At the end of August, I visited the archaeological ruins of Pompeii on a strangely quiet day. It was hot, enough to melt in the dusty ruins, which may have been keeping the crowds away. I spent a few hours wandering around on my own, poking my head into whatever was open, staring far too long at columns and exploring areas I hadn’t see before. One spot where I spent a lot of time was the Forum Granary, which was once the produce market of Pompeii. Today it is storage area, with tall shelves lined with amphorae, broken architectural elements, like columns and reliefs, and a few of the plaster casts made of the victims of the violent eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
It was very moving to see all these pieces of Pompeii, that at one time were part of daily life for so many people, all lined up and organized. Something about seeing these pieces damaged and fragmented made the devastation of Pompeii feel all the more real. Pompeii is always a moving experience for me, but this was one of the moments I’ll always remember.
Have you been to Pompeii? How did seeing the ruins impact you?