Italy – Archaeology
One of the most famous archeological sites in Italy is Pompeii, near Naples. In this site you can find the ruins of an ancient Roman town destroyed in 79 AD by the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius. Before the eruption, Pompeii was a wealthy city with a popular port. The town was a wonderful holiday destination for Roman citizens. Suddenly, in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted, throwing a huge toxic gas cloud in the air all over the city. The cloud was full of rocks, magma’s dust, and gas, and fell on Pompeii, giving no chance of escape to the citizens. After the eruption, the city was completely covered under the dust, and Pompeii was forgotten for centuries. Only in 1748, some excavations led to the rediscovery of Pompeii from the volcanic dust.
Still today, the rediscovery of Pompeii is not complete, since it is estimated that one-third of the old town is still covered. Visiting Pompeii, you will find an ancient town “frozen in time” (Riccardo Bianchini – Inexhibit.com, 2019) that can give you the perception of feeling the exact moment of the Mount Vesuvius eruption. Moreover, inside the museum called Antiquarium you can see the famous plaster casts of the citizens caught in the moment they were killed by the volcanic cloud, in addition to fresco paintings, mosaics, and sculptures.
Agrigento was founded as a Greek colony on the southern coast of Sicily in the 6th century BC. From the year of its foundation, Agrigento became one of the most important cities in the Mediterranean, and its glory, pride, and supremacy are proved by the magnificent Doric temples of the old town. Nowadays, these temples are still intact and can be visited, and tourists can perceive the old splendor of the town. The archeological area of Agrigento is called Valley of the Temples and is a pathway throughout the remains of the Doric temples, the acropolis, and the ancient city. What makes Agrigento special is the way in which the original site is preserved that gives an authentic representation of the ancient world.
Ostia Antica is located on the west coast of Italy, near the River Tiber, and its Archeological Area contains the remains of a Roman settlement. Ostia was a Roman city founded in the 6th century, with the main function of protecting the mouth of the River Tiber. Thereafter, the city developed commercially and became a location of exchanges between different populations. These exchanges are clearly visible in the Archeological Area since the presence of different cultures and religions is notable in the mosaic floors, the archeological remains, and the funeral inscriptions. Ostia Antica is a proof of the diversity of the people who lived under the Roman Empire.
Paestum was one of the major cities of Magna Graecia, the group of Greek colonies established in South Italy. More precisely, Paestum was on the west coast, near the actual Salerno, in front of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Today, the remains of the city mainly consist of three magnificent Doric temples, the Roman forum, and a Roman amphitheater. The three temples are dedicated to the Gods Poseidon, Hera, and Ceres. As a tourist, you can admire the ruins of the three temples being in a very good state of preservation, and showing a clear picture of the magnificence of the ancient Greek colonies in South Italy.