I was lucky enough to visit Pompeii this summer, and was absolutely amazed by the ruins there. Being a bathroom nerd, the tour of the Bath House was by far my favorite part. The city was buried by a volcano eruption back in 79 AD, and was mostly uncovered in the late 19th century.
It is estimated that 20,000 people lived in this ancient city at the time of the eruption, which was quite a large city at the time. There were a few different bath houses throughout the city, as only the wealthiest people had baths in their own homes. Somehow one of the bath houses survived the eruption with the ceiling and decorations still in tact – it is the best preserved building in the city. It is actually the only building with the ceiling in tact.
Back in the 1st Century AD, bath houses were used not only as a place to bathe, but as a social gathering place. Ancient Romans would spend hours there each day, soaking in the baths and enjoying the steam and sauna.
The baths were filled with water in the morning, and drained every night. The first people to bathe were definitely lucky, as I’m sure you can imagine how dirty the water was by the end of the day!
The bath house was expansive – bigger than my entire house. It was an amazing experience, and highly recommend visiting it if you are in the Amalfi Coast region of Italy!