Step with me into Pompeii!!

Dearest Readers,

I’m delighted to share my pictures of Pompeii with you!  It was my second time visiting this ancient, doomed yet utterly fascinating city, and there’s still so much more to discover.  

The excavation of Pompeii continues. I won’t get into a lot the history of Pompeii, but as you’ll see, these people lived just as you and I.  

They had homes.  Entertainment.  Shops.  Sewers!!  And water pipes alongside the roads were also discovered.  (They were made of lead.  The lead in the pipes that brought water throughout the city no doubt contributed to the reduced life expectancy of these people.)  It’s estimated that the city was built around the 8th or 9th century BC.  And it soon became a thriving metropolis. 

Sewers discovered at Pompeii

Lead water pipes at Pompeii

The small white pieces of marble reflects in the dark allowing you to see the road at night.

Just to give you an idea of the size of Pompeii today, here is an aerial view.


It’s unknown exactly which day, but one day in the latter part of 79 AD, the volcano, Mount Vesuvius (thought to be extinct), shortly after midday, erupted to life.  
Why didn’t people leave immediately?  Because over the next 48 hours the volcano had appeared to have calmed down.  Many people stayed behind, refusing to evacuate, because they thought they were safe.
But Mount Vesuvius wasn’t done.
 Within 2 days of its awakening, all hell broke loose.  
Suddenly, and with intense fury, it spewed toxic gases and poured molten lava, destroying Pompeii, its people and all forms of life for miles and miles around.  
The flames from the volcano shot high into the sky, but it was the black smoke it emitted that blocked out the sun.
Adding to the apocalyptic scene, were the earthquakes and massive tidal waves the volcano incited.
This went on for 3 days.  
Then came the silence.  
Buried under 15 to 20 feet of ash—Pompeii was captured in a moment in time.

Area affected by the eruption of MT. VESUVIUS
Allow me to show you only a *very* small portion of this incredible ancient city.  NOTE:  YOU CAN CLICK ON THE IMAGES FOR A LARGER VIEW

The Cemetery  
(Below) For those who died before the destruction of the city. This is where they buried their dead.
The Bakery

Men’s Forum Baths (Below)

 Sadly, the women didn’t get anything this fancy.

Interior of some of the Houses

Dining Room (Below)
Another Dining Room (Below)

Kitchen (Below)
Courtyard with Doghouse (Below)

On the ground outside the front entrance of one of the homes is this mosaic of a dog with the inscription that when translated means “Beware of Dog” (Below) Unfortunately the inscription is cut out of my photo).
The Red-Light District in Pompeii
In need of a prostitute?  
It is the oldest profession, after all.  And Pompeii definitely had its share.
There were *many* brothels in Pompeii.  In fact, it’s estimated that there was one brothel per one thousand people.  Below are erotic frescoes discovered in one of the brothels we visited in Pompeii.  You can click on them if you’d like to see a larger view.  They’re incredible.  Were they there for inspiration?  Or were they some type of menu—“I’d like to do that one, please.”  ;) 
Whatever the answer, they prove no matter what, people are people.  They don’t change. :)

Warning: Graphic frescoes of sexual positions.

How did you know you were in the brothel district?  
Well, by the giant penis carved into the wall, of course.  (Below)

Inside the brothel…you need a bed.  This is a typical room.  There would have been a mattress on the stone bed.  
The People

When excavation started in Pompeii, it didn’t take long to find bodies. They are now forever preserved by the ash. I only photographed a few of the victims of Mt. Vesuvius (the last five pics here).  I included these others to give you a glimpse of the enormity of lives lost.
As you will see, many died covering their noses and mouths against the gas and ash.

Female Victim 
Closeup on Female Victim–
As you can see, she was pregnant.

Giveaway: Another beautiful glass necklace purchased in Venice, Italy!  Open WORLDWIDE.

RULES for the Glass Necklace from Venice:

To win you must:

1. Leave a meaningful comment.

2. You MUST be a follower/subscriber of Lila DiPasqua’s blog (through Google Friend Connect).

3. Must be at least 18 years of age.

Contest for the Glass Necklace from Venice ends Saturday Nov. 12th 2011. Winner will be selected at random on Sunday Nov. 13th, 2011.

