Who found Pompeii?

The ancient city of Pompeii may be famous nowadays, but for hundreds of years, it was merely a myth that the local people had long forgotten once existed. Its tragic end was due to the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The volcano blasted waves of ash and debris which buried the buildings and streets in a thick layer of volcanic ash. This slowly solidified into stone; resulting in the city to simply vanish, concealed from the outside world. But when and how did this extraordinary city become the largest and most visited archaeological site on the entire planet?

It’s earliest re-discovery

The first rediscovery of Pompeii was 1559 by a Domenico Fontana. Fontana was digging up the ground for the River Sarno and came across some of Pompeii’s ruins. However, Fontana merely looked at the artefacts and ruins before burying them once more. Historians have speculated it this was due to Fontana finding the famous erotic frescos of Pompeii, which would have been shocking due to the strict modesty of his time.

The 1700s

Another discovery of Pompeii wasn’t until around a couple hundred years later. In 1748 a group of explorers, led by a surveying engineer named Rocco Gioacchino de Alcubiere went out in search for ancient artefacts under the King of Naples, Charles Bourbon’s command. This led to the very first excavation of Pompeii. After this point royals began to continuously order diggings to plunder the area for ancient decorations worthy for their palaces. It was not until the 1800s that archaeologists started studying the area correctly as not to damage any remaining ruins.

What you can see now in Pompeii?

Since its very first excavation, Pompeii has been the longest continually excavated site ever found. It is still a mystery in some areas, with a whole third of the city is still buried. Archaeologists work tirelessly for new finds while the already discover sections are open to visitors. Drawing thousands of travellers from around the world annually. It is a must do experience that is well worth the stopover during your holiday in Southern Italy, letting you step back in time to the ancient world of Pompeii.

Explore the ancient city of Pompeii on our Pompeii Day Tour!