Thursday, March 26, 2015

Classical Italy Day 4: Pompeii, Sperlonga, and Terracina


Yeah Terracina!

Day 4
Today we went to Pompeii which was really interesting. There was a really neat open market out side of the ancient city. The weather was so nice, it was warm and sunny. Pompeii was right at the foot of Vesuvius and some other mountains so it was beautiful. Walking around the city was really interesting, it was cool to see how organized and similar to some of the modern cities it is with the road structure and organization. It's so cool to envision people living in these cities and kind of sad when you think about all the people that died there (but their pleaser bodies were super cool!!!). After walking around Pompeii we got pizza which was so good and the orange Fanta soda here is SO GOOD! Then we walked around the open market a bit and I had some really really good coffee. Over all Pompeii has been a personal favorite of mine.
-Mia Howard

Perseus, Medusa, and Andromeda on a wall of a house in Pompeii

Inside the house of the faun in Pompeii



Fun at Terracina at sunset

Tiberius had "interesting" interests here

Cast of the Polyphemus and Odysseus statue group that was in the grotto

We spent the morning of our fourth day at Pompeii. I don't know what I was expecting from our visit to Pompeii, but so far it has definitely been one of my favorite stops of the trip. Throughout our visit to Pompeii, our tour guide pointed out many different landmarks and explained their purposes. It was really interesting to learn more about the daily lives of the residents of Pompeii. Though they lived nearly 2000 years ago, I was struck by how similar their lives were to mine. There were theaters for entertainment, shops along the street with political "posters" (frescoes on shop walls encouraging residents to vote for a certain candidate), and even a "welcome mat" outside of one house (tiles in the shape of the word "have," a greeting). One of my favorite parts was seeing a mosaic with the words "cave canem" in the front entrance of another house.  In English, "cave canem" literally means "beware of the dog." It was just another reminder that the Romans and the residents of Pompeii really weren't that different from me! I'm really excited to see what the rest of the trip has in store, but Pompeii was one stop that I will definitely remember.
-Ann Bailey

Sperlonga palace foundation 

Exploring Tiberius' palace grotto
On the fourth day of our Italian excursion, we ventured to Pompeii bright and early in the morning, despite the groans from exhausted teenagers. Although the day started a little rough with a locked key in a hotel room, the day was truly spectacular. We couldn't have lucked out with better weather- there wasn't a cloud in sight with a balmy temperature of around 65 degrees. It was surreal to be walking around the ancient streets of Pompeii because it was so amazing to think that two thousand years ago ancient civilians were walking along the same streets we were strolling along. It was gobsmacking to see how well preserved everything was. My favorite part was the baths for the richest Pompeiians with the beautiful arches and frescoes. Our tour guide gave us lots of information about the lost city and about the culture and life of the long gone Pompeiians. It was amazing to see how a city was forever persevered because of that natural disaster and generations afterwards will be able to learn about the recovered city of Pompeii. Another highlight of my day? Most likely buying a beautiful moonstone ring outside of the gates waiting for our bus, where the vendor complimented me on my "beautiful eyes" to get me to purchase something. Flattery is a girl's best friend! Although Pompeii was amazing, my favorite part of the day was the last two sites, the grotto at Spelunca and Terrancia. The grotto was one of the most things I have ever seen, I have never seen such blue water before in nature! Terracina was my favorite i have to admit since we were there at sunset and the weather was perfect. We climbed over rocks, played ninja, took pictures, did lots of exploring and sat at a little cafe at the top of the mountain and took pictures with all the cats we found! Today was my favorite day and I can't wait to see what Rome has in store! 
-Molly Brenner     

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