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A view of mount Vesuvius from across a vineyard nearby. You can see the big chunk missing from the top of the mountain. That was the part that blew off when Vesuvius erupted on August 24, 79 AD, quickly covering the city of Pompeii in ash. Today, a visit to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii is a must if you are going to be anywhere nearby (Pompeii is only a short train ride away from Rome.) Visiting Pompeii was an incredible experience. What we learned was that those people who lived and died so long ago didn’t live much differently than we do today.