I hope you enjoyed my tour of Pompeii.  :)


  • I’ve watched a show about this tragedy on the History channel, and was able to see a few photos. A few of these photos here I’ve not seen before and it absolutely breaks my heart. All those families knowing they couldn’t escape what was happening? As a Mom, trying to protect and guide my kids in this day and age is sometimes difficult. But then I see this, and wonder what I would’ve done back then to protect them. I haven’t a clue. Thank you for posting.
    Sebrina C

  • Wow, Lila, thanks for sharing all your pictures. What a fascinating place!! And one that I hope to see someday! That stone bed sure doesn’t look very long … wonder if their men were on the shorter side. ;-)

  • Ivy

    I’ve wanted to go to Pompeii since I read about it in the 5th grade. Thanks so much for sharing! I got to travel vicariously.

  • WOW! I have watched a number of documentaries on Mt Vesuvius and the destruction to Pompeii and surround areas but the photos you posted are still phenomenal! Its amazing how preserved everything is despite the horrific destruction! The paintings kind of remind me of the drawings from the Kama Sutra LOL!

  • I had no idea. So much loss, and really unavoidable. Very interesting, but sad pictures.

  • I have always been interested in the story of Pompeii. It makes one wonder if anyone escaped that tragic end.

  • SUPER POWERFUL post Lila.
    SO much history that I didn’t know anything about. I must not have paid attention in history.
    I love the pictures for the Brothel. Love your idea of a menu..
    Thank you much for sharing.


  • PJ

    I’ve been to Pompeii twice. It’s a fascinating place that I don’t think I’d ever tire of exploring, especially since the ongoing excavation continues to uncover more of the city every year.

  • It is amazing how advanced they were and how much can be learned from the remains of the city and people. I would love to go there someday and see this for myself, I love history. Thank you so much for sharing your pictures with us.
    June M.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting, and very sad.


  • Thanks for the photo tour; probably the closest I will get to being there (sigh).

    Italy is such an amazing country!

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • thanks for sharing all your pictures….nice pics but sad too….

  • Wow great pictures Lila! I’ve not been lucky to visit Pompeii as yet but would like to do so, especially after your fascinating post! Thanks for sharing.

    I did see on the Discovery channel a commentary about Volcanoes across the world, where they talked about the big ones and the massive destruction that happens. Always interesting as I love history.

    Rita from South Africa

  • I’ve always been fascinated by what happened at Pompeii and Herculaneum and hope to see the sites someday and I’ve heard about those frescoes, too.

    GFC follower

    janie1215 AT excite DOT com

  • I visited Pompeii. It is fascinating. I did see all the evidence of the brothel. Really neat. debby236 @ gmail dot com

  • Di

    I was on a tour to Italy in 2000 but had to come home early so I missed Pompei, so thanks for the photos. Interesting that in the brothel pictures the females have pale skin & the males all look very tan.

  • These pictures were amazing. I don’t ever recall seeing the pictures of the people, the victims before; I can’t describe my feelings – they just made history so real and heartbreaking.

    Please do not enter me in the ‘contest’, I just needed to let you know how I felt about the pictures. Thanks.

  • That was awesome! Thanks for sharing.

  • Shadow

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you for sharing the history with us. The last photos were sad and scary. I cant imagine being there when a volcano erupts. *shiver* The brothel pictures! ;) Thank you for sharing. Loved this post!

  • WOW!! Incredible pictures, thank you for sharing.

  • Ah, though I’m fascinated by the historical aspects, this is also making me sad. Death is never an easy subject to discuss and when many people perish in a natural disaster or a man-made ones (like the one in Pompeii, I find it hard even to imagine, the pain/suffering they went through. It’s plain awful.

    Thanks for the post Ms. DiPasqua. Also, loved the one with Gerard Butler. Lucky YOU! :p

  • Incredibly tragic. The preservation is amazing. It must have happened so quickly. I remember learning about this at school. History is fascinating.

  • Awesome pics, such a sad story. Very interesting story, would love to visit myself.


  • Amy

    Wow, thank you for the visual history! The Pompeii event was so tragic. LOL @ the many sex positions :P

    GFC follower


  • What awesome graphic representations! My daughter is in 2nd grade and we just finished reading about Pompeii. What a tragic event! But how awesome that today we have the means to discover the city and learn more about the civilization. Thanks so very much for sharing. Your pics are by far better than anything my daughter saw in her school materials.

