Monday, September 15, 2008


On Sunday, we left Sorento and drove to Pompeii for a tour of the ancient city before heading back to Rome. Pompeii was incredible, and we had a great tour guide, a guy named Tony who has been giving tours since 1974! He was very entertaining. Here are some of the highlights from Pompeii:

-Eruption of Vesuvius covered Pompeii in 79 AD
-at that time about 20,000 people lived there. Today that would be the equivalent of 2 million or about the size of Rome. Pompeii was a metropolis in its time.
-It was only discovered about 200 years ago by 2 farmers who were trying to dig deeper for water. So it was buried for almost 2,000 years!
-90% of the roads go downhill in order to drain the city
-they were very well advanced for the time. They had plumbing for the rich, fast food places, hand sanitizer (boiled vinegar), sliding doors to shops, and condoms.
-Brothels were a large part of the city. It was common and normal for the time and brought in lots of revenue for the city.
-It had a huge theater with built-in microphones due to the architecture and proper echoing.
-Marble squares covered flooring in houses and on the roads to reflect lantern light and light up areas at night.
-They collected rainwater because they had few rivers and were surrounded by mountains.

I wish I could remember everything that Tony told us, but I can’t. The tour was incredible and I was so surprised how precise the city was built and then preserved from the lava.

The weekend trip was lots of fun and very fascinating. Italy has such incredible history and always intrigues me. While I love visiting all of these places, I am so thankful that I am living in Tuscania. I just can’t handle the fast-paced cities and the noise. Tuscania is so much more relaxing and authentic without all of the tourism. I was talking to some of the Rome students and their “cultural activities” are things like tours, visiting museums, and such. Our “cultural activities” are making cheese, basket weaving, making oil, crushing grapes, etc. Its so cool to see rural Italy because I would never be able to experience it unless I was living here for a long period of time.

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