Thursday, July 12, 2012

Government Funding to Save Pompeii Archaeological Site, and Tours of Italy

Pompeii, or "the city entombed in time," has long been a fascination to archaeologists and tourists alike. Visitors to Pompeii walk back in time nearly two millennia to see first-hand what life was like in 79 AD, when Mt. Vesuvius erupted, encasing the entire city in volcanic ash and preserving a freeze-frame of daily life for future generations. The site attracts over 2.5 million visitors a year.

Due to neglect, however, the archaeological site is literally falling apart. Whole sections are collapsing—such as the "House of Gladiators," which fell to the ground over a year ago—creating serious concern about the sustainability of this archaeological treasure.

In light of this recent damage, the Italian government came out with a long-term plan for the protection of Pompeii. According to the New York Times, the European Commission will give €85 million for the restoration and conservation of the site. This project, named the Great Pompeii Project, is good news for Italy tourism, which garners millions of dollars every year from the Pompeii archaeological site alone.