Thursday, 18 March 2010

Pompeii, Italy, Shopping from Antiquity.


After travelling for four hours on the bus along the Italian autostrade from Rome, I finally arrived in Pompeii. I think most people are familiar with this town around the world so I don't think a context is particularly necessary here. I adore this place, although it can be eerily quiet and every time I have been here it has been a grey day, therefore adding to the drama while walking along the High Street below. I cannot think of anywhere quite like Pompeii. Significant work has been done since it was discovered in 1748 in clearing the mountains of volcanic ash from these stores. What remained after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius 3500 years ago is a high street incredibly similar to ones we know today (albeit a lot smaller). Along the streets are a whole variety of stores that would have sold, vegetables, textiles, wine (as above) with marble counter tops with holes that would have held the vessels of wine in them. They have examples of these wine vessels too. Store after store can be found here, including a Bakers and to the excitement of the tourists, a brothel. We can learn so much from these environments in how we can develop our own concepts within Design if we scratch a little below the surface, from viewing early examples of modern branding, early fascias and how these people worked. Pompeii is layered in so many details, too much to describe here, and not being an expert I can only really view it for its aesthetic appeal. However, if there is one place to see before you die, it should be Pompeii.




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