In 1748, beneath his vineyard, a peasant found traces of the Pompeii, buried in the eruption on AD 79.
Since then excavations have gone on, with no interruptions, to the present.
At Pompei 8 to 10 feet (2 to 3 meters) of pumice and 6 or 7 feet more of ashes covered everything, but the tops of buildings that therefore they have gone lost.
In Pompeii, Its usual population was probably about 20,000. Most of the people of the two cities escaped as the eruption began. Those who sought refuge in cellars were suffocated by stifling sulfur fumes or crushed under falling roofs.
So great was the alteration of the seacoast that Pompeii, which was a seaside town before the eruption, now lies far inland.
BUT ALL IS INTACT :
In the market stalls were found charred nuts, fruits, and loaves of bread left by dealers in their flight. A wall shows how peddlers of kitchen utensils and shoemakers plied their trades in the forum itself
How people worked can be seen as well as how they lived. Outside the bakeries are great millstones that ground the grain. A potter's workshop has two ovens, the dye houses are provided with large lead kettles, and in a closet were found bottles containing colors. A tannery has vats and tools of bronze and iron. There are inns and wine shops with utensils for heating food and drink and great stone jars set in the counter for storing them.
Public life as shown by the excavations centered in the forum, or market place, where temples are built up toghetr with business houses and offices.
A short distance from the forum is a cluster of temples. With them is a great open-air theater, seating 20,000. Not far away are a smaller roofed theater, the palaestra, or athletic school, and the barracks of the gladiators. Here were found gladiators' swords and armor. Three public baths lie convenient to the forum and the palaestra. These are preserved well enough to show how great furnaces were used to heat water and to supply heated air for the rooms and how the bather proceeded from a warming room to a hot room, then to a cold room and outdoors again. In a smaller museum at Pompeii there are "death casts" of some of the people themselves, for the ash that buried them formed a sort of "plaster mold" that preserved the outlines of their bodies.
One of the most interesting casts from Pompeii is a "watchdog". The creature was apparently forgotten and left behind as his master fled from the city. The dog was found still tied at his customary place in the entrance hall of the house
How to reach Pompei:
By train - it's the best way to reach Pompei, from the train station in Sorrento each 20 minutes. The destination station is Pompei "Villa dei Misteri", it's just in front of the archaeological site, the transfer takes about 30 minutes.