After a week in Rome a group of us decided to separate from the rest of the class and to head south bound for Mount Vesuvius and the ancient ruins of Pompeii. As you may recall Mount Vesuvius erupted and decimated the city of Pompeii in the year 79AD killing nearly twenty thousand people and blanketing the city in ash and soot. The city was discovered again until the 1700s still practically intact. Houses, artifacts, bodies and much more was all found still buried underneath the layers of dirt and ash that ha collected over the years. Since then Vesuvius has only erupted a few times, but not as significantly as it did in 79AD. Vesuvius lies doormat now, but is predicted to blow at any time time.
While this may scare some people it did not faze us. The morning after arriving in Pompeii we set off and hiked to the top of Mount Vesuvius. the view from the top of the volcano was amazing. You could see for miles and miles, but what was interesting to me was the fact that vegetation was growing all the way to the top of the volcano and there were even trees inside of the hole. After spending some time at the top of the volcano we decided to trek back down and go see the Ancient ruins of Pompeii.
The first thing you notice when you enter the ruins is the size of the ancient city. We scoured the city looking at all the ancient artifacts and buildings for hours, but were still unable to cover it all. We were ale to search through preserved houses and walk to the middle of the colosseum. We even got to se the preserved bodies that were found underneath all the ash and rumble. While walking through the ancient city we noticed that many of the plants from our lectures could be seen in various places throughout. We saw everything from boxwood to grapes. From pomegranates to oleander trees. Interesting fact the people of Pompeii actually used pomegranates as paint for their frescos. Some of which you can still see today. I can honestly say the trip to Pompeii was my favorite trip of the study abroad and I can’t wait to go back and uncover the remaining parts of the ancient ruins.
- Ryan Miller