Pompeii: Mysteries Revealed - PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  

Pompeii: Mysteries Revealed

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 7/5/2007

PassPorter.com > Articles > Disney Cruise Line > Touring  

There can't be many places in the world where you can step back 2,000 years in time and see Roman remains in every direction you look.

Perhaps that's why, out of all the wonderful places that we would visit around the Mediterranean on the Disney Magic, Pompeii was among those I was most looking forward to. It didn't disappoint, but the weather certainly did. The rain must have seen us coming, as the clouds looked threatening throughout the bus journey there, but it was only when we stepped off and headed for the entrance that it decided to start raining. Fortunately, although we experienced some heavy downpours, the rain wasn't constant and it's just as well, as there weren't many places to shelter!

To understand what you'll see at Pompeii today, you first need to understand its history. A wealthy city, it was filled with elegant private buildings and even today, you can see the entrances to some of them. Following a rebellion against the Romans, Pompeii lost its independence, becoming first a Roman municipality and then a colony, but during all that time, expansion of the city continued until the fateful day of 24 August 79 A.D.

A massive eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius, which today still dominates the landscape of the whole area, buried the city for centuries. Pompeii was hit by a mixture of ash, poisonous gas and white hot stones, all of which combined to bury both buildings and bodies in layers of debris up to seven metres (23 feet) deep. And that's how it stayed until the early 18th century, when accidental archaeological finds led to the uncovering of the city. Today around 60 hectares (150 acres) has been excavated and work still continues on finding more parts of Pompeii.

The first things you see as you approach Pompeii are the massive city walls, and that prevents you from seeing any of the remains inside. At first glance I wasn't sure how much we would actually see, but patience is definitely a virtue here. As soon as you get a bit further on, the whole city starts to appear in front of you and with every turn, you find a bit more.

Like any major city, there were shops along the streets and even the paving stones and remains of the drainage system can be seen today. It's fascinating to see things that we take for granted today, like sewers, which were first developed by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. At first I thought I was imagining what I was seeing, but our guide pointed out the carriage tracks in the roads. As you stood there, you could just picture horses and carriages careering towards you, quite an eerie feeling!

Of course, entertainment was a major part of city life, with a large theatre still visible on the site. Our guide told us that open air performances were held here a couple of years ago and the tickets disappeared in no time. I'm not surprised, as that must have been a unique experience; enjoying theatre in a space that last hosted plays in the Roman era.

Another form of entertainment was the (former) brothel, which our guide called "the ice cream parlour," as we had the delicate ears of youngsters in our party! This had the longest line of anywhere in Pompeii and it's worth the wait. The frescoes in there just have to be seen to be believed!

The real highlight of the tour for me was seeing one of the private villas with its ornate interior designs. It gave you a taste of just how opulent the city must have been in its heyday with brightly colored mosaics, and frescoes all over the walls, but perhaps the most fascinating part of the building was the display inside - a mummified body. We'd already seen a documentary explaining that a lot of bodies were found; most of them huddled into the fetal position, as they were hiding from the coming onslaught from Mount Vesuvius.

Our tour wound up in the Forum, a huge area for public meetings all that time ago. Here you can see the remains of all the most important buildings in Pompeii, from the public treasury to the Temple of Apollo, along with the finance exchange and the Senate house, where the town Council assembled. There was so much in that area that it was almost too much to take in.

All too soon, it was time to leave Pompeii and that's the real shame of a cruise, you just never get to spend enough time in the places you really love. I could have browsed every single nook and cranny of the city, easily spending a full day there, but tragically the bus was calling us. I know there's much more to see at Pompeii and I hope that one day we get the chance to go back and experience it all. It really is a unique experience in the world and an amazing opportunity to see how life would have been in Roman times.

You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Recent Disney Cruise Line Articles:
Helsinki, Finland - A Disney Cruise Line Port Review last updated 01-08-2015
Our Favorite Part of a Disney Cruise - A Disney Cruise Line Review last updated 01-01-2015
Oslo, Norway - A Disney Cruise Line Port Review last updated 12-18-2014
The Port of Stockholm, Sweden - A Disney Cruise Line Port Review last updated 12-11-2014
Carioca's on the Disney Magic - A Disney Cruise Line Dining Review last updated 12-04-2014

More Related Links:
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

Reader Comments:

Pompeii is one of my strongest memories from a year long jaunt thru Europe when I was a child. It's incredibly moving, and truly amazing. Thank you for the fantastic article, and bringing back such memories.

     snoozin on August 23, 2007 @ 3:20 pm
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 7/5/2007 - Article #252 

Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS Test PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Planning Your Disney Cruise Voyage
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Get onboard and share your plans and ask your questions about sailing the high seas on the Disney Cruise Line! Forum sponsored by MouseEarVacations.com

Review of Wishes on the Fantasy -
by jeneane
30 Mar 2015 at 7:01am
DD and I are Disney fans -- countless visits to WDW. This will be our 3rd cruise (Fantasy, Dream, and now Fantasy again). We enjoyed the shows on...
(click title above to view replies)

Help: Multiple Allergies and Cruising
by dsteiny23
29 Mar 2015 at 8:13pm
Hi All, This is my first post to the DCL forums because we are finally considering our first Disney cruise :D Now that the 2016 summer...
(click title above to view replies)

Is It Too Much To Hope For--A "Sneak Peak" At Star Wars Day At Sea?
by toddjodybrent
29 Mar 2015 at 1:17pm
When DCL announced Star Wars Days At Sea beginning in January for select 7-night Western Caribbean itineraries, I was excited and disappointed. ...
(click title above to view replies)

New on ship rebooking rules
by debic
29 Mar 2015 at 9:08am
Exciting new rules for rebooking on the ship. No need to pick specific cruise right away! Disney Cruise Line changes placeholder date policy |...
(click title above to view replies)

First cruise skipping Castaway Cay
by Thomhazel
28 Mar 2015 at 8:43am
Would that be totally insane? We are doing a 3 night Bahamas on the Dream in 2016, I wanted 4 nights but the dates didn't work, and we are sailing...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 4601

PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.