‘3,000 Years of History Are Literally Just Beneath Our Feet’: A Man Who’s Visited Pompeii Every Day of His Life
A man who was born in 1968 said Pompeii would be “like visiting Rome from Mars,” not because its ruins were more fascinating but because they were so close — and so easily accessible — to him.
In July 2017, Mark Harrison, a 48-year-old from Northampton County in northeast Pennsylvania, set out with his wife, Judy, to find the remains of ancient Pompeii. This ancient Roman town, located at the mouth of the River Salaro di Pompeii, has been described as the birthplace of democracy, as the first Roman capital and as a hub of a thriving commercial port.
There are a few signs to guide the visitor to the site, but none are as important as the one he left on the door of his farmhouse that reads: “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.”
“We have been going to Pompeii every day, 365 days a year, so when we went there it was like going to Rome,” he told me over the phone, as we took a walk through the fields surrounding his rural home. We were in Northampton County, which is located on the northeast corner of the state.
“We went there with our dog, and we were walking in the fields. We went to the farmhouse, and we went in the back door and looked up, and there it was on the wall. We thought it was a little eerie, but then we walked over to it and went ‘Oh, wow!’ There’s really no other way to describe it,” Harrison said.
The next few days, he said, began to feel more like a holiday.
“I’m the oldest at this farm, so my wife and I take off and visit Pompeii every day, 365 days a year, so when we went there it was like going to Rome,” he told me.
For the last 10 years, he