Roman ruins to recovery

Central Italy – Rome to Naples

A highlight of our travels through Italy was connecting with ancient Roman history. We visited the incredible Roman ruins of Pompeii and Ercolano at the base of Mount Vesuvius near Naples, and the Colosseum and Forum in Rome. Walking through the ancient streets, exploring homes with mosaic floors and painted walls, imagining the baths, markets and theater of the time, linked us to the history of this important era. We developed a deep appreciation of the challenges and work of historians, archeologists and scientists piecing together the past to tell amazing stories for us today.

Pompeii, house of the fawn
Guests at the House of the Fawn in Pompeii, almost 2000 years later.

Conversation starters

  1. Describe the geographical spread of the Roman Empire at its peak.
  2. What different cultures came together in the Roman Empire because of its dominance of the Mediterranean?
  3. What lead to the “fall” or divide of the Roman Empire and what were its greatest contributions to developing civilization?

Links and Resources

The Riddle of Pompeii – Timeline documentary

Secrets of the Colosseum in Rome – National Geographic documentary

Octopus on mosaic floor
Mosaic floor in Ercolano (Herculaneum) beautifully preserved by volcanic ash and mud from the 79 AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius.