Archeological Sites

House of the Venus Marina (II,3,3)

House of the Venus Marina (II,3,3)

Damaged by one of the bombs that fell on Pompeii in 1943, and uncovered in 1952, this house seems to be built over an older one, with a larger peristyle and triclinium and new arrangement of the rooms, which go almost all the way around the garden. The house was made famous by the beautiful painting on the south wall: a lush garden, filled with flora and fauna, with a low transenna and other decorative elements spread across three panels. To the right is a fountain basin painted with birds, to the left a statue of Mars. A center window gives the illusion of opening onto the sea, where the goddess Venus lies with two cherubs in a pink seashell, practically thrust towards Pompeii, of whom she was protectress. Although clumsily painted, the composition is not lacking in dramatic effect if viewed from a certain distance.

The Excavation of Pompeii is far from our bed and breakfast only 1 Km.

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House of the Faun (VI,12,2)

House of the Faun (VI,12,2)

With its 3000m² it is the largest house in Pompeii: built over a previous dwelling at the beginning of the 2nd century BC, its current form is the result of subsequent alterations. The entrance on the left leads directly into the public section, the door on the right to the private rooms: an atrium whose roof is supported by four columns, stalls, latrine, baths, kitchen. In the entrance is the Latin message HAVE. The ‘first style’ decoration, the floors of sectile opus, and the mosaic threshold (now at the Naples Museum) highlight the dignity of this house, more similar to the aristocratic Roman domus than local upper class dwellings. In the center of the impluvium is a bronze statue of the ‘faun’ (2nd cent. BC: original in Naples); around it are rooms that held mosaic paintings on the floor and ‘first style’ decorations on the walls. Between the two porticoed gardens is the exedra, the core of the dwelling, with Corinthian columns, stuccoed and painted capitals, a splendid mosaic (now at the N
aples Museum) depicting the victory of Alexander the Great over Darius, King of Persia, which has helped to suggest a connection between the Macedonian ruler and the unknown, educated, and wealthy owner of the house.
The Excavation of Pompeii is far from our bed and breakfast only 1 Km.
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The roman house

The roman house

The patrician house was called a domus. After you crossed the threhold, a hallway led into the atrium, which was a spacious courtyard that in early antiquity was the heart of the house. Later the center of domestic life passed to the inner garden with a porch running around it, called the peristyle, while the atrium became the formal reception area. In the center of the courtyard is a shallow pool called impluvium, for collecting the rainwater that came in through a hole in the roof created for this purpose, called compluvium. This also had the function of giving light to the space below it. The water drained from the impluvium into a cistern beneath it, from which it could be drawn using a well. After the city was connected to the aqueduct, the impluvium became a decorative element.
According to the type of roof it had, the atrium could be one of the following:
  • Tuscanic, without columns to hold up the sloping sides of the roof;
  • Tetrastyle, with four columns supporting the roof, placed at the corners of the pool;
  • Corinthian, with the pool surrounded by a larger number of columns;
  • Testudinate, which means arched or vaulted like a tortoise shell and here means closed in the center, i.e., without a compluvium.

The bedchambers, called cubicula, opened off the atrium, as did the service rooms and the living and dining rooms.
Straight back from the entrance was the tablinus, the formal drawing room, which was closed off by a curtain. During the Archaic period meals were served there. Later, a room was created just for dining, called triclinium. There were winter and summer tricilinia; the summer triclinium was outside under an arbor and was refreshed by fountains and the play of running water.
A hallway next to the triclinium led into the garden.
Under the Hellenistic influence, domestic architecture replaced and enlarged the early vegetable garden to create an open space surrounded by a covered arcade, called the peristyle, with a garden in the center and numerous rooms all around it. Everything was embellished with decorative elements: mosaics in the floors, paintings on the walls, furnishings and decorative objects, statues, fountains, and the play of running water.
At times, the house had a small bath house opening off the peristyle, with a small atrium in front of it.
The kitchens were usually in lateral areas or inner courtyards. There was a counter with a hearth for cooking, and a sink with a drainpipe which fed into the drain of the adjoining latrine.
A simpler and smaller type of floor plan, inhabited by the more modest social classes, consisted of an entrance hallway, flanked by two cubicula, an open central courtyard, from which another hall flanked by rooms led to a hortus, or vegetable garden, which may have had a little porch.
Finally there were the houses of the small merchants, located behind their shops, which had balconies, the so-called pergule, used both for storage of merchandise and as living quarters.

