5 reasons why you should visit Pompeii on your next mini break

Take a trip back in time to the Roman Empire this summer – with amazing food, incredible wine, and awe-inspiring ancient sights…

1. It’s the closest you’ll get to time travel

When you visit Pompeii it’s like going back in time: the town (along with the bodies of its inhabitants) was preserved so well because it was buried quickly by volcanic ash. The blast – which happened in 79AD – was completely unexpected: people didn’t realise that Vesuvius was a volcano, because it hadn’t erupted for 1,800 years. In fact, legend has it that there wasn’t even a word for volcano before the eruption.

Today, the town is preserved almost exactly as it was on 24 August 79AD – even the graffiti on the streets is intact. A few of the artefacts did go missing shortly after the blast, however: looters tunnelled into the ash, to try to retrieve some of the treasure they knew was buried beneath.

2. Naples is fantastic for foodies

Thanks to the area’s volcanic activity – including that fatal 79AD blast – the Naples region is famed for its local produce. Tomatoes thrive in the rich soil and sunny climes, as do courgettes, olives, aubergines and rucola.

Cheese is also a staple of Neapolitan cooking, with locally-produced favourites ricotta, buffalo mozzarella and fiordilatte featuring in most pizza and pasta dishes.

Want to see the incredible ruins of Pompeii for yourself? Join us on our fabulous tour of Pompeii with famous historian & BBC presenter Dr Michael Scott – from £1,995pp, including flights, delicious meals, and four-star accommodation. See the details

3. Welcome to the Roman Empire

Many of the manuscripts of Ancient Rome are hard to decipher, while their buildings have perished in wars and natural disasters. Pompeii, however, remains a true example of what life in the Roman Empire was really like – what people ate, what their hobbies were, who they lived with and which pets they had.

Many of the everyday objects you’ll see in the Pompeii ruins aren’t the priceless artefacts that you’re used to seeing in museums. This is the nuts and bolts of everyday life – crockery, stoves, tools – which give us a real idea of what life was like almost 2,000 years ago.

4. Pompeii was discovered by chance

When workmen were building a summer palace for the King of Naples in 1738, they chanced upon the ruins of Herculaneum – a town not far from Pompeii, which also perished in the blast. The extraordinary findings prompted other excavations, and Pompeii was uncovered by Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.

It’s estimated that a third of Pompeii remains unexcavated, and work is ongoing. Restoration projects on the uncovered ruins are also vital, as time is taking its toll.

Want to see the incredible ruins of Pompeii for yourself? Join us on our fabulous tour of Pompeii with famous historian & BBC presenter Dr Michael Scott – from £1,995pp, including flights, delicious meals, and four-star accommodation. See the details

5. You can climb Mt Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius, that fearsome destroyer, towers over the landscape – a constant reminder that Naples is still under threat from the natural world. It remains active, and the last eruption was in 1944 – though nothing like the scale of the blast that destroyed Pompeii.

Today, you can actually climb the volcano: it’s a 30-minute walk along a well-marked path, and at the summit you’ll be rewarded with views into the craters and over the urban landscape below.

It’s strange to think that you’re standing at the top of one of the most destructive forces in Western Europe, so you might need a gelato to calm your nerves…

 

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