The ancient city of Pompeii is possibly one of the most significant archaeological sites of the ancient Roman world, as well as one of the best-known. Less infamous, yet still of significant archaeological and historical importance are the cities of Herculaneum, and Oplontis. While roofs in Pompeii collapsed under the weight of falling ash, only a few centimetres of ash fell on Herculaneum, causing little damage. As a consequence there are many well-preserved buildings, many with the upper stories still intact, and some excellent frescoes and mosaics on both walls and floors to be seen. Lying under the modern Naples suburb Torre Annunziata, Villa Oplontis is included in the UNESCO heritage listing “Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Torre Annunziata”, and it makes a good complement to visiting Pompeii and Herculaneum. The impressive state of preservation and the villa’s lavishness help to give context to the urban dwellings in the two larger sites, and its colourful frescoes enable the visitor to visualise the details which have been lost elsewhere.
Over the Easter break, students of Italian, Classics and History of Art were able to take in all of these beautiful sites during their tour of the Bay of Naples. The girls also visited the city of Sorrento for a day of shopping and gelato tasting whilst practising their Italian skills, before finally visiting the Naples Archaeological Museum and Mount Vesuvius itself on their last day.
Despite a packed schedule, they still found the energy to create costumes for the Mythological Figures Fashion Show, and even a quiz night. Watch this space for the results of the competitions for the best tourist photograph and the best joke photo with caption to match!