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Thrilling to Explore Pompeii

Austin Kline '09  - I have been to Pompeii and Rome before and visited many of the same places that we are getting to see, but until this trip I have never before been a traveler. I now see that there is such a difference between visiting sites as a tourist in comparison to experiencing and immersing yourself in the local culture. Dr. Hartnett has exposed us to amazing archeological remains and also introduced us to Italian cultures that could not be appreciated by simply visiting this country. It is great to see him interact with the people and also to personally visit some of the places not normally experienced by tourists.

We started the day by heading back to Pompeii for some last observations of specific sites we had yet to see. Dr. Hartnett had prearranged for us to enter some sites that are normally blocked off to the general public; including the House of the Menander. These sites were spectacular and offered some detailed wall paintings and intact construction that wasn't present in many of the other houses located throughout the city. After a morning full of Pompeian houses and further inspection of the city we had a spectacular lunch (which will be explained later in today's blog) and headed to Rome. I think the group was a little tired from the sea of information and miles of walking that was thrown at us and the bus ride was a needed break. Upon arriving in Rome the tiredness quickly wore away and we started to become extremely excited to see the city. Tonight we were granted a quick walkthrough of our neighborhood and got a taste of the sites that will be experienced over the next several days. I think everyone is looking forward to experiencing more of Rome and what the city has to offer.

Phillip Merriett '08 - Our trips have not been without excitement. At the end of the night, we have the opportunity to experience Italy on our own. We walk through the towns, eat at the local establishments, and have the opportunity to meet the people. We have met people from every walk of life; from the local nuns to the store owner down from our hotel. Each has their own personality and hospitality to share with our group. Unfortunately not all of our experiences with the locals have been hospitable.

During our second trip the excavation site at Pompeii, we ran into complications with admission. However, we had the opportunity to see Professor Harnett at his best. We all watched and listened as he argued with the admissions officer, in order for our group to be allowed to complete our itenerary. He was able to get us through, to enjoy the exclusive sites in Pompeii. After this, we all gathered to eat lunch together in the basement of the hotel. We all worked together to put it together from the various stores from around the area. We enjoyed a wonderful feast of fresh breads, olives, fruits, cheeses, desserts, and wines native to Italy. Then we began our journey to Rome. The driving time was about 3 hours, and we made one stop. We took our time to grab various items of food and drink. We all had a laugh at the various items offered in the bathroom vending machines. We are all learning American ideals and Italian ideals are quite different.

Then we continued on to Rome. Once we arrived, we settled into our rooms and began the Rome Experience. We were given a short tour and then we split into groups and found dinner for the night. This is the city which never sleeps. It is bustling and vibrant, during the daytime the streets are lined with food vendors and merchants. By night these very same streets are bustling with the local restaurants and bars. The crowds are continuous and large, but we are all enjoying the time learning about and experiencing Rome.