Time to re-visit Pompeii

By | Category: Travel destinations

One of Italy’s big tourist draws is Pompeii, one of two cities that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius close on 2,000 years ago.

modern visitors to Pompeii
Pompeii flush with tourists © www.amirinia.com

This week, three houses, mansions or sites opened to the public in the Italian heritage site of Pompeii. They are the House of Lovers, the House of the Orchard, and the House of the Ship Europa and they have been restored as part of a project called the Great Pompeii Project.

When I first visited Pompeii back in 1975, there were a large number of buildings that you couldn’t enter because they were unexcavated, were in a parlous condition or were undergoing restoration.

But work was slow, maintenance was miserly and caused UNESCO to warn Italy that it was endangering the world heritage status.

In the last six years money over £85 million has gone into restoration with the result being that these three houses have re-opened to the public. In addition a number of other buildings and areas previously unavailable to tourists have opened.

Nonetheless only about 70% of the city is open to view. The rest  of the area and the associated buildings will take years of work before we can really absorb the size and the offerings to be found there.

Millions of people travel to see Pompeii every year yet many only visit the site once having judged that they have “seen” Pompeii and can now move on to somewhere else.

The re-openings show how wrong they are to not to return.

And, after 45 years, it is time for me to go back and see the transformation that has taken place,  

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