Pompeii was something I've always wanted to visit ever since I learned about it in high-school history class. I remember Sister Janet was teaching us about the architecture, the ruins and the way of life during that period. It was something I wanted to experience it so we took a family trip to Italy.
150 miles away from Rome lies the city that was buried underneath 4-6 meters of volcanic ash in the year of 79 AD. Mount Vesuvius really did a number on this town by wiping out 13% of the population. The fact that the people didn't know what was happening was the saddest part to me.
Even when you google Pompeii, the first images that come up are the mummified human remains that were stuck in their last position before they died from lava, heavy objects falling on them or from breathing in ash. You almost feel their screams and terror by looking at them.
Some looked like they were sleeping, some are covering up their face, others are protecting their children and the few had their arms extended outwards like they were stopping something evil from killing them. It was truly mesmerizing and unreal.
Pompeii is one of the top tourist attraction sites. However, I wanted to share the top 11 mind-blowing facts that you didn't know about.
Top 10 Fun Facts!
Although we know that Pompeii is in Italy, some of the architectural designs suggest that Greek settlers were here before the Romans.
I have mentioned that the Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, however, nobody knows exactly when it erupted. Archaeologist think that it was during the winter season due to preserved food and clothing.
One mistake that I made when visiting Pompeii was I didn't devote the whole day to see the city. I truly didn't expect it to be so big - 170 acres long. This land housed about 11,000 to 11,500 people.
Pompeii was one of the flourishing cities in the 7th century. This is where all the rich Romans came to relax and vacation. It was a popular holiday destination like the Hampton's today.
You would never believe it but Pompeii actually had the pluming system figured out way before we did. Pompeii homes were build with the roof open. When it rained, each house had a tank attached to collect the rainwater. During the early Roman times, Pompeian homes had the constant supply of running water.
Everybody needs some love and attention. Even back in the day - Pompeii was full of brothels with erotic murals all over the walls. Prostitution was widely accepted and anyone, even the slaves, could afford a visit to the brothel. Their services were paid by two loaves of bread or half a liter of wine. The money was taken by the owners.
Which brings me to another point. How do you know where to find the brothels if you are new in town?! They had penis engraved on the street that pointed to the way to the brothel. When I first saw it, I thought it was a mistake or a rock formed in the shape of a penis but it's real.
The Amphitheater of Pompeii is the oldest building known to mankind. It dates back to 80 BC
Nero ( the Roman Emperor) had a villa or a vacation home in Pompeii where his wife Poppaea Sabina use to visit frequently and was said to be a native of the town.
Most of the bodies have been decomposed a long time ago. However, the resin (aka plaster) mixed with ash created the cast molds. That how the bodies have survived all these years.
Pompeii was discovered by the architect Domenico Fontana in 1748. He was there to help build a palace for King Charles III. The buried objects were preserved for 2,000 years.
Pompeii ruins are visited by 2.6 million people per year. If you do decide to go and visit make sure that you don't do it in June unless you don't mind the heat. Of course we decided to go in June and the sun didn't give us a break. I was sweating from top to bottom, however, I wasn't going to let my sweat and tears stop me from seeing this magnificent and historical place.
If you choose not to go without a tour guide, like we did, you get to see more and you are in control of your time. Speaking of time, Pompeii isn't something you go and see for few hours. This city takes a whole day to tour. I mean it is 170 acres long so plan ahead and dedicate a whole day to Pompeii.
What to bring!
Bring a hat, water and comfortable shoes. The stones are so slick that I had to hold on to the railings just to walk. There were so many people that would slip and fall and almost break their necks.
Another thing that I wish I would of thought of was a portable fan. Every time the heat was unbearable, my mom would pull out her portable fan, plug it to her phone and continue touring while the rest of us were dying.
My excitement level was so high that the heat, dehydration and most uncomfortable shoes didn't matter to me, I was too busy remembering each and every corner of the place and trying to take everything in. Bucket list was definitely checked. I hope the info will help you have an amazing time visiting Pompeii.