These restored ruins are giving the world a renewed glimpse into the historic Roman town before it was laid to ruin by a devastating volcanic eruption about two thousand years ago.
The four-year restoration process revived six homes in Pompeii for tourists to marvel over.
In 79 A.D., the UNESCO World Heritage site that lies near Naples, Italy, was victim to a catastrophic volcanic eruption. Mount Vesuvius buried the city and its unsuspecting inhabitants with hot rock, thick volcanic ash and noxious gas. Those who did not manage to escape in time were suffocated, baked and covered in several feet of ash, with some being persevered and fossilized in the process.
For years, the site has offered historians and tourists a detailed picture of life in the once flourishing town. Furnished rooms, paintings and even plaster casts of deceased inhabitants gave clues about the Early Roman Empire. But over the years, flooding, excess tourism and neglect have contributed to the deterioration of the site, according to experts.
The European Commission partnered with Italian authorities in 2012 for a restoration effort, spending 150 million Euros for 12 projects geared towards consolidating "high risk" structures in the archaeological site, building a drainage system, and restoring and preserving ancient building and artifacts.
Some have been critical of the Italian government for what they say seemed like a lack of interest in persevering the country's ancient sites. Italy has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world, and some are at risk of crumbling because of lack of public resources or at the mercy of natural disasters.
The country boasts about 5,000 historic relics, which are scattered throughout the country. These cultural gems range from museums to monuments to archaeological sites like Pompeii.
In the past, Pompeii has made international headlines with its decaying and collapsing ruins. The site has been plagued with problems in previous years. Labor disputes have prevented tourists from visiting the site and poor maintenance has been attributed to the collapse of ancient structures.