The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 may have consigned the city of Pompeii and many of its residents to a horrible fate, but it preserved the city under several layers of pumice and ash through the centuries. Although essentially still ruins, many of Pompeian buildings kept their roofs, in some of them paintings, sculpture and graffiti survived, and you can mostly see – as opposed to having to imagine – what life in a Roman city must have been like.

The site ♥♥♥ takes a couple of hours of touring with an excellent audio-guide, which offers an engrossing narration about the history of the city and of its residents, in addition to describing the buildings and artifacts. There are a number of main locations of interest, among them partly reconstructed House of the Vettii, with surviving frescoes, a well-preserved Teatro Grande, and a famous, although considerably more ruined, House of the Faun. We especially liked the baths and the bordello, which are structurally intact and, therefore, notably fascinating to step into.

Other notes for Italy