at least in 300 BC, was older than the current age of the United States, and life would have featured several surprisingly modern developments. There were theatres, temples, a central swimming pool, a gymnasium, a hotel, and numerous restaurants. Many of the buildings had running water, brought by an aqueduct.

The Eruption

While there were signs leading up to the volcanic eruption (residents of the city were used to regular rumblings!) until a string of earthquakes began, residents of the city had continued about their everyday business. The very day Mount Vesuvius erupted, the inhabitants of the city were celebrating the feast day of Vulcan - the Roman god of fire, amongst other things. This coincidence is one of the key points in the story of Pompeii lasting to this day, and thrilling groups walking in Italy. A 20ft high column of smoke and ash rose from Mount Vesuvius then rained ash and pumice stone all over the city - burying Pompeii about 18ft deep.

History Come To Life

The buried city remained underneath the layers upon layers of ash, stone and dirt until it was accidentally discovered in 1748 - that's 1669 years after it was originally destroyed! Luckily for those walking in Italy with an eye for the historical sites, everything was miraculously preserved as the lack of air and moisture prevented deterioration. Today, Pompeii is a world heritage site, and one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The ruins of the city are extensive, and you can wander through at your leisure while exploring this tragic and captivating place.

Tony Maniscalco is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Ramblers Worldwide Holidays. Join us []walking in Italy to see scenic locations & landscapes at the best value prices. We offer over 250 guided group []walking holidays in over 65 different countries.

Article Source: [] Walking in Italy's City of Stone - Pompeii
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