From my window in Sorrento I could see the beautiful Bay of Napels and in the distance Mt. Vesuvius. Such a magnificent sight! The view seemed peaceful and serene, however, the history of this volcanic mountain was not so much. Today would be the day that we learned more about a place that has been ingrained in my memory since I was in elementary school. I think everyone at one time or another has spent time in a classroom learning about the almost forgotten city of Pompeii.
The drive from Sorrento to Pompeii provided more gorgeous glimpses of life in rural Italy. We passed by many country houses, all with Mt. Vesuvius looming in the distance.
I think I could live in a country house like this one, couldn't you?
We we arrived at Pompeii I couldn't wait to see this place that intrigued me so as a child. My first reaction was one of amazement at the size of this ancient site. One thought that stood out in my mind was how I had always misunderstood this place. The city was much more advanced than I ever imagined. When I thought of early AD I pictured something very different. Instead, this was a thriving city in its day with all of the activities that city life affords.
The city was complete with places to eat, sleep, be entertained, and even find some companionship (if you know what I mean). This really opened my eyes to how people in Biblical times really lived.
Catie had to take a picture of me in one of the kitchens in Pompeii. I think she sees that as where I belong.
As I walked around and listened to our guide, I tried to imagine living among the people that she described. It is hard to imagine a situation where all of the inhabitants of a place are going about their daily tasks and then a catastrophic event ends it all. It is a very sobering thought.
This visit to Pompeii has forever changed how I view life in the time of Christ. Although I may never visit the Holy Land, I think I now have a better understanding of what a typical town was like during the height of the Roman Empire. When I read scripture, I now have a mental picture of city life during that time. The people of that time were very intelligent and had developed many conveniences that made their lives easier.
I think the few hours that we spent were not nearly enough to take it all in. That is one of the disadvantages to touring with a group with every second planned out; it only gives you a little taste of the places visited. I would have loved to have spent more time at this interesting ancient city, but Rome was calling our name. We loaded into the bus and traveled through more beautiful countryside before rolling into the capital city of Rome.