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The longest queue in Pompeii, an Italian city covered by a volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago, is at a small brothel. While the paintings on the walls inside are suitably erotic, it’s hard not to find the little stone beds and their stone pillows in cramped cubicles depressing.

Pompeii, a city on Italy’s west coast, was about 800 years old when nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, covering it in volcanic ash and rock, sealing its fate...

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