Have you ever wondered what life in ancient Rome was really like? The preserved city of Pompeii is the perfect venue. When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, Pompeii was a lively town of around 11,000 people with bustling markets, taverns and a 20,000 seat amphitheater. On that fateful day, the city was forever preserved in volcanic ash as a spectacle of history.