On our way to Pompeii, we made a quick stop in Naples to see the Naples National Archaeological Museum, one of the oldest museums in Europe and Italy’s most important archaeological museum. The museum is home to an extensive collection of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance artifacts. Among its many notable items is the Farnese Hercules, one of the antiquities most famous sculptures. Before leaving Naples, we could not fight the urge to try out their infamous Neopolitan pizzas at a local pizzeria. Our craving satisfied and stomachs full, we boarded the bus again for Pompeii.
Destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the ruins of Pompeii are some of the most harrowing and important archaeological finds in all of Italy. Pompeii is unique among other archaeological sites because the objects buried under volcanic ash experienced an extraordinary level of preservation. These remains are significant because they paint an incredibly vivid picture of everyday life for those living in Pompeii during the 1st century AD.
Spookily, during a reading of Pliny the Younger’s firsthand account of Pompeii’s destruction, the sky darkened and almost began to take the shape and form described by Pliny’s very words. Luckily, I believe our imaginations got the best of us, and there was no eruption that day.