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Kristen & Joe in Italy: The Gruesome Story of Pompeii

Last night and the night before, Joe and I did a little research on the lost city of Pompeii so we’d have a true appreciation of the tour we took today. We learned that because of the way the wind blew on the day that Mt. Vesuvius blew her top, the debris at the beginning of the eruption fell in Pompeii and not so much in Herculaneum. In Herculaneum, most people died immediately from the pyroclastic surge, being instantly cooked from the intense heat & suffering an exploded brain. In Pompeii, on the other hand, what caused most of the deaths were roof cave-ins and asphyxiation—the ash in the air was so thick that it crept into every space of a person’s home, and when they breathed it in, it mixed with the liquid in a their lungs, becoming a cement.  What I thought was most interesting was that people in both cities had no idea that Vesuvius was a volcano since it lied dormant for 800 years. Scary stuff!

I never realized how big Pompeii really is. The guidebook recommended 4 to 5 hours—we were there for 6½ and still didn’t see it all. We could’ve stayed there for days. There were homes, baths, an amphitheatre where plays were held, a coliseum for the Gladiatorial games, a cemetery, a forum, merchant shops, temples, etc. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera and had to rely on Joe’s, but what a day!

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