Orcolano, Campania, Italia
3 ottobre 2011
Ruin, Beauty, Amazing Color
We took over 300 pictures - this is a total geek-fest for us. I'll spare you the deluge.
A few snapshots:
Vesuvius stands silent sentry behind the modern city of Herculaneum and the ruins of the ancient town the volcano buried.
Every time we visit the ruins here and elsewhere in Campania, we're struck by how much color the ancient Romans lived with every day - interior walls, floors, statues, exterior walls...
The main streets were wide, with arcaded walkways, and gutters and drains and public fountains (you can see two here - one at the end of each block). -- and of course, Mary's lovely entry in the beautiful hat contest ;-)
Fast-food tabernas on every corner - hot food to go ...
I really meant - EVERY Corner...
There are several areas where you can still see the actual wood that was charred by the heat blast. These shutters still hang in place where they were 2000 years ago.
The volcanic tufa they used to build the walls (usually hidden behind the stucco) has worn away more quickly than the Roman-made mortar. (No small irony that tufa is what buried and preserved Herculaneum after the eruption of Veseuvius).
The changing room and clothing storage shelves of the men's public baths. (the stucco has crumbled from the walls, so you can't see the color that was here).
Mosaic from the floor of the women's baths.
Grooves in the marble threshold - for setting an ancient door jamb.