The Streets of Pompeii

overviewThe exciting thing about history to me is that it was populated by real people. Without iPods, but with families, cook pots, chairs and houses. For me, historical objects bring these people to life. I once fell into tears in front of a sheet of music Mozart had written: his hand held the pen that wrote those notes. It connected me to him and to the music I love.
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So, Pompeii. I would describe it as the Miami of the Romans. It was on the sea then and had a population of 8-12 thousand, encompassing the rich, the middle class merchants and the poor. Of course all its glory came to an end in AD 79 when Vesuvius blew its top.

This week the apartments, theaters, bakeries, broad boulevards, malls, and fountains. Next week, inside the houses and the baths, with amazing frescos.

Each picture in the slideshow is numbered and explanations are below. You can pause the show to read if you are interested.

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  1. Entrance to Pompeii, a large door for chariots, a smaller one for people.
  2. Typical street. The stone blocks in the street allowed pedestrians to cross without getting their feet wet. They were spaced for chariot wheels. This is a one way street. There are also 2-way boulevards. Plus streets leading to the forum have “teeth” at the end to keep chariots out of the walking space.
  3. Tavern with a couple of rooms for prostitutes. Note the cooling pool in the center.
  4. A detail at the back of the tavern.
  5. Pizza oven anyone? This bakery ground flour in the mills on the right which were powered by donkeys, then baked the bread.
  6. A public fountain. Water came from aqueducts. In times of drought, the bathhouses were cut off first, then private homes, and lastly fountains.
  7. Stairs out of the theater.
  8. The center garden of a reconstructed house. Could be California or Florida could it not?
  9. Passageway beneath the large theater. Very much like a modern arena.
  10. An apartment. Note the fresco on the back wall. Most of these pix are grey but everything was painted in bright colors in 79 AD.


  1. Ray Ort says:

    You’ve done a great job with these posts and your choice of photos is excellent. Keep ’em coming.

  2. Julie Hayhurst says:

    Awesome pictures Terri, gave me goose bumps… thanks for sharing your experience in Pompeii.

  3. Wonderful photos and I love the slide show. I never realized how much of Pompeii was excavated. It gives a sense of what the place was really like back when. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  4. Barb Nickelson says:

    Mediterranian history, archeology and architecture have fascinated me for many years. Your photos brought all categories to life. You see the details that many photographers/photos miss. Thanks for sharing.

    • Terri says:

      Hi, I approved your comment but don’t see it anywhere. Anyway, glad you liked it. History was my major in college – I didn’t like all the dates but I was fascinated by how people lived in the past and their stories.

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