updated 12/3/2009 3:52:10 PM ET 2009-12-03T20:52:10

Internet users can now walk the streets of Pompeii without dusting up their shoes with the volcanic ash that buried the Roman city nearly 2,000 ago.

Italy's Culture Ministry said Thursday it had worked with Google to add to the Street View application images of the avenues, villas, temples and theaters of the ancient town.

The application allows Internet users to view panoramic street-level pictures of more than 100 cities around the world.

Pompeii was destroyed in A.D. 79 by a cataclysmic eruption of Mount Vesuvius that killed thousands of people and buried the city in 20 feet of volcanic ash.

But the ash also helped preserve Pompeii's treasures, providing precious information about what life was like in the ancient world.

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