Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The "Restaurant"

One of the better preserved/restored buildings in the city of Pompeii is the brothel.  This makes it a "must see" when touring this archaeological site. It also makes it a bit difficult to provide a family friendly guided tour appropriate for all ages.

The adults in our group quite enjoyed listening to our guide tell us about this site while in the presence of several elementary aged students.

Our guide started by pointing out that Pompeii was a port city.  As such, many sailors visited it on a regular basis.  When in port, the sailors were "hungry" and often were in search of a good "restaurant."

When they arrived at the "restaurant" they could choose their level of service.  If they didn't have a lot of money or time to spend they could choose to remain on the first floor for "fast food."  If they wanted to linger over a "gourmet meal" they could head up to the second floor where there was better "service" and the "food" was more expensive.

As he led us into the building (only the first floor was available for viewing), he pointed out the menus above each door.   The patron could look at the menu options and then choose the room that matched what they wanted.  The frescos were in incredibly good condition considering how old they are.  Some were more graphic than others.  I thought this one to be fairly tame.

Anyways, our guide went on to explain that the patrons of the "restaurant" didn't get to choose their "servers" they only got to choose their menu item.

He then explained about the rooms.  Each room had a "table."  He said that people were often surprised that the "tables" were made of stone and not wood.   Our guide asked us to consider how busy the "restaurant" probably was and how quickly wood would wear out or be damaged.

Later in the tour, our guide showed us markings in the street that helped the sailors find the "restaurant."  These markings were as old as the city and worn by much foot traffic.  Kyra looked at the marking and saw an arrow.  The rest of us looked and saw something more phallic in nature.

So if you are ever in need of giving a family friendly tour, just remember the "restaurant."

1 comment:

  1. hmmm.... I may have missed that part of the tour when I was there with the Bishop 3 years ago...or maybe I just wasn't listening while trying to keep up with our people as a bus captain :-)

    I was just showing Maxwell my pics of Pompeii last night for his World Civ assignment. Good timing. I don't think I will let him use your photo for his report. :)