Enzo, the excellent guide we teamed up with two British tourists to hire, walked with us through the gate to the park and down a steep hill and partway up the other side. Here, we were a mile or so from the sea, but it was the gate to Pompeii. Those wise Romans (well, I mean Etruscans, I mean Greeks, oh, I mean Uscans…you get the picture–this was an old city before there was a Rome) knew how to do it in style. No parking your ship right at the front gate. Ever heard of tidal waves? Ever heard of pirates? Ever heard of the Kraken? Ever heard of whatever very good true reason they didn’t build their city right on the sea? Well that’s why they built it inland and dug a canal to the sea. You had to unload your cargo onto barges then have it pulled up to the city. And before we could enter the city, just like the visitors of ancient times, we had to go to the visitors’ baths.
Enzo: Is a very nice thing if you have been on a ship for some long time to come in and get clean and refreshed before you come into our city. Also, is a very nice thing for us if you get clean and refreshed before you come into our city. We live longer this way. So: hot bath, then dry sauna, then cold bath*…then prostitute. Then you come in. For to protect us and make you happy.
*stop reading here if you are a kid, or one of my kids, or one of my aunts/uncles/dad, or anyone who doesn’t know the Romans liked the kinky stuff. Also, do not look at the next two pictures. Or at any of the tattoos I may come back from Italy with. Scroll down and look for pictures of ruins.
Yup. You read that right friends. Before you come into our town, please scrub off whatever pestilence you’re carrying and go get some. Not sure what you’re in the mood for? Would you like to take a look at our menu?
You’ll notice everything is numbered. Someday, thousands of years in the future, you’ll be able to order food this way. For now, just sex. You’ll be interested to know that, for our Gold Club Members, today is Twofer Tuesday. Just say number V to the kid in the paper toga.
Anyhoo, when you’re feeling more chilled out, you’re welcome to come into the city and behave like a good Roman/Etruscan/Greek/Uscan.
Check out the court. The judges stood on the platform and the litigants argued their case below. That concept (that you could argue your case in front of other citizens and let reason and fairness decide an issue instead of using a stick to crack the other person on the head was a nice Greek import) was important, but so was the idea that this was a public space. As a citizen, you had as much right as anyone to be here. As a citizen, you had a responsibility to take care of this.
Courthouse too contentious for you? Let’s go talk politics and buy stuff in the forum (not that money changing hands in the vicinity of politics will EVER become a problem…my slave-importing business is a person, you know):
And there’s Vesuvius.
I’m going back to Pompeii in a couple of weeks, so you’ll have to wait to see the arena, the theater, the bakery, the gift shop, etc. It’s an overwhelming place. Too big to walk in a day. Too much to see in a week.