The day has finally arrived. Our last and final day on our whirlwind adventure to Italy. We decided to make the day a little more low key. We had spent the previous day in Rome and our legs and feet were tired and we had a very early flight the next morning.
Originally we were going to go to Pompeii but instead we decided to go and check out Herculaneum which is in Ercolano which has a similar history to Pompeii. It is situated on the opposite side of Mt. Vesuvius (closer to the water) and was completely covered in mud from the volcanos explosion in 79AD. In the 1980's it was discovered and has been essentially dug out of the mud ever since. Because the city was essentially "filled up" with mud from the bottom up it actually served to preserve the historic buildings and dwellings better than the ruins at Pompeii. Only a small portion of the city has been uncovered with plans to excavate even more.
This first photo is from the walkway going down from the visitors center to the entrance of the site. Hopefully you can see how what is there is sitting well below where I am standing. All of that was under ground until the 1980's! How crazy is that!?!
We went on a hour long guided tour which was very helpful. Our guide showed us some of the houses and helped us to image how they must have looked originally. She explained how the people in the city had 11 hours from the time the volcano erupted until the flow hit the city so many many people were able to escape to Naples or get in boats and escape out to the sea. There are many bodies that they have uncovered as well mostly down by what used to be the docks. They also found one in the temple or worship center they had at the time. The parishioner stayed in the room and guarded the church until the very end.
It is striking to see how well some of the structures held up considering the age of everything here. The paintings and frescos on the walls were quite beautiful and signified that this was a city of great wealth. It was right on the edge of the sea and many people came there to holiday or just build extravagant homes in a luxurious location.
Since Ercolano was only about 40 minutes away from where we were staying we headed back to the house when we were done and had the afternoon to rest up and get ready for our long flight home. That night we had plans for a traditional Italian dinner with our hosts and friends of theirs who also are stationed in Italy.
We headed up a very long and windy hill to this amazing restaurant that overlooks Naples. Since the location was so scenic we decided to do a little impromptu photo session before dinner began. There was also a super tiny and cute little car that we parked next too so of course we had to take pictures of that!
How cute is SHE!! Those eyes!!
After our amazing dinner we headed back home to get some sleep and prepare to adjust back to "normal" life. Everything about our time in Italy was so awe inspiring and breathtaking and we are so incredibly blessed to have been able to have this opportunity. Thank you so much to Darby and Garrick for hosting us, being our travel guides and making sure we didn't die on the roads of Italy! Thank you to my grandma for helping make this dream a reality. And thank you to all of you who have followed along with our adventure! My dream and prayer is that everyone I know gets to experience travel to Europe at least once in their life!
All images (with the exception of random iPhone images) taken with:
Canon 6D | 24-105mm f/4.0 lens