Paestum + Herculaneum

Day One of Academic Travel Spring 2013 and I am beyond excited!! It is a busy time so I won't be doing a full blog post about my travels until after my return but everyday I will try and post a few of my favorite pictures along with a short explanation for each one. So here goes!

#1: The view from above of modern day Herculaneum in the background and the ruins of ancient Herculaneum in the foreground. I loved exploring the 2,000 year old city that was once buried beneath feet of mud and ash following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. I am still in shock at how much was preserved despite that traumatic end to the cities as a harbor town and retreat for the rich and elite of Southern Italy. 

#2: A colorful mosaic found in the ruins of Herculaneum. Everything about it is original to the site. It is incredibly detailed and beautiful. The more I explored this ancient Roman city the more I realized how brilliant and resourceful these architects and artists of long ago must have been!

#3: In Italy there are two main cheese capitols Parma for parmesan cheese and Paestum for Mozzarella. I learned today that authentic mozzarella is made from Water Buffalo milk (hence Mozzarella di Bufala) so we went to a water buffalo dairy farm and had the most delicious cheese meal! We even got to meet our providers.  

#4: The ruins of Paestum include three incredibly well preserved temples and a whole maze of remnants of the old city. Here I am enjoying the view of a Roman Juno (Hera) temple after an hour of exploring the grounds. 

#5: During our tour of Paestum we learned how to tell the difference between the architecture of a Greek temple and that of a Roman temple! I will have to share that on a future blog post but for now just enjoy this picture of the Juno+Jupiter Temple (Hera + Zeus). I could not stop taking pictures the columns were so big and beautiful against the blue sky. 

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