Sunday, June 25, 2023

We're Back From Italia (Pompeii & Herculaneum) and Rome


Florence, Italy

My daughter, Lelia, and I are home from our two week visit to Italy. It was her first visit to the country (and only her second trip to Europe) and I really enjoyed seeing her reaction to all of the sights for the first time.

First stop: Naples

Lelia was keen to see Pompeii and so we made Naples our first stop and stay on the trip. The Pompeii and Herculaneum sites are within an hour's drive of Naples. We had a driver and guide for our visits to both cities, which made the trip much easier.

The central train station in Naples

Pizza was allegedly invented in Naples, Italy so we had to try some of the local fare.

Narrow street in the old part of the city

Our visit to Pompeii

We spent the whole morning of our first day of sight seeing in Pompeii. I had been there back in 1963 on a family vacation and a significantly larger portion of the city has been unearthed in the intervening years.

Plaster casts of some of the victims - very poignant to see

The main arena in Pompeii

The main central street the runs the length of the city. Lelia and our guide are mugging for the camera.

A restaurant in Pompeii, evidenced by the countertop with holes for clay pots that kept the food warm.

I was quite taken with the bright colors of the frescoes that have been preserved.

That afternoon we visited a local winery on the slope of Mount Vesuvius and had a wine tasting.

Our visit to Herculaneum

Our second day found us traveling to the site of Herculaneum, one of the other cities that was wiped out by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The town had once been on the sea coast but the volcanic flows had pushed the coastline further away from the city.

The boat houses had been at the waters' edge at the time of the eruption.

The skeletal remains of the people who attempted to escape by boat.

Colorful frescoes on the walls of buildings.

One of the main streets in Herculaneum

An amazing amount of the structures are still standing.

One of the temples in the city

A view overlooking the city ruins of Herculaneum.

We later visited the National Archeological Museum in Naples. Since it was on a Sunday, there was no admission charge. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum.

This scale model of one of the temples in Pompeii is giving me some ideas 
for making my own buildings for war games.

Visiting some of the emperors.

Here's an experiment with embedding a GIF into my blog. One of my favorite scenes from the movie Casablanca.

Lunch in Rome with Coke Zero. Diet Coke is not available in Italy 
so we grew used to Coke Zero during the trip.

Lelia and our tour guide at the Roman Forum.

The Roman Forum

The Basilica of Maxentius. I'm always gobsmacked by the size of this structure.

Another view of the Roman Forum

Dad and Lelia at the Colosseum 

Easter Piglet accompanied us on our trip to Italy

The basement of the Colosseum , where everything was prepared for the next act in the arena.

Outside view of the Colosseum .

St. Peter's and the Vatican

The Pantheon

The old Roman city walls

I like some of the tiny automobiles that one sees in Rome. When you see some of 
the tight parking spaces you realize why a small car is better than a large one.

The ruins of a Roman apartment building.

Lelia (bless her heart) made the climb up these stairs leading to the Capitoline Hill and Museum.
We could not find the handicapped entrance so we had to climb from the street level.

One of the views from the Capitoline Hill. Roman ruins have become part of an apartment building.

I try to visit the Capitoline Museum every time I visit Rome
just because I like viewing the statue of the emperor Constantine I.

The view from the Capitoline Hill. St Peter's is in the middle of the three churches 
seen in the distance.

Inside the Pantheon

Proof that the Romans also invented the cell phone.

Inside the Borghesi Palace in Rome

I could see setting up some wargaming tables in this room.

The ceiling in one of the rooms at the Borghesi Palace.


  1. Wow, what a great trip the two of you had! Very envious if I'm honest. It's on our to do list once the kids have flown the nest...

  2. Dear Jim, being Italian, I am very glad that you and your lovely family enjoyed your tourist travel to Italy. Welcome back to the United States.
    See you soon

  3. What a fantastic trip you and Leila had to a beutiful part of the world.

  4. A couple of excellent travel logs of a great father-daughter trip. Some wonderful photos.
    Regards, James

  5. Fantastic write up and photos. I have just become el presidente of my rotary club for the second time. We try to visit during the year somewhere connected with the president but my first executive decision is that we are not making a trip to N Staffordshire and Stoke-on- Trent. We do however have a young lady member of the club who comes from Rome and she had agreed to organize a long weekend visit for the club to Rome in the spring. Unsurprisingly this news was greeted with acclaim by the club.


  6. Great pics! I was thinking you could have visited Trajan's Column down the road from the Vatican, but you saw things in Rome I didn't!!!

    1. I forgot all about Trajan’s Column. I wish that I’d thought of visiting it.

    2. Don't worry. Its not going anywhere!!! - and if you are in London, the British museum has some casts of the details!
      You had a fantastic holiday anyway!

  7. Lovely photos of a great trip. I loved Italy when I visited Rome and Venice some years ago.