These Italian ruins should be preserved, but not turned into a theme park
I went to Pompeii last month. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. The scale is staggering: an entire city frozen in time, at that moment in 79AD when Vesuvius called forth apocalypse on its fleeing inhabitants. I spent seven hours there and felt I'd barely scratched the surface.
I literally scratched the surface, too. I was so moved by the visit that I wanted to take a few small pieces of broken Roman wall away with me – this wasn't quite vandalism as they were already on the floor – so I put them in my pocket. Though concern about how I would explain them away at Naples airport meant I didn't in the end remove them from Pompeii. The news over the weekend that a house in the city, the so-called House of the Gladiators, had fallen down made me glad I hadn't.
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