On Friday, June 24 we headed south to Pompei for an Investiture Ceremony. While I'll describe the weekend here - one word can sum it up: HOT! It was 33 degrees (about 91 degrees) and humid. Throughout the weekend we were just hot and sweaty! Yuck! None-the-less, it was a great weekend Investiture with a special tour of the Scavi of Pompeii.
As I've been writing - I decided to split this post into 2 parts: Part 1 - the Scavi; Part 2 - the Investiture.
(Have you noticed the different spellings already? The ancient city is "Pompeii" - the modern city is "Pompei.")
Because this was my first trip - the local Lieutenant of the Order had arranged for the Cardinal and I to have a guided tour of the excavations. Here are some photos as we started out into the area of ancient Pompeii.
As you can guess, this photo shows Mount Vesuvius in the background - because of the heat and humidity - it's a bit hazy - but you can see how close it is - only 8 kilometers (5 miles) away from the ancient town of Pompeii.
I learned that these big blocks were a normal part of Roman streets in Pompeii. The purpose was simple - to keep chariots and carts out of the public pedestrian areas - like the town square.
This is the Roman bath. Just look at the frescos and details in these next few photos! Incredible!
This is the ceiling in the Bath
This is a home that had been converted into a business
The "hole" in the roof allowed water to gather in the basin below.
Exquisite tile work
We did see the famous casts of people who died at Pompeii - the people who simply lay down in their place and whose bodies, covered by ash for centuries, left "holes" in the ground where their bodies had been. When the area was excavated they found these "caverns" where intact (but now decomposed) bodies had lain - and they poured plaster into the holes - leaving us with the perfect casts of their exact position as they died.
If you'd like to learn more about Pompeii - here's a LINK to a History Channel website. I don't really like the "scare tactic" at the end... but...