italy 5: roman pompeii and isle of capri

Dionysiac Mystery Cult, Villa of the Mysteries, wall painting frieze, Pompeii, 50 BC (© Art Resource)

Roman Pompeii

Pompeii, a world frozen in time
tears, hopes, thoughts, dreams and smiles
over four days and three nights
everyone forced to take their final last sighs

Mt. Vesuvius is the only active volcano in continental Europe, the others being on the islands. The mountain’s eruption on 24 August 79 AD completely buried Pompeii and Herculaneum, destroying and yet preserving the two cities for posterity. Its most recent and famous eruptions have been those in 1631 and 1944. Said to erupt every 30 years, it is 4,200 feet high and has the oldest observatory on its rims [161 years old]. Volcano and lava are in fact Italian words. With two summits, Mt. Vesuvius proper is the summit to the right. In a survey done by Time magazine, Mt. Vesuvius was placed at 6th position as the most dangerous volcano in the world based on the theory that the longer the period of inactivity, the greater could be the destruction caused. Despite all these alarming figures, there are 700,000 to 800,000 people currently living on its slopes. Continue reading