Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's been awhile since my last post because I've been so busy seeing the sights in Italy. I've been here two weeks now and have seen so many amazing places.

To start off, here are some pictures from our trip to Siena, over a week ago, including its famous Duomo.

And here are some pictures from Cinque Terre, a group of five towns along the coast, famous for the bright colors of the buildings.

This past weekend, we spent a few days along the Amalfi Coast. The first day we spent on the Island of Capri, and visited the famous Blue Grotto, which is entered through a very small opening. Because the opening is so small, the grotto is closed during bad weather or choppy seas. It was closed when we first boarded the ferry to take us from Sorrento to Capri, but luckily it opened once we arrived! Entering the Blue Grotto involves sitting on the bottom of a rowboat and lying flat in order to fit through the cavity. Once inside, the water glows a gorgeous shade of blue.

The next day we visited Positano and its beach for a glorious day of lying on the beach, swimming, and relaxing.

Finally, Sunday, we visited the ancient ruins of Pompeii and saw the remains of buildings that had been excavated from the volcanic rock and ash of Vesuvius's explosion. Apparently there was no lava involved in the destruction of Pompeii, but because Vesuvius literally exploded, the town was buried in rock and ash. It was mostly the poisonous gases that killed the people of Pompeii.

On a sadder note, while Pompeii was being excavated, empty pockets were discovered in the layers of rock and ash, which had solidified. To discover what had occupied these spaces, the cavities were filled with plaster and then excavated. The results were human casts showing the positions of several people of Pompeii as they died. After death, their bodies decayed, leaving the empty pockets that preserved their shape. Below is a cast of a young boy, covering his mouth to try to prevent breathing in the poisonous gases.

Our trip ended with us climbing Mount Vesuvius and peering into one of its craters.

There are still two weeks left here in Italy and so much to see. Tomorrow we are off to Venice for a couple of days.

1 Response
  1. Amy Darnell Says:

    It's so great to see you have a wonderful time in Italy!! This is what's so amazing about travel. Safe travels!


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