Wandering Bard: Italy (Pompeii)

Posted: August 1, 2012 in Wandering Bard
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pompeii was one of the most incredible and surreal places I’ve been to. Not to mention one of the strangest.

Just in case you’re unaware (or have forgotten your high school history class – and there’s no shame in that), Pompeii is a city located in Italy. More specifically, it’s a city located at the base of Mount Vesuvius. That name should sound familiar.

Mount Vesuvius is the volcano that blew its top in 79 A.D. and literally buried both the town of Pompeii, and its cousin Herculaneum. The stones, ash, and lava flows killed roughly 16,000 people and hid these towns for hundreds of years.

Here’s the unassuming entrance:

But, little do you know the secrets hidden within this quaint little town.

First, there’s the sacrificial alters (for animals only):

The dog, it seems, is a brave fellow.

Then there are the bodies. The picture below is a just a cast, but you can see (in horrifying and realistic clarity) how so many of these people died. This particular person was huddled in the corner, unable to escape the hot has that descended upon the town.

Then there’s this lovely shot that I took:

It doesn’t seem like much, but I guarantee it was also deadly. The caption I put on Facebook for this photograph seems to sum it up pretty nicely:

“The Pompeiins were very smart and ingenious people…except for two things: They lived at the foot of a volcano…and they used lead pipes.”

But the biggest (and dirtiest) secret of all is put right out in the open. If you know what you’re looking for, you should have no problem discovering it. (Why do I have a feeling Natalie/Natalie’s husband is going to love this part?)

If you’re new in town and don’t know where to go, there are clues all over the place to point you in the right direction:

(And, yes, that’s exactly what it looks like.)

Then there’s the sign:

This is a sign warning of a Lupanare. That’s the Italian term. You might be more familiar with the word “brothel.” It was referred to as a Lupanare (the base of that word being “lupus,” which is Latin for “wolf”) because the women used to howl to get the attention of their customers.

Then there’s this beauty:

Imagine doing the deed on that thing.

Not sure what you want? Don’t worry. They had a menu:

The vendors outside the walls of Pompeii sold all sorts of trinkets that probably are not appropriate to bring home to the kids. Nonetheless, they were pretty funny.

And although it completely shocked me when I realized some of the places that were within the walls of Pompeii, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. History happened here. A tragic history, yes, but one that you can feel in your bones when you’re there. It was an amazing experience.

Enter a totally embarrassing five year old picture of me standing in front of Mount Vesuvius (in one of the nerdiest shirts I owned at the time, no less).

Ever been to Pompeii? Ever seen a place as explicit as this one? What’s the nerdiest shirt you own? (I’ve stepped up my nerd-game recently. Now my nerdiest one is definitely the Doctor Who shirt I ordered just the other day…)

  1. […] was one of the most incredible and surreal places I’ve been to. Not to mention one of the stsource This entry was posted in europe by poster. Bookmark the […]

  2. Julie Glover says:

    Oh, I would love to go here! If I could go to only one European continent country, Italy would be it. (Perhaps it helps that I had one year of Italian in college–which basically means I can pronounce everything on the Olive Garden menu.) I’m amazed how much was preserved by the volcano’s ashes, and this place seems to be oozing with history.

    • Karen Rought says:

      Italy was an experience. It’s one of those places that I feel you have to visit multiple times just because there is so much history there. Eight years of Spanish and several semesters of casually learning Italian makes my pronunciation pretty good too. Although, all that happened AFTER I visited Italy, of course. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Ohhhhh the FUN hubby and I would have there…and the INSANE and totally inappropriate photos we’d take!! LOL!!
    Tks for the FAB shout out honey!! Squee…love the photos and the tour of Pompeii!!

  4. Charles says:

    What and incredible place and interesting write-up. You made me feel like I was there!

  5. Stacy Green says:

    I would love to go to Pompei. You did a great job with the photos and descriptions. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Aaaaaah! *scream of total and utter joy* So lovely! Pictures look amazing…and yes, brothels were very popular throughout the Roman empire…you could buy a night with a woman for about the same price as a head of cabbage at the market.

    Anywhoo. Glad you got to go! Looks like so much fun! 😀

    If you ever get go again, take me with you….pweeese…I’ll be real quiet and curl up under the seat in front of you and not make a peep. *innocent grin* 🙂

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