Is Mount Vesuvius going to erupt again? That thought was going through my head as my sister Marina and I walked up this stirring dark mountain located above the city of Pompeii in the Bay of Naples.  It is an active volcano that erupted more than 50 times before, with the last eruption in 1944. The answer to my question was “YES”. It is just a matter of time. As we hiked up we peered into its craterous mouth and saw its raw smokey throat. I was scared, but intrigued.  As I peered into the crater, it’s hot breath licked my face. I withdrew and though about its power. When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD it killed 20,000 people, if it happens again…well today’s population is about 3 million. Let’s hope the warning signs and good evacuation plans are in place.

Marina hiking up the trail to the top of Mt Vesuvius. Bay of Naples below.

Bay of Naples.

Crater formed by the eruption.

A reminder that this is very much still an active volcano.

After a long hike, we spent the night at Villa La Rocla where the owner/chef Maria served up a traditional home made Italian dinner, served by the handsome Roberto.  The meal was outstanding so was the atmosphere, as we dined in the lovely garden well into the night. 

Adriane getting ready for the feast.

Adriane with the amazing Chef Maria at Villa Rocla.

Roberto from Villa Rocla, who drove us around and made sure we were well looked after.

Eerie and beautiful, haunting and enchanting came to mind as we walked the ruins of Pompeii. In the year 79 AD., Pompeii, a modern city was the envy of the ancient world. They had everything. It was where the wealthy spent their summer. It was Rome’s vacation spot for the rich and famous. This was an advanced society with shops, streets, public baths, gardens, vineyards and an arena.

The cobbled stone street at Pompeii ruins.

Many frescos on the wall tell a story.

An ancient water collecting well.

Marina at the ancient square leading to public baths.

Counter top with storing pots.

The magnificent center square at Pompeii ruins.

Vesuvius erupted with such violence that people had no time to flee. Twenty thousand people died that day as the long volcanic arm of Vesuvius covered them … some still in their sleep, some running…there was no escape that day. By the time it was over not only Pompeii was under ash, but neighboring towns of Stabiae and Herculaneum. In Marco Polo’s time the correct locations of Pompeii and other towns destroyed by Mount Vesuvius were marked on a map, but the excavation didn’t begin until 18th century. 

 

Remnants of an arena.

For 79 AD, these are well constructed 2 story houses.

As we walked through the ghost-filled streets we were reminded of our mortality and of our “have everything” attitude. Could there be a Vesuvius lurking in another form, ready to seize us at an moment? Live each day, day by day to its fullest was our new motto.

This picture says it all. Tears filled our eyes.

Adriane and Marina with a vineyard in the background at Pompeii ruins.

As we drove away, we looked back at Mount Vesuvius.  We could see the restless puffs of smoke coming from it …something is stirring. The volcano reminds us how fragile life is and how helpless we are. It’s  important  to be informed and prepared.

 

Mt Vesuvius VIDEO click HERE

Pompeii VIDEO link below.

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