Sunday, May 17, 2009

Naples, Herculaneum and Vesuvius

Most people who go to Naples will head for Pompeii, but we went there a few years ago so this time we headed off to Herculaneum. Most of the inhabitants escaped but the city was buried under mud when Vesuvius exploded. The city was much smaller than Pompeii but there are lots of interesting buildings and some magnificent plaster work still exists.

This was the grandest doorway.

I loved the windows that had the mud still in place.

This was a shop which sold wine, the urns are where they were the day the mud covered them.

Would you look at this wall - zoom in to see the carved head, it looks at bit like my dh :)

The guide told us that the people who painted the frescos on the walls were often slaves who were hired out. This sort of work wasn't considered art, more like wallpapering would be today. I was really interested in the colours used, mostly red and blue with some aquamarine but no green.
I asked the guide why they didn't use green but she didn't know the answer, if anyone knows please tell me. I like the Romans colour scheme very much :)

I loved roaming around this site and soaking up the atmosphere. I am always amazed at places like this, over 2000 years ago we had these wonderful buildings and art with baths and sanitation and drains etc, but just a few years later we went back to living in caves and wooden huts. Why?

After lunch we drove to Mount Vesuvius. It was a sunny day but the mountain had a cloud covering the summit. Our guide told us that no matter how sunny it is, Mount Vesuvius always has a cloud on top of it. She also told us that the path to the top was an easy slope and 300 metres. She fibbed about that! I never knew I had muscles in my buttocks until I walked up that path. It was cold and blooming windy too, those wisps are not smoke, it is the cloud we walked through. The white dots at the bottom of the hill are buses, ours was 500 metres further down the mountain.

About halfway up I turned around and took this picture, I don't think I captured the amazing colours though.
I was oh so glad we had a bath in our room, my poor legs and bum needed a good soak that night.

1 comment:

Julie said...

That window with the mud still on looks like a quilt. Your photos are fascinating and that blue mosaic on the fireplace is amazing. You had a wonderful holiday by the look of things.