I (Liz) just finished reading The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found by Mary Beard, and it was utterly fascinating. Beard is an English historian who has written numerous books described by the New Yorker as "learned but accessible." The Fires of Vesuvius details what we really know about life in ancient Pompeii in the decades before the 79 C.E. eruption.
Having been to Pompeii, I loved that I was able to picture the places she was describing, though at the same time it made me ache to go back and see it again with fresh eyes. I know I'll be re-reading it before our next trip to Italy.
Interested? I highly recommend it.
Dying to see some ancient ruins in person? Come with us to Italy in January, 2022 for our 10-day trip, Pasta and Science! Through the end of April, anyone who registers will receive $200 off the cost of their program!
[FYI, if you buy the book using the link above, Leaping Hound Travel makes a small commission.]