What Happened at Pompeii?

Pompeii is an ancient town that sits at the base of Mount Vesuvius, a volcano in the Bay of Naples. This natural landmark is thousands and thousands of years old and has erupted more than fifty times in its lengthy existence, but no eruption was more tragic than the one in 79AD, when the city of Pompeii was buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash.

On the morning of the eruption, thick pyroclastic clouds rolled down the volcano and out towards the Bay of Naples, razing Pompeii and its surrounding towns to the ground.

More than two thousand people died in the disaster, and the city was left abandoned for centuries afterwards. It wasn’t until 1748 when a group of explorers stumbled across the site and were shocked to find that the city remained preserved underneath the layer of ash it had been covered in.

The outlines of people remained intact, and the buildings were as they were on the day of the eruption, giving archaeologists a deep insight into what daily life must have been like back in the day. Today, visitors can wander the well-preserved streets of Pompeii, discovering centuries-old bakeries, villas, and brothels, and gathering an understanding of how the people of Pompeii lived in a time we can no longer remember.

For many visitors, it is the fascinating and tragic history of Pompeii that draws them in. A tour of the city leaves little to the imagination – visitors can still see the casts of human bodies and almost hear the clatter of horse’s hooves in the narrow, cobbled lanes.

And, against the towering Roman pillars, crumbling buildings, and vast piazzas of Pompeii, the towering shadow of Mount Vesuvius looms in the distance, threatening another eruption any decade now.

It would be just as unexpected as the eruption that shook the area in 79AD. In fact, the people of Pompeii were oblivious to the fact they lived at the base of a volcano. Ever since the ancient Greeks came to the region in the 8th century BC, the Bay of Naples and the towns it encompassed was a hotbed of hedonism for wealthy holidaymakers.

By the first century AD, Pompeii was the summer home for many of Rome’s most established citizens, and it was characterised by opulent houses and elaborate mansions. Elsewhere, there were artisan shops, charming cafes, and bathhouses, as well as a 20,000-seat arena and a smattering of open-air markets. Visitors can learn all about it on a tour of Pompeii that turns back the hands of time to a more tragic and devastating era.

Check out our 2 Day Pompeii, Sorrento & Capri Tour today!