2 weeks ago, Leilani and I went on a tour to Pompeii! The hubs stayed home because he didn’t think he would be too interested in it. He may have been right. There was a group of 50 or more of us which made it difficult to listen to Aldo. There was also a crying 2 year old who wailed the entire duration we were there. So at times, Leilani and I walked off on our own and marveled at the ruins. Next time, I plan on coming here by myself and taking an audio guided tour. I love history and don’t want to miss a thing. This place is huge and was a city after all; 3 hours wasn’t enough time to see everything. Especially when Aldo would spend half an hour in one spot, answering questions. So for this post, I’ll just share the photos I took.

Before we entered Pompeii, we had a mini tour of a cameo factory and show room. (Men, take note!) Cameos are items – mostly jewelry – made with a carving method out of conch shells! They are bas-reliefs of mythological goddesses that are carved using old tools and chisels. This is such a unique craft carved by the most talented engravers. This art has been passed down from father to son – the man I met has been making cameos for over 50 years. Many countries have tried producing this craft but Italy – mainly the Campania region – holds the position as the leading manufacturer. The showroom was every woman’s dream; rings, earrings, and necklaces full of cameos. I didn’t bring enough euro for a ring I wanted but will definitely make a visit there soon. I would love to pass something unique as this down to Leilani. Also, conch shells remind me of my great grandmother. She had conch shells all over her house. I don’t see them often but when I do, I think of her.

Leilani wanted fresh squeezed orange juice before we began our journey through Pompeii. Here she is holding a type of fruit that’s part of the lemon family. I forgot the name of it but the man said it is very good; you can eat the whole thing including the skin!

Yum, Orange juice!

Now we were off to explore the city that was once buried in volcanic ash. Hover over the next several photos to see a description of the image.

I can easily spend an entire afternoon walking through Pompeii. I think Aldo is the greatest tour guide you can ever have the pleasure of joining with but, I felt rushed. Next time I’ll go solo so I can see the things I missed and listen to mini lessons through an audio tape describing each site. Maybe I’ll write a detailed post when I go again.

Pompeii was incredible. At one point when Leilani and I went off on our own, we found a quiet spot away from tourists. I rested against a column and briefly closed my eyes, trying to picture life 1,935 years ago. My imagination was alive with people in the Macellum, women in the bath house, creaking carriages transporting goods from far away places, and children navigating livestock. I am so happy I was able to experience this before Mt. Vesuvius decides to erupt again – it’s way overdue!


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