Monday, September 01, 2008

Art: Beyond Pompeii: Places swallowed by Vesuvius
Over several centuries, millions of tourists have visited Pompeii to acquaint themselves with the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that began on Aug. 24, 79 A.D. But while it's the most famous eruption site, the ancient Roman city 15 miles south of Naples isn't the best place to gauge the volcano's awesome destructive power.

For that, one should visit lesser-known Herculaneum, which is closer to Vesuvius, or Oplontis and Stabiae, two sites more recently uncovered and still relatively unknown to tourists. In these places, several of which are still being excavated, the eruption's consequences are more visible.

Stabiae has its own web site though the photo galleries are by request only and at least a couple of the links 404 out. I've often wondered if there are outlying villages that aren't of the wealthy variety that have either been discovered or at least talked about.