Located near Naples, Pompeii was founded around the 7th or 6th century BC and became a Roman colony in 80 BC.
Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79 AD killed its 11,000 inhabitants. The whole city was destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 metres of ash and pumice. Lack of air and moisture allowed for preservation of artefacts and 1,150 bodies. The latter were then brought "back to life" in the form of casts.
Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.