After a choppy overnight ride on the ferry we finally reached Italian soil. We were greeted by our new tour guide, Mario, in the port city of Bari, Italy. Right away we got on the bus and drove straight for about three hours to the ancient city of Pompeii.
Pompeii, a city that was covered by 20 ft of volcanic rock, is very well preserved compared to most of the ancient ruins that we have seen so far. It was really interesting to see the different streets with restaurants, stores and houses. Pompeii isn’t actually that different from cities today — there is evidence of restaurants similar to fast food restaurants we have today. We were able to go in to one of the baths, a building that contained some of the original ceilings. The ceilings and walls were painted with color which was something that we have not been able to see thus far. It is incredible how preserved the city is considering it was buried under volcanic rock for centuries!
Unfortunately we weren’t able to make it across Pompeii to see the main amphitheater, but we were able to see a smaller theater that has amazing acoustics. A lot of people went up to the very top while Mark sang a little tune for everyone to hear. We also got a nice demonstration of the acoustics from a young Italian guy singing a song.
At the end of the tour we saw some plaster casts of some Pompeii civilians that were trapped in the city while Mt. Vesuvius was erupting. These plaster casts put this tragedy into perspective, because it made it seem a lot more real.
After Pompeii, we got on the bus for another three hours to get to Rome. On the bus, Maggie and Sara W. gave their presentation on wellbeing. Part of their activity included learning how to slow down and really appreciate what you are doing by taking time to fully enjoy a delicious piece of chocolate. We also got to give and receive much-needed back massages as part of their presentation.
We arrived to our hotel in Rome around 7:30 pm, where we had a little bit of time to freshen up and settle in before walking down the street for dinner. We ate dinner at a restaurant which had the most delicious pasta we have ever eaten; it definitely lived up to our expectations for real Italian pasta!
–Haley and Emma