Pompeii Visit

Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Pompeii Visit

Hello everyone, So, I am continuing on the planning of the great trip to Paris/italy for next summer and have been doing some reading on Pompeii. I ran across this article that made my heart sink (I'm putting the link here).

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/20...in-of-pompeii/

I wondered if anyone had been there this year, and what the experience was? This is one of the highlights of my trip...and I am super excited about it. I visited the Pompeii exhibit in DC, and I am reading a bunch of books, wondered if anyone has any thoughts on "out of the way" places one should be sure to see while there? I will continue to research, but really am looking for any thoughts you have from your visits. As always, your advice and thoughts much appreciated, Susan
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 06:31 PM
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I went to both Pompeii and Herculaneum in April. Despite obvious lack of maintenance, I enjoyed both visits. Many places are closed or partially restored with only a small number of craftsmen working on just limited sites as if they would never catch up with the restoration needs.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 07:35 PM
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I was there last month, and 10 years before that. It is indeed a shame the way the site has been neglected but it is not as bad as the article makes it out to be and you should certainly not hesitate to go.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 07:36 PM
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We visited both Pompeii and Hercalaneum in January. One of the highlights of our trip! Loved it!
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 04:14 AM
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I was just there in July. That article is crazy. It's an archaeological site. Of course there is uneven ground, there is ongoing work, there are some areas closed off. The only "major" thing closed was the house of the Vetti, which I was disappointed about but understood that they do need to do work on a place like that. If you do your research and know what you are looking at it is a fascinating place. Most of the large tour groups limit themselves to a few central areas, there is much more a five or ten minute walk out. If you can afford a private guide (e.g. a group of 10 or less) I would think that would be great. We "listened" to a a few as we walked through some of the houses. I would not do one of the big groups.

There is an online (free) Yale Univ course on Roman art and architecture which has several sessions on Pompeii which was really interesting to watch before we went. www.yale.edu/classics/faculty_kleiner.html

The offical Pompeii site has good info - in fact its all in the booklet they hand out when you ask for the site map (after you buy your ticket you need to go to the window next to the ticket window and ask, but it's free) - but it was interesting to read it on line ahead of time.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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It was been about 4 years since I went to Pompeii and I agree that the article exaggerates the condition of the (ahem) RUINS! My husband and I were enthralled and, with a guide map were easily transported back to the day when folks in this doomed town went about their daily business. Please report back!

Many of Pompeii's treasures can be found at the museum in Naples.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:08 AM
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I was in Pompeii in March. This was my first time, so I can't compare it how it may have been say 30 years ago, but there may be some truth to the article.

"The wear and tear is tremendous. The frescoes, the principal attraction of the houses that are open, are exposed to the weather and only protected from visitors by ropes."

Keep in mind that the site is almost completely exposed to the elements and has been for the last 250 years. It would require a huge investment to keep everything on the site from deteriorating (without building some sort of dome as in the Simpsons movie), and that doesn't seem to be happening. It's still great, but it's probably only going to get worse, so see it now.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 08:15 AM
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This is a link to the Yale course that Isabel references above:

http://oyc.yale.edu/history-of-art/roman-architecture/

I can not recommend it highly enough. There are indeed several fascinating lectures on Pompeii, but I would recommend watching the entire course of 23 lectures before you go, if they interest you (especially since you have a whole year to plan). I have a much longer list of sites to visit in Rome and throughout the area now than I have ever seen in guidebooks, and I think I would get much more out of them now, having watched this course on line.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 09:18 AM
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I just read the article linked in the original post. Very interesting. It is written not from the point of view of the visitor to the site but from the perspective of the history and future of the efforts to preserve it. I don't doubt that it is correct in the need for a massive effort to restore and maintain the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum, and the history of the maintenance of the site is very informative.

But this should not deter anybody from visiting now. The experience is wonderful.
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your comments. There is no doubt that we are going - in fact, it is one of the main reasons for our visiting that area. We are so excited about it. I am totally going to do that free Yale class, and we are going to the arch museum in Naples. I am glad to hear all of your comments, and I think we will probably hire a guide to go with, to make sure we see at least some of the places that are 5-15 minutes out that are worthwhile. Thanks again - Susan
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Old Aug 4th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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I just want to add that my DH was the history buff and I was "HO HUM" about it until we visited Pompeii and other places in Italy. Truly Pompeii captured my imagination.
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