Pompeii once supported a flourishing civilization that was revealed nearly intact after being buried for about 1,700 years. The once prosperous commercial and political center with a population of 25,000 was hidden under 20 feet of volcanic ash and cinders during the fateful eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Originally a seaport, the eruption raised the land and left the ruined town far from the bay. You'll enter Pompeii through the Sea Gate and walk along the cobblestone streets to the Agora. Surrounded by temples and porticoes, this was the religious, civic and business center of the city.
Because Pompeii was so well preserved, you can see many fine details that reveal the lifestyles of the residents, such as mosaic floors and colorful frescoes in some of the homes. As you wander through this ancient city, you can't help but notice the still active Mount Vesuvius towering above. If time permits, you'll visit a cameo factory nearby to see how the famous jewelry is made and then have some time to browse the store.