Dancing in the Streets of Ancient Pompeii

Exploring Pompeii, it's impossible not to be moved by the ancient Roman architecture and art and its Hellenistic classical beauty—moved enough to dance!!


Roman art, spanning almost 1,000 years and three continents, from Europe into Africa and Asia, borrowed heavily from other neighboring and preceding cultures, especially the Greeks, whom they conquered, but whose art and culture they also heavily adapted. Since many of the masterpieces of Roman art, such as the sculptures and frescoes of Pompeii, were created during the height of the Roman Empire, it was awesome to be able to walk around this ancient city, which was preserved almost intact under six meters of volcanic ash for almost two thousand years. I love to imagine how this rich civilization lived and love art for its ability to tell a story—even millennia later. In the 1990s, I visited the Greek ruins of Ephesus while I was traveling in Western Turkey. Even more ancient than Pompeii, but less well preserved (Pompeii was miraculously kept intact because of the volcano), I might as well have been on the moon as my friend and I were two of just a handful of people in the entire city. Back in those days or perhaps because it was off season in February, there was no control or security and virtually no tourists. I would love to visit Ephesus again with my children and this time with a proper digital camera! I took multiple rolls of analog photos because I was studying photography at the time, but I have yet to unearth this film in the dozens of boxes of my personal things in my mother's house back in the States.I guess they too might become a relic one day!

Anyway, back to Pompeii . . . my family and I spent an unforgettable day there under perfectly blue skies and blessed with the temperate weather of late October in Campania, Italy. We strolled the stone streets, wandered in and out of villas and courtyards, and tried to decipher some of the exquisite frescoes (with the exception of the erotic ones, which were quite obvious!). My son chatted the whole time about Roman mythology (which he adores) and the Roman Empire (which he knows quite a lot about from his studies at school!). We retired from the Pompeii ruins, feet exhausted, but minds swirling with images.

There was so much to see (and so much to eat!) during our vacation, but my dancer daughter and I returned the next morning to Pompeii to squeeze in an impromptu photoshoot in that spectacular setting.

We hope you enjoy the photos! (Especially because we got scolded once for her being in a leotard! But I've seen cut off denim shorts that reveal more bum than this!)

xx, Juli