I visited the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia 11/08/2013 where the Pompeii exhibit opened on this day. I had seen this exhibit while in high school years ago when it was in Dallas, Texas, and I found that several more artifacts have been added to the exhibit. The tour is self-guided, you can either read the information boards at each artifact, or rent an audio headset for $6. The self-guided tour takes about 1-2 hours, depending on how quickly or slowly you want to view each artifact. You can spend as long as you like.
The exhibit starts out with the advanced technology of the Romans during that period. You walk into different "rooms," as if walking into one of the homes or into the Market Square. There are TVs that display short animations of what it was like to live in that area. It then leads up to the critical day when Mount Vesuvius erupted. The last room contains casts of some of the individuals that died at the site (the excavators were smart when they discovered that the remains of the bodies left an opening in the volcanic ash, and they poured casting material into the ash to recreate the actually body positions of the killed individuals). I was a little disappointed that the "table scene" which contains a family eating around a table was not in the exhibit, most likely because it is more fragile than the other casts. When Mount Vesuvius erupted, the heat and poisonous gases that were released left some of the remains frozen in time, as rigor mortis occurred immediately to some of the bodies that made them appear as if they were still eating dinner. This is all explained in the exhibit.
The Pompeii exhibit tickets will allow you to choose a particular start time. This is to ensure that crowd-control is maintained to avoid an influx of people entering the exhibit at once. I highly recommend seeing the Pompeii exhibit.
An added bonus at the Franklin Institute was getting to see two different Planetarium shows, To Space and Back, and Our Evening Sky. The highlight of the day was when I experienced the giant Tesla coil that went off while I was standing right underneath it (occurs on the hour). The train exhibit was also very interesting, especially learning about the history of the railroads.
The Franklin Institute is located on N. 20th between Winter and Race Streets. The tickets (including Pompeii) were ~$30 each, underground parking is available for a fee.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.