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  • Day27

    Cinque Fotografie-Napoli Day 2

    May 10 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    When I was in 6th grade, social studies coveted world geography. I was lucky that my teacher, Michael Norman, created an interesting way for us to learn world geography. Rather than being tethered to a textbook or an occasional movie, he gave us each a paperback copy of "Europe on $5 A Day". As we moved to each country, we were given a budget and we would select attractions to visit after reading about them in the guidebook. Our task was to then journal about our imagined experience. One of the experiences that I selected was to visit the ancient city of Pompeii. Fifty-two years later that imagined dream came true today.

    We started our tour by catching an express train to Pompeii from Naples. It was fortuitous that we found this route ten minutes before the train departed. We had a bit of spare time once we arrived to grab a cappuccino and croissant before meeting our guide Giulia. Thanks to the generosity of my former colleagues who chipped in for something to enjoy on our trip, we opted for a private tour to Pompeii and Herculaneum. We are very glad to have made that decision.

    Giulia was engaging and knowledgeable as an archeologist. She gave us so much more background about the people of Pompeii including their culture and the evolving influences of the Greeks and the Romans who made Pompeii a colony of the Roman empire.

    We learned that the citizens of Pompeii had no idea thar Mt. Vesuvius was a volcano, and they made no connection to a significant earthquake 12 years earlier.

    It was inspiring to learn about the archeologists' efforts to discover and excavate the ruins. Similar to our experience in Sicily we were moved by the vibrant frescoes and mosaics. The preservation process of the cadavers was fascinating to learn about that captured the last moments of life after the eruption.

    During the times of Pompeii, we learned that women were not allowed to vote, yet they were allowed to create organizing campaigns for preferred candidates. It was fun to learn that women found ways to wield power and to build campaign efforts.

    After a lunch break, we traveled with our guide to Herculaneum, another city that was buried by the volcanic eruption. One of the most striking differences at this site was that the burial of this site preserved organic materials: wood, boats, and remnants of food. It was remarkable to walk around these ruins and note that the perimeter of this site is surrounded by the current city and that ruins left to be discovered lie under the city.

    After we said good-bye to Giulia, we returned by train to Napoli and walked to our bed & breakfast. We wrapped the night by sharing a cup of tea and dialogue with our host Francesco. We practiced Italian and he practiced his English. An interesting language bridge is that he knows Spanish better than English, and I was able to bridge the gap in our understanding with Spanish.

    We decided to stay in for the night as we were both tired after walking about eight miles today.
    Buona Notte!
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    Wow! What a great day. And I think hiring a private guide is almost always worth every penny — and particularly when it is something as impressive as Pompeii that you are seeing. [Mary]

    Linda Michalik

    What an awesome day!! Thanks for all the details.




    Impressive sight. [Lynn]