Walking the streets here, especially if you visit when it is relatively quiet as we did in November, it is quite easy to imagine yourself back in the days when the city was intact. The stones are multi-sided and carefully fitted together with considerable skill, with gaps less than 3mm. The large stones are grooved in many places, where carts have worn away the stones. Some of the narrower streets have the grooves deliberately cut into them, to guide the traffic.
The high raised pavements would have kept pedestrians well clear of the dirt and debris, and horse manure, in the street itself. Also, there was no sewer system, except in the area around the Forum, so water from the drains flooded the streets and flowed through the city walls through openings created especially for the purpose. Waste water was also commonly thrown out into the streets. At each intersection you can still see, and use for yourself, the raised blocks of igneous rock, like stepping stones, which would have enabled people to cross the road without stepping down into the water and mess. When you step across these, think briefly of the thousands of Pompeian footsteps that must have gone before you, en route to the baths or the shops, or perhaps to the Forum.
Most of the roads in the ancient city of Pompeii were quite narrow, generally about seven feet to fourteen feet wide, the widest street being more than 20 feet wide.
The name of this wide street in the photo is Via dell’Abonddanza, note how stepping stones were raised for people to cross.
One of the sights I remembered from an earlier visit to Pompeii 40 years ago were the step stones used for crossing over busy streets (pictured). They are still there, of course!
Wheeled vehicles could pass around them easily yet kept the residents free of the mud and slosh generated there.
Also, notice how much higher the sidewalks are compared with the level of the street. It was an ingenious way to prevent traffic from splashing the pedestrians.
Pompei ruins cover a large area and not all of it has been uncovered yet. You will get a full day of sunshine and walking while viewing the site. Make sure you have good walking shoes and a bottle of water as it does get hot here in the summer.
Fondest memory: Walk down some of the lesser streets and way in the back of the ruins to see what the tour guides don't show you.
The streets of Pompei are not too large, even those that lead to the main cities attractions, almost all are straights and ortogonals, following the model of the Roman urbanistic tradition (Romans had two major streets called Cardum and Decumanum, that leaded to all around the city. One of this streets had an horizontal direction, the other one was perpendicular).
The pavement is made with big cut basalt stones, and along every street, there were many houses and shops. The archeological escavations are easy to find from Napoli and from the other Vesuvian famous centers after taken the Circumvesuviana.
Favorite thing: The streets of Pompeii are very uneven and may not be suitable for some older people, they definetely are not wheelchair friendly. My best advice is to wear comfortable walking shoes and to be careful where you step because it's pretty easy to sprain your foot or ankle.
The streets are good enough to drive on today, and the houses still line them as they did so long ago, this is just like being in a time warp
I wanted all the other tourists to disappear so that I could have it all to myself, selfish I know, but it would have been so wonderful
Fondest memory: seeing the houses, some of them still habitable today
Here is a very well preserved well, if no tourists were around it would be possible to close your eyes and imagine the household slaves coming here for water
If by some miracle I was ever to win a fortune I would like to have Pompei all to myself just for a day
Favorite thing: Wonder if they had heavy traffic in those days - the rut marks of the vehicles can be clearly seen in the cobbled streets. Those stepping stones are handy for avoiding the heavy rain fall - do they ever have heavy rain here, it always seem so hot!!
No, this is not Abbey road! Very smart way to cross the road though. This way they didn’t get their feet full of leftovers from animals.
And no, I'm not wearing a wig! I really had hair back then hahaha
The streets of Pompei...specially designed with stepping stones for when they flooded the streets (to clean them I think) and so the chariots could still drive along the streets...
Just imagining what it was like back then is a fantastic part of visiting Pompei. You can almost imagine the chariots and people bustling around this place...
Favorite thing: If you look closely at the picture you will see the well worn streets of Pompei, and this is where the chariots of old traveled so much that it wore away stone.
Favorite thing: I loved the streets of Pompei and tried to imagine what it would have been like here all those years ago... At the end of this street you can see the Celebatory Arch...