Pompeii, Naples, Capri, & Sorrento
It was a beautiful day in Pompeii. The year was A.D. 79. People were enjoying their public baths and theatres. A wrestling tournament was underway. The wine shop and farmers market were doing brisk business.
The citizens, and those on vacation from Rome, numbered perhaps 20,000. They were buying, selling, eating, drinking, building, planting. A major festival, celebrating the mythical Roman god of fire, was winding down. Some were relaxing with their families in luxurious villas with mosaic floors and frescoes on their walls; some were pursuing less wholesome activities.
The ground began to shake. But this was nothing new. These confident folks were used to that. The ground had shaken many times in the 800 year history of this prosperous city. But suddenly—the nearby volcano, Mt. Vesuvius blew its top. It was not long before the entire city of Pompeii was buried under 60 feet of volcanic ash, killing all of the people there without a trace.
The place passed into legend for 1500 years until its ruins were discovered accidentally. And it was several hundred years more until the site was excavated to unveil what we see there today. And what we see is the best preserved ancient city in Europe; trapped in time the way it was after the eruption.
This article is dedicated to Dan, the son of Hubber 'Tigermadstanley,' who requested a Hub about Pompeii. I visited Pompeii a few years ago and snapped photographs of what I saw there. Here are a few samples of my photographs.
My visit to the area began in Naples, Italy's third largest city (behind Rome and Milan). Naples (New City) is a crowded, busy metropolis of nearly five million souls—and a lot of crazy drivers—located on the seashore in the Campania region. It definitely has its own culture and customs unique to the place, including being the birthplace of pizza and the mandolin.
Naples is rich in architecture, filled with historic churches and castles. The city is 2800 years old and at one time was a Kingdom. It has at times been under the rule of the founding Greeks; the Roman Republic & then Roman Empire; the Germans; the Vikings (Normans); the Sicilians; the Spaniards; and the French. Finally, in 1861, Naples became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Italy.
At one time, Naples was the second largest city in Europe, after Paris. The Apostles Peter and Paul preached there.
One of the most popular destinations in the world is the "Gem" of the bay of Naples: The Isle of Capri. The ride out to Capri was 30 minutes via hydrofoil.
Capri is charming but crowded, with colorful old fisherman's houses, narrow streets, terraced gardens, luxury boutiques, and sidewalk cafes.
Sorrento is a coastal village of some 16,000 people, set on a high cliff overlooking the sea. From Sorrento one has a commanding view of Naples, Naples Bay, Mt. Vesuvius and Capri. It is known as a city of flowers.
All in all,I can tell you that a visit to Naples, Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii is one of the best vacation destinations anywhere. The sights one's eye will see—the beauty and the tragedy—will be seared upon your memory forever.