A look back (first published 8 September 2015): there was a sense of being slightly apart from the ‘real world’ at these two villas, of being caught between the ‘was’ and the ‘is’. They felt tranquil., dormant.
Looking over the top of the Villa Arianna in Stabiae towards Vesuvius
We stand in a mid-day drowse, like the citizens of ancient Rome must have stood – the sun is warm; the sea glistens; and there is the distant rise and fall of bells. Behind us roll green hills and to our front, the double-backed outline of Vesuvius steals the horizon.
So peaceful … yet it never has been, and still is not. There remains a threat below the surface.
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