Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oplontis, Villa of Poppaea Sabina, the wife of Nero

Our friends Marco and Annalisa from Perugia (originally from Naples) told us about the Villa at Oplontis, an excellent example of a sumptuous Roman villa buried in a mud slide as a result of the eruptions of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. This was only discovered in 1964 and included large gardens (being restored), porticoes, private baths and a pool, originally situated in the countryside and now surrounded by the modern city of Torre Annunziata. The frescoes are extraordinarily beautiful.

Peacock and Mask, fresco detail

Doing preservation work on the wall frescoes

Fresco detail from the Grande Sala

Fossil of Wooden Doors, encased in hardened mud

Notice how thick the plaster is on these walls.

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