Italy’s Famous Ruins
Ruins are the remains of what is left of human structures that were built in earlier centuries. They had previously been occupied by earlier generations and then for some reason their structures had been left to fall into a state of disrepair.
Sometimes they are left in normal working cities or there are areas that are dominated by ruins. The beauty of them is that has given us so much information how people lived their lives thousands of years ago. As well as the ruins unearthing different artefacts just the type of buildings reveal how people would go about their daily lives in terms of whey the lived, worked and how they spent their free time.
There are many ruins around the world, but no country has greater examples of them than Italy and natural events have resulted in several them being preserved. Sometimes ruins can capture what has been occurring at one particular moment in time and this is certainly the case with Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy. Both these ancient Roman towns were struck by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
Pompeii was buried under 4 to 6 meters of volcanic ash and pumice. It was rediscovered in 1599 and then later in 1744 the city was excavated. The lack of air and moisture had preserved many of the objects in the settlement and Pompeii was found to have an amphitheater, a gymnasium, a port and a complicated water system that served its citizens. Nearby Herculaneum as well as being affected the volcanic ash was also hit by pyroclastic flows. The unearthing of the town found that the material had preserved many features such as beds and doors. The details found also revealed that the town was home to the wealthy roman citizens with their spacious houses containing elaborate marble cladding.
The town was first excavated in 1799 and it was first believed that the inhabitants managed to escape the eruption. However, excavation of the port area in 1980 found 300 skeletons of people who had been caught by the flows and the ash as they tried to flee the area.
Italy is home to some of the world’s finest ancient ruins and many are found in Rome. The city is a mixture of old buildings that are still in use today plus ancient ruins that are now only used as tourist sites. However, they are popular destinations for tourists as they reveal so much about the way the early Romans lived their lives.
The Romans loved to spend much of their time going to the baths in the city. The first public baths were the Baths of Agrippa that were built by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in 25BC. The baths were served by water being brought into them by ancient aqueducts, and what started out as private baths was eventually opened to the general public. The baths were heated from under the floors by fires producing hot air. There were 3 pools that ranged in temperature form cool to hot. People went to plays and was able to play ball games and enjoy other types of entertainment.
The Circus Maximus was home to the largest chariot racing stadium in Rome. It was able to accommodate 150,000 spectators and today it is used as a private park. The arena was also used to host gladiatorial contests with animals like bears and cheetahs being used in the contests.
Many of the largest gladiatorial contests were held in the Coliseum which was a huge amphitheater which held on average 65,000 spectators. The building was damaged by earthquakes but it is seen as an iconic image of imperial Rome and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Romans also loved their gardens. One of the most famous is the Horti Aciliorum which housed a two tier garden that was separated by a staircase. Today the Aurelian Wall still remains that bordered the northern edge of the gardens.