When I lived in Italy, I walked the halls of dozens of museums across Europe, participated in archeological digs, lived in a convent for weeks while on an extended stay in Rome, and much more. Nothing, however, touched my soul like wandering the haunted streets of Pompeii with Vesuvius looming above threatening to rain destruction down upon the city and the surrounding area and its three million inhabitants once again.
While I’m on my final push to complete two stories before the end of August and tend some family business, I plan to feature the eruption of Vesuvius and destruction of Pompeii for the rest of August. I needed something that wouldn’t require huge amounts of research because I will be in a writing frenzy in which I clean the house, cook and freeze food, then close the door to my office to write. One of the advantages of being an empty-nester is warning the family to enter my office or disturb my writing only in case of major emergencies – like the house on fire or major health catastrophe.
For two years, I lived a couple of hours drive from the dead city of Pompeii and its vibrant neighbor, Naples. Between my addiction to visiting the area and escorting guests who demanded guided tours, I visited Pompeii-Naples-Vesuvius more than a dozen times. Over the next three weeks, my posts will share some of the history and science of Vesuvius, the history and culture of Pompeii and Herculaeneum, and, finally, the cities’ destruction, re-discovery, and excavation.
Tomorrow, The Dark and Dreadful Day