The Rome Experience: Day 10

This post continues the chronicles of Steve Bridge’s class trip to Rome.

Today, Lauren, Aprille, and I struck out on our own adventure. We got a tour of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii and were served Italian pizza. We took the Metro to meet up with our tour guides for the trip at 7:15 this morning, which meant leaving the apartment at 6:30 a.m. The bus took about 3 hours to get to Mount Vesuvius, but it was most certainly worth it. During the ride there we learned that when just before it exploded over Pompeii, Mount Vesuvius was twice the elevation that it is today. The explosion did not emit lava or magma but just rock and toxic gases. The bus eventually brought us to a point where we had to hike to the top.


We did so through loose, ankle twisting, terrain, but we made it to the top, collapsed cone of the volcano.


After a break for photos (we proudly brought along our SJC banner!), we returned down to have pizza for lunch.


The pizza we were served had a thicker crust than the ones in Rome, and in my opinion it’s better this way. After lunch, it was off to Pompeii, where we saw a city preserved in time. We saw pathways marked with chariots ruts.


We saw detailed mosaics on the floors. It was all truly amazing. They had sliding doors that turned into tables. They had a fully functioning sewage systems and spas with adjustable temperatures.


On the roads there were signs to indicate where things were as well as marble reflectors scattered among the cobblestones to reflect the moon’s rays at night so travelers could find their way. The most well-known artifacts from Pompeii are the plaster casts of the deceased (see cast). These included a dog, a man and a boy who all died in the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption. Both the man and the boy appeared to be unaware of the gas. The dog, however, seemed to be in a state of distress. All in all, this was quite an amazing day. I can’t believe we have less than a week left in Rome!

Submitted by Matt Pfannenstiel

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