Don't Blow Your Top!
We somehow managed to drag ourselves from the delights of Naples to start the trek across the Apennines to the East coast of Italy, with the only toll to be paid on the roads out of Naples being a little friendly stroking from a curious carabiniero.
However, we spent a couple of days at Mercogliano visiting the other main historical and natural sites around Naples, being the ruined, sacred town of Paestum, the buried city of Herculaneum and its gravedigger, Vesuvius:
"And when you are asked this question next, say "A grave-maker." The houses that he makes last till doomsday."
Herculaneum is still largely buried under the modern town of Ercolano but the bare quarter that has been excavated, and to some extent restored, is in stark contrast to Pompeii. Despite being murthered by the same eruption, Herculaneum was left much more intact as it was enveloped in a 16-metre thick layer of pyroclastic ash. This meant that upper stories were left standing still containing organic materials like food, wood, documentation and skeletons. Amongst the records, archeologists found confirmation that the town had been struck by an earthquake only 10 years earlier which had dropped the city by 4 metres. In fact, the city had just recently commerorated the 10th anniversary of its survival of that disaster, which would have included devotions at the altar of Vulcan!
Day 59.8km (Total 2069.7km)