    GFC: GzNKz4evr

  • I had always just had a vague awareness of the tragedy. Thank you very much for sharing the story and the images from your visit. They made it so much more real, especially those photos of mummified victims. Wow.

    It reminds me that this would be an interesting stop to add to my itinerary when I (finally!) visit Europe next year.

    Please enter my name in the drawing–and thanks again for such a moving blog.

    Laura T

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  • Wow, Lila! Your pictures of Pompei are great! My “love” unit that I teach is to my 8 graders when we discuss plate tectonics and volcanos. I feel it is important for the kids to understand the world’s history and what has shaped it. They are always shocked to see the mummified citizens of Pompei who died while inhaling the unfathomable hot pyroclastic gases (that science has estimated to be over 900 degrees F! Then to learn that as they were being cooked inside out, pumice rock was being expelled from Vesuvius, this is the rock encasing the victims. Thanks for sharing!

  • a terrify tragedy of volcano and why people don’t want to evacuate and pity pregnant woman =(

  • A very strong and powerful post Lila. I’ve never seen pictures of the victims before. Incredible and so very sad. I really enjoyed your sharing your trip with us. Thank you
    GFC name is Lucky47.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  • Your second visit? Wow. That’s one of the places on my ‘bucket list’. Amazing photographs, thank you for sharing them.
    Hard to imagine the terror they must have dealt with.
    Take care.

  • Thanks for sharing such powerful pictures. It is one of the areas I wish to visit sometime in the future. I can’t imagine, just going on about your daily routine and something like this happens. I’ve watched a couple of shows that have been made in regards to this tragedy, very interesting stuff.


  • Honestly, I’ve got NO idea that something like this happened in the past. But now I know and I’m so thankful for the chance. After reading and studying the picture one by one, got mixed emotions. I was amazed by the sewers and “The small white pieces of marble reflects in the dark allowing you to see the road at night.” But got frustrated when Mount Vesuvius erupted and people didn’t leave immediately. They could be somewhere safe and none of these things would have happened. But later one, I realized that if this didn’t occured, we would know about their culture, about how they lived and how intelligent they were. The picture that made stopped to look at it and shook my head was your picture of a dog (hope I’m right) who was like twisting it’s body, I can picture him on my mind, grasping for clean air and maybe wondering what the heck is going on. I also feel pity to those people who died (especially the pregnant woman). Want to thank you fo sharing to us your wonderful trip to Pompeii. I won’t be able to sleep tonight wihout thinking about this story. :D

  • Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping by and commenting. I’m thrilled you came by to share with me!

    Seeing the victims had the same strong impact on me—as it did each of you. Before, it was just an event in history I’d heard about. Seeing these bodies made this tragedy very real. The last hours of their lives must have been filled with terror.

    There was nothing really they could do to avoid their demise. For those who questioned whether there were any survivors (especially the people who ran away 2 days before the massive eruption) the answer is sadly –no.

    Even with a 2 day head start, they couldn’t get away fast enough to escape the poisonous gases.

    *waves* to my wonderful regular visitors to my blog! And a great big welcome to all the new faces! It’s a pleasure to have each and everyone of you here. :)


    PS. Glad you all enjoyed my brothel pics, too. ;)

  • Your post was wonderful! I have always been intrigued by Pompeii. How fascinating the things they found, and how modern at the same time! Drains? Dog houses? Amazing!

  • Hi Kylee,

    I’m so delighted you liked the post! Pompeii has always fascinated me, too. It’s so large. There’s a lot that I still haven’t seen. It’s so exciting that they’re still excavating and discovering more!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  • Anonymous

    i very much enjoyed your tour of Pompeii. :) These pictures are amazing.

    Now you have me googling this it’s the 1st i hear about Pompeii.
    Thank you

  • Amazing and sad at the same time. It’s strange how the eruption blew over Pompeii, completely neglecting the rest of the area behind it…

    Thanks for the photos.

  • Lila, I am so disappointed. When we went, we did the whole big tour. And they told us there was work going on and we could not go to certain parts. And we did not see the people like in your pictures. But we did see so much and you are right, it was amazing. Wanna know one of my favorite things? The stones the went across the streets. That you could walk across with out walking in the puddles. But the wagon wheels fit in between. Fabulous.
    Oh and we saw plenty of penis carving on the streets too. Pointing the way. haha