The Excavation of Pompeii is far from our bed and breakfast only 1 Km.
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Visiting the sites of Pompeii

With its excavated area, extending for approximately 44 ha, and the preservation state of its buildings, due to the particular burial (under a blanket of 6 meter of ash and rock) caused by the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 AD, Pompeii can be considered the only archaelogical site which gives the real image of roman city. And the image is similar to cities, not preserved, of the same period.

The bed and breakfast Pompei IL FAUNOis just 1 Km from the main entrance of the excavations of Pompeii and just 500 metres from the Circumvesuviana train, from which you can reach in few minutes the other archaeological sites: Ercolano, Oplonti, Stabia and the Antiquarium of Boscoreale! The garden of fugitives is waiting for you!

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Statua.Fauno

The Eruption of Vesuvius

On the morning of August 24, A.D. 79, a great noise was heard in the area around Vesuvius. A mushroom shaped cloud of gas and volcanic rock rose high in the air, darkening the sky. A shower of burning cinders and rock fragments covered Pompei. It lasted until the next day, caving in roofs and claiming its first victims.

The Pompeians tried to take shelter in the houses or hoped to escape by walking on top of the layers of pumice stones constantly being formed, which by this point were more than 2 meters deep. But at dawn on August 25, a violent explosion of toxic gases and burning cinders devastated the city. It infiltrated everything, taking those who were trying to flee by surprise and making every form of defense vain. A shower of very fine ash was deposited everywhere to a depth of more than six meters, enveloping everything and adhering to the forms of the bodies and even the folds of their clothes. When, two days later, the fury of the elements abated, the entire area had a different aspect: a white blanket covered everything; the Sarno river was trying to find its course again after having been filled with volcanic rubble; and the coast, submerged by the material spewed forth by Vesuvius, had encroached on the sea! The whole city was declared off limits, to protect the property of the survivors, but clandestine diggers tried to plunder it anyway. For a long time the human presence was rare and marginal, and only under the emperor Hadrian, around 120 A.D., was at least the road system in the area reopened to traffic.
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We have an eye-witness report of the catastrophe in a letter from Pliny the Younger to the Roman historian Tacitus, in which he tells about the death of his uncle, Pliny the Elder, as he was trying to bring aid to the devastated cities. If you would like to hear it, press 103 and then play.
The Excavation of Pompeii is far from our bed and breakfast only 1 Km and the Vesuvius only 14 km.
 

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Saliamo.sul.Vesuvio

History of the Excavation

History of the Excavation

Carlo di Borbone began excavations in 1748, as a way of increasing the fame and prestige of his nascent Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Digging proceeded sporadically, here and there at random; it was several years before the site was identified as Pompeii, and even then there was no systematic town plan. The first features to be exposed were part of the necropolis outside Porta Ercolano, the temple of Isis and part of the theatres quarter.
During the French occupation of Naples, 1806-1815, there was much more activity on the site, but with the restoration of the Bourbons excavations gradually slowed down again. Work was concentrated on the area of the amphitheatre and the Forum, as well as around Porta Ercolano and the theatres. The discovery of the House of the Faun containing the large mosaic depicting Alexander the Great in battle caught the imagination of people all over Europe ollowing the Unification of Italy in 1861, the appointment of Giuseppe Fiorelli as director marked a turning-point in the excavations. From now on the site was explored systematically, linking up the various features that had been exposed, detailed records were kept, and the wall paintings were left in situ, rather than being detached and taken to the museum in Naples.
Fiorelli pioneered the practice of taking plaster casts, which gave dramatic substance to the victims of the eruption. From the early years of the 20th century the explorations spread eastwards along the ancient town’s principal streets, and more attention was paid to the remains of the upper floors of buildings.
In the years 1924 to 1961 the excavations were supervised by Amedeo Maiuri. This period of intense activity saw the discovery of prestigious buildings such as the Villa of the Mysteries, the complete recognition of the ancient town’s perimeter, the excavation of most of Regio I and II and the necropolis of Porta Nocera, and the start of a methodical exploration of the strata lying below the level of 79 AD, to throw light on Pompeii’s past.
Over recent years excavation work has been scaled down, in order to concentrate the limited resources available (by no means sufficient even for this objective) on restoring and maintaining the buildings which have already been exposed.
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The bed and breakfast Pompei IL FAUNOis just 1 Km from the main entrance of the excavations of Pompeii and just 500 metres from the Circumvesuviana train, from which you can reach in few minutes the other archaeological sites: Ercolano, Oplonti, Stabia and the Antiquarium of Boscoreale! The garden of fugitives is waiting for you!

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Pompeii.Ruins.and.Mt.Vesuvius