This series of posts gives me an incentive to review our photographic archives with sometimes rather pleasing results.
For instance, our visit to Pompei made in the pre-digital photo-era customarily left just a few photographs to choose from. Printed on glossy paper, those 4×6 shots have been languishing in a rarely opened album. I scanned them into 1200×1800 jpegs, which is a puny resolution even for the best-quality digital shots. It worked in my favor that the shots were properly exposed in the first place and I did not have to employ my Lightroom and Photoshop skills to rescue them, only to enhance them. At higher magnification, the flaws in the edges and some pixelation are visible. At the web-oriented resolution of 900×600, these couple of images actually look quite nice.
Pompei, which share the UNESCO inscription with a couple of other locations, offer a fantastic peek into the Roman times, thanks to their level of preservation. While many Ancient Roman sites – including most of those in Rome itself – are primarily ruins, in Pompei you’ll find a significant number of attractions sustaining shape close to their original one. A few buildings even retain roofs of their own, most notably the baths and the bordello.
Pompei are located right off the main north-south auto-route south of Naples, very easily accessible. 3-4 hours is the minimum needed to explore all of the highlights. Keep in mind that shade is at a premium across most of the site – hot mid-days are best avoided.
Both the inscription and any tour guide you’d pick up suggest that Herculaneum is even better preserved, but we went for the more famous of the locations and so far have not returned back to the area, despite many journeys to Italy.