Up and at it and out of our hotel in Rome by 8am...onto our bus for a 3+ hour drive to Pompeii...the weather is not great, we were warned to dress warmly as it was expected to be stormy today...
The sun was shining when we checked out of our hotel but an hour into our bus ride south the rain has started...lots of sleeping on the bus today as everyone is tired.
Not too much to see from my seat in the bus but I did snap a couple of the houses I saw along the way.
We have finally arrived in Pompeii...our tour guide Ezio has a strong accent and is difficult to understand...but what we did learn, if you aren't aware of the history of Pompeii....is that it was covered with over 20 feet of ash and pumice from an eruption from Mount Vesuvius back in 79AD and it was partially uncovered in 1599 and completely uncovered in 1748.
It is seriously raining out today!!! When we arrived it started to pour, Marissa and I decided to purchase a poncho at the entrance to Pompeii...it also helped keep the wind and cold away from chilling us to the bones!
Ezio was nice enough to direct us under cover and then told us the history of the areas we were in...the photos above was where they trained the gladiators...they did not fight here, only trained.
Marvin and Marissa...don't you love the fashionable poncho Marissa is wearing?!!
This stadium was for performances like plays and music shows...there was a stage area made from wood, now gone, and they know there were orchestras there too. This stadium was not used for gladiator exhibitions, only artistic shows.
This was a wine shop...you can see the barrels on the countertop and the small marble shelves would have displayed the bottles of wine.
These are some of the earliest Frescos, still all intact, really amazing!
Look at the detailed carving in the ceilings...remember that this place was abandoned in 79AD...even though it was covered in ash and pumice...everything had been well preserved.
These bodies were also discovered perfectly preserved...they have been mummified in a sense due to the fact they were covered in ash...amazing and sad.
Pompeii is also know for its baths...they have discovered three different ones, hot, warm and cold baths...there are natural hot springs that feed into each of the bath rooms that they were able to determine that.
This is an example of the lanes or streets of Pompeii...just wide enough for a chariot to pass by...stepping stones across at various spot so that you could avoid the 'waste' which was flowing down them!
You can see in the photo below the worn in grooves from the chariot wheels...
Next stop the local Pompeii brothel...as Pompeii was a stop for many different speaking peoples, the signs above the doors indicated what you wanted to 'order' from the resident prostitute...
A very small, stone bed...I'm not sure what coverings or cushions were used, if any...some of the signs are clear, some aren't...
While you might initially assume that this is vandalism...it was actually advertising for the brothel...the penis is actually 'pointing' you in the direction of the business! True...I couldn't possibly make this stuff up...well maybe I could, but it's what Ezio told us so I am assuming its true.
The main streets were actually an open sewage system, the sewage ran out of the houses, into the lanes and then down the main road which led out of the city into the sea...people walked along the narrow sidewalks and the chariots and 'waste' travelled along the roads :)
Lookin' good! Well we are marginally wet and cold...but the rain has slowed luckily. We are sporting our rain ponchos and you are lucky enough to see all of those chins of mine too, once again!
You can see Mt. Vesuvius behind Marissa below...snow capped too...which apparently only happens a couple of times a year!
The tour part is over and now the guide takes us into the area where craftsmen are making Cameos...
In addition to Cameo's, they also have other souvenirs for us....
Nice huh? Of course the kids had a great laugh when they got to this booth!!!
The top commodity being grown here is lemons and oranges...Lemoncello is everywhere as are beverages and desserts of any lemon'y kind!
On our way to our hotel, we got to stop and walk around in Sorrento, our hotel for the night is just outside of here...I wanted to pick up some wine for Jaime here. Gianmarco helped us find his preferred store and introduced us to the owner.
It's hard with a language barrier, but after explaining what type of wine my hubby likes to drink, and with Gianmarco helping me...I was able to grab a couple pricy bottles for him, one for consuming anytime and another bottle for around five years from now or so...hopefully they meet with Jaime's approval.
The view from my room! Seriously the best hotel so far...glad it was the last...we had a wrap around veranda and arrived just in time for a gorgeous sunset! Lucky us :)
I imagine this would be some spot in the summertime here...maybe another time.....
Typical European hotel room...small single beds really close to each other...Jennifer, my roommate on this trip, and I made a path between them so we didn't feel like we were sharing a bed ;)
Time for dinner and then a suitcase tidy and bed...leaving this hotel tomorrow and heading to The Island of Capri for the day tomorrow...then our bus ride back to Rome...3am flight back to Canada on the 26th