» » A Charles and Mieko Simon Web Site « «

Naples and Pompeii

We awoke with Naples under heavy clouds.   It was a very very bad looking day.   Our plans were to go to Pompeii and in the third photograph is Mount Vesuvius that erupted and buried Pompeii in A.D. 79.   The trip to Pompeii called for stop at a place that made cameos.   I was not aware that cameos were craved from sea shells.   There were some very beautiful pieces but the prices did not seem correct for being at the place where the carving was taking place.   Now before anyone gets confused, the fourth photograph below is of a piece of red coral, a prize its self.


We arrive at Pompeii and the skies still do not look good.   The entry into the ruins is up the long ramp and through the building that can be seen in the third photograph.   Getting through the building was just about as far as the ramp is long.   While we were walking through the building, the clouds started dumping heavy, very heavy rain.   We were prepared with both of us with raincoats and one umbrella.   Everyone took shelter in the remains of a small structure that consided of an archway about six feet wide and 10 or 12 feet long.   The wind was blowing the rain right into this arch but it was better than nothing.   Soon we noticed that the arch also provided a path for water runoff.   Almost everyone was standing in at least an inch of water.

The rains let up briefly and everyone high tailed it behind our guide who seemed to know of a better shelter.   She did and we all easily got under roof at the ruin shown in the first photo below.   There we spent some time learning of the fresco paintings on the walls and what lay ahead of us.

The streets of Pompeii also served as drainage channels.   People would throw their garbage into the street and water would carry it away.   In order to cross the streets and keep out of the water, there were these huge stepping stones.   This presents a problem that must be solved for wheeled traffic.   The stones had to be a height that wagons and chariots could pass over them and spaced such that the wheels could go between the stones.   In the enlarged image of the third photo, you can see the worn tracks made by the wheels.

Our tour of Pompeii was certainly cut short because of the rain.   However, we did manage to see some of the kitchens and ovens of the time.   Also came across several nicely restored mosaics of entries to residences.   Recovery and restoration is still ongoing.   We came across rooms stored with many of the things found.   The rain finally came to an end at about the same time our tour was ending.

By the time we got back to Naples, the weather had cleared and it was fairly decent.   But it was time to leave Naples and Mount Vesuvius for the clear sky and waters of Santorini.

Next Port Call, Santorini, Greece