18. Pompeii

1 Nov

Sarah and I are in Naples for a couple of days and this morning we visited the ancient Roman ruins called Pompeii. It was incredible. It’s a city from almost two thousand years ago. Yes, you read that right – that’s thousand with a “t”.

The amount of work that the government expended on this is just staggering. The site is just massive – it would take several days to explore the whole thing. But whatever it cost the Italian taxpayers, it’s all there for the tourists and locals to experience – everything from the dementia-causing lead pipes that were used for transporting drinking water, to the brothels where, for the cost of two glasses of wine (about 3 euros in modern currency) ancient traveling business men could contract some horrible STI.

Google Translate used to be just pictures the customer would point at.

Google Translate used to be pictures the customer would point at.

But I do have to call into question the decision to put this tourist attraction at the base of an active volcano (Mont Vesuvius). It’s an obvious point, but I’ll state it anyway: if the pressure builds up too much and it’s been too long without release, the ensuing eruption could be huge. And that wouldn’t be good news for the City of Pompeii – it would be lost forever.

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