Home ยป The Tragedy of Pompeii

The Tragedy of Pompeii

I remember briefly studying Pompeii at school so had an awareness of it before I visited. But nothing could have prepared me for the reality.

Mount Vesuvius is a volcano near the bar of Naples; it is hundreds and thousands of years old and thought to have erupted over 50 times.

It most infamous eruption was on 24th August 79AD, when it completely engulfed the Roman city of Pompeii nestled at the foot of Vesuvius. The eruption buried the city and killed 2000 people and left the City abandoned for 2000 years.


Pompeii remained mostly untouched until 1748, when a group of explorers arrived in Campania and began to dig. They found that the ashes had acted as the most amazing preservative.

 Underneath all that dust, Pompeii was almost exactly as it had been 2,000 years before. Its buildings were intact. People had been frozen exactly where they had fallen. They discovered everyday objects and household goods had littered the streets. Later archaeologists even uncovered jars of preserved fruit and loaves of bread! Almost 3 centuries later Pompeii is still being uncovered and new and exciting finds discover all the time.

When Vesuvius started to erupt it sent plumes high into the air, so that people from hundreds of miles around could see, at this time many Pompeian’s took the decision to flee the city.

 For those who stayed behind, conditions soon grew worse. As more and more ash fell, it clogged the air, making it difficult to breathe. Buildings started to collapse. Then, a 100-miles-per-hour surge of hot poisonous gas and rock poured down the side of the mountain and swallowed everything and everyone in its path. Pompeii was now buried under millions of tons of volcanic rock and 2000 people perished.

 When you read it like that it seems so much more real, easier to relate to all those people that died, not just a moment in history you have read about.

 I have added some photos of a recent trip of ours, you really must see it to believe that this City was simply frozen in time with not much warning the City and its people became a living museum of Roman Life.

The City is huge and has all the aspects you would expect to find in a Roman city. The streets are set out in a grid system, and have roads and pavements. The pavements have grooves where chariots and carts have worn them down, as the wheels have ground against the stone over many years.


There is a town square, a theatre, even water areas where the City folk could fill their buckets of water.

There was clearly some sort of class system in the City; you can see this through the districts of smaller and larger houses. Amazingly paintings have been carefully restored on the walls of houses and buildings throughout Pompeii.

I find it so sad that one-day people were going about their lives, and with hours a whole City perished, never to be seen for thousands of years.

 It is fascinating as you walk around Pompeii, had this tragedy not happened we would not have such a spy hole into the Roman way of life. It really is a must place to visit, the boys found it absolutely fascinating. Yet as fascinating as it is? A part of me felt so sad this tragedy ever happened.


Author of Extraordinary Chaos a family lifestyle and travel blog from a 40+ mum of teenage boys, sharing our family travels, recipes, reviews and country living. Also the co editor of Cruising With Kids Family Cruise Blog

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  1. Katie-Annie Haydock
    2nd November 2014 / 7:36 pm

    Ooooh I loved reading this post. Pompeii is somewhere I have always wanted to visit and this makes me want to go even more!!
    The things that happened to those poor people were very sad, but like you said – we would never have had the insight that we do now into 79AD life if this hadn’t have happened xxx

    • 2nd November 2014 / 9:04 pm

      Ah thanks Katie, you would love Pompeii it is just breathtaking x

  2. karen beddow
    3rd November 2014 / 8:15 am

    I absolutley adore Pompeil, did you go to Herculaneum too? I actually preferred that as a little smaller, but I actually love the whole Amalfi Coast. x

    • 4th November 2014 / 8:23 pm

      Thanks Karen, ooh no I didn’t but I know we will visit the area again as we love it. I will put it on my list x

  3. Julia Bryson
    3rd November 2014 / 9:12 pm

    I’d love to visit, it looks fascinating, but I know what you mean about the sadness of it all. Thanks for linking up #sundaystars

    • 4th November 2014 / 8:23 pm

      Thanks Julia and yes it really is fascinating x

  4. Katie Humphrey
    5th November 2014 / 10:34 pm

    This is one of the places that I would love to visit one day. The story is such a sad one but I’m glad we are now able to see and learn from what happened to those poor, poor people. Thanks for linking up with #SundayStars

  5. 23rd May 2015 / 3:06 pm

    We went to Pompeii on our honeymoon and I know my children are really desperate to go, especially my daughter. You’ve reminded me how fantastic it was, and also how sad – I’d love to go again.

    • SarahJChristie
      23rd May 2015 / 9:34 pm

      Its incredible isnt it, my two were a lot younger so I am dying to take them back xx

  6. 25th May 2015 / 7:03 pm

    It’s somewhere absolutely on our list of places to visit… Loved your tour! Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Emma #timetraveller

    • SarahJChristie
      25th May 2015 / 9:25 pm

      Ah thank you Emma, we loved it but I want to take the boys back now they are older. Pompeii just blows my mind how one day it was there and one day not x

  7. 9th June 2015 / 5:33 pm

    Fascinating post, as many above have mentioned, Pompei is still a dream for me but I’ve heard friends of ours are planning to get married on the Amalfi Coast next year so i am seriously thinking of making a holiday of it. I can’t wait to see it.

    Thank you so much for linking up to #TimeTraveller I really enjoyed reading this post, now I just have to see it for myself.

    • SarahJChristie
      10th June 2015 / 11:16 pm

      Thanks Mari, it is such a stunning place, and so interesting, I hope you make it there soon x

  8. Jenny
    17th June 2015 / 6:07 pm

    I visited Pompeii as a teenager and was amazed at how well preserved it was and also horrified that this could happen so quickly and kill almost an entire city. Definitely fascinating, but awful at the same time. X

    • SarahJChristie
      17th June 2015 / 10:49 pm

      Its amazing isn’t it Jenny ?, and yes i agree incredible but so so sad x

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