The city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei.


Pompeii along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, were mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.


The eruption was cataclysmic for the town. Evidence for the destruction originally came from a surviving letter by Pliny the Younger, who saw the eruption from a distance and described the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder, an admiral of the Roman fleet, who tried to rescue citizens. The site was lost for about 1500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599.


The objects that lay beneath the city have been well preserved for thousands of years because of the lack of air and moisture. These artifacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.


Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years. Today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year.


In 1971, the rock band Pink Floyd recorded the live concert film Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, performing six songs in the ancient Roman amphitheatre in the city. The audience consisted only of the film’s production crew and some local children.




(c) R J Dent 2013



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4 Responses to “Pompeii”

  1. Emma Howlett Says:

    Pompeii is an amazing place – it is a fossilized city – an awe-inspiring, magical, wonderful site. I have visited it twice and it was better the second time. I would advise everyone to visit it at least once in their life time. It is unique.

  2. Graham Entwhistle Says:

    Outstanding write-up and pictures of Pompeii. Went there years ago – was in awe of the place – it really is amazingly well-preserved… huge too. Thanks for this; it brought back a lot of good memories.

  3. martin bellow Says:

    Pompeii is a brilliant place full of history and artefacts and treasures. A lot has been taken to the museums in Naples, but there’s enough still there for anyone to get the idea of what it was like there back in AD 73.

  4. Mike Heath Says:

    Visited here this year (2013) and thought the entire city was being allowed to deteriorate. Weeds everywhere, buildings being allowed to crumble and erode, people walking over cultural treasures. It’s a disgrace. It’s not the way historical sites of extreme value should be treated.

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