Naples: Day 4

On the second day in Naples, we woke up earlier than usual to prepare ourselves for Mount Vesuvius. Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano on the east coast of Naples. Mount Vesuvius is famous because of its destruction in the year 79 C.E. It was recorded that it shocked the civilization at noon on August 24th. Before we left the hotel, we were advised to take an additional jacket for the cold weather. It took us forty-five minutes to arrive at the top of the volcano. As soon as we got off the bus, we realized how valuable an additional jacket could be. It was extremely windy and cold. As we hiked higher, the wind was getting stronger. At one point we all had to hold on to something to protect ourselves from the wind. After reaching the starting point of the top surface, we received some information from the guide and started to walk around the volcano. At the same time, the wind was extremely strong; everyone had trouble seeing because of the sand.

The view from the top of the mountain was gorgeous, but because of the weather, we unfortunately had to leave the volcano. So we took a group photo and started to head down. Our next stop would be Pompeii after lunch.

Written by Karsten Chan

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After lunch we visited the ruins in Pompeii, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The unique point of Pompeii is that it keeps the original appearance of an over two-thousand-year-old town from the Roman Empire: erupted ashes from the Vesuvio volcano buried the whole village in a very short time. It is a tragic disaster, but it also provides a great opportunity for historians to get a direct idea about what urban life was like in the Roman Empire. We visited different kinds of shops, resident houses, public facilities, and so on. There’s an interesting feature of the city that drew my attention: designers of sidewalks used white bricks as the main construction materials so that the sidewalk can reflect the light from the moon and the street lamps to make the path more visible for pedestrians. It might just be a small detail of the engineering design at that time, but it also indicates the “brilliance” of that past civilizations.

Written by Mark Liu

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