Oplontis – Villa of Poppea

oplontis Villa of Poppea

The name ‘Oplontis’ was used for the first time in the Tabula Peutingeriana, a copy of a XII century Roman map showing the military routes of the Empire. The site is located between Pompeii and Herculaneum, within the modern town of Torre Annunziata. It was a suburban settlement under Pompeii’s jurisdiction also destroyed by the 79 AD eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Only two monumental buildings of the original settlement have been brought to light.

Villa of Poppea

The early excavations date back to the XVIII century, as a consequence of the excavations for an underground canal called Conte di Sarno, but the work was soon abandoned because of the unhealthy air of the area. During the 19th century, the excavations started again, but were soon suspended because of the lack of money. The villa was finally brought to light in 1964. An inscription on a wall and a name on an amphora supported the hypothesis of the Villa belonging to Poppea, Nero’s wife, however in 68 AD, after a ‘damnatio memoriae’ the villa passed to new owners that were looking after its redecoration during the eruption. The excavations brought to light the majority of the building, although modern urbanization represents a major obstacle to complete the search.

It represented a villa for otium were it is possible to identify an original building from the 1st century BC and a number of rooms located around an atrium (hall), built in opus incertum. The villa is listed in the UNESCO World Heritage buildings. The plan of this wealthy villa is very complex with 90 rooms along which we find an atrium tuscanicus, numerous gardens, living areas, corridors, an indoor thermal quarter, a triclinium connected to the kitchens, resting areas, male and female baths, services rooms, a peristilium with a fountain, an enormous 70 metres swimming pool with reception rooms overlooking it, small viridaria with their walls decorated in IV style, in which the paintings matched the botanic elements. The refined and rich decorations and paintings of the whole villa are of special interest and often admired by tourists and experts. The most significant ones are the frescos that can be found in the atrium tuscanicus and the still lives with the well-known cesto di vimini con fichi  (wicker basket with figs) in the East side of the villa. Also of interest are the frescoes in the West side living rooms with the extraordinary image of the Apollo sanctuary.

The Villa of Lucius Crassius Tertius

The excavations started in 1975 following a casual discovery during the construction of a school. The villa is located about 300 metres from the one of Poppea and it was almost entirely brought to light, however, it is not yet possible to visit it. The villa was used to trade wine, olive oil and other products. The central area was surrounded by a majestic colonnade from the II century BC, where probably the goods were loaded and unloaded and around which there were a number of rooms used as deposits. A series of everyday objects were found there, pottery, burned straw and a number of pomegranates used to tan leather. The upper level was the area reserved to the dominus with paintings from the 4th style, where a series of finds were brought to light, including a wooden box with iron straps and in one of the rooms facing South a lot of skeletons with coins and jewellery, probably taken before the last attempt to escape from the eruption.

In this villa was created the first mould of a body using epoxy resin.

Oplontis map Villa

INFO TOUR:

The Villa of Oplontis is an imperial villa probably belonging to Poppea, second wife of the Emperor Nero. It preserve the most beautiful frescos of the vesuvian area.

Tour Price: 60 €/hour (2 hours)

Tour type: Archaeology and History tour; Private tour; Walking tour.

Duration: 2 hours;

Running days: Every day

Maximum travelers: 14 (a small group guarantee a service of better quality) Tours for larger groups can be arranged on demand.

Main attractions: The tour starts from the perfectly preserved courtyard. We’ll see the thermal area, the kitchen, the toilets, the servants area, the saloons showing amazing frescos and the gigantic portico around the massive swimming pool.

What’s not included: ticket (5,50€)

Transportation (It can be arranged with Mercedes Limousine, Mini Van or Bus; Hotel pick-up or drop-off)

Kid Friendly: Yes

Disable friendly: Yes; I can arrange an itinerary for people with reduced mobility.

 

 

Mail: naplestourguide@gmail.com

Tel: +39 3284134719

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