Discovering Pompeii day after day: this is your idea of holiday on the Mediterranean sea. A really good idea. Pompeii is a city full of history, beauty and mystery, as a charming woman who is impossible to resist, must be discovered slowly. You’ll be amazed.
In this town on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius you will feel in the right place, the place where you had to be, where the modern civilization developed, and you too will be the child of this land. When you’ll have to leave you’ll have almost established an ancestral connection with ruins, with the Sanctuary, the town and you’ll want to return to visit it again, to know each fragment of history that belongs to humanity, that belongs to you.
Do not wait, dive now in the majesty of the ancient Roman villas, in mysterious temples up to enjoy the daily life in the old shops and gardens. If you have little time to visit Pompeii, a single day can be enough, but my advice is to stay longer in order to take a look at Herculaneum, Oplonti and other nearby touristic destinations.
Reaching Pompeii means to enter in the heart of the Campania Felix, from this city you can also easily venture on a tour of the Gulf Islands.
Pompeii, so much beauty!
Here are a few more tips on what to see in Pompeii, and venture later in the excavations of Boscoreale, that are not far from the city and certainly deserve a visit.
House of Sallustio
In the archaeological site of Pompeii you must stop to admire the House of Sallustio, that dates from the fourth century BC, it was excavated between 1805 and 1809. Did you know that during World War II it was hit by a bomb? Its name comes from an inscription on the electoral front, it hosted six workshops. The entrance hallway connects the central atrium, from here you can access the different environments.
The Domus offers elegance and charm: the perfumed garden with laurel and flowers had a fountain of exceptional beauty with a deer intent to drink in a shell. The bathroom area was next to a small fountain and there was also a dance room. In the shops adjacent you’ll notice several jars used to store wine and Fornacette to cook food.
Try to close your eyes, if you focus you can imagine the hard work that animated these places: hands kneading bread, red wine amphoraes.
In this public building market of the city was held, specialized in the sale of meat and fish. It was brought to light by the Bourbon dynasty between 1818 and 1822. It is located in the northeast area of the Forum, including via degli Agustali and Lari Pubblici, in a tight angle to not disturb the activities of the square. The structure has a rectangular plan with three entrances. The exterior walls in opus reticulatum are one of the best examples of this ancient building technique and have been almost perfectly preserved.
The shops were placed outside the walls, the west area that was occupied by money changers, north instead, there were the shops of food. Archaeologists found amphorae containing figs, beans, chestnuts and grapes. Currently on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.
The interior of the Macellum is characterized by a courtyard without colonnade. At the centre of the court were located pools and fountains to clean the fish. The west wall is painted with mythological scenes including Ulysses and Penelope who find each other, or Medea contemplating killing their children. Once this place was full of colors and was full of busy women to seek the best food for the rich patricians of Pompeii.
Sanctuary of the Lari Pubblici
If you like mystery and architecture you must visit this place. It’s architecture is complex and diverse, it consists of niches columns that support the walls. On the remained bases there are marble statues and at the centre was located the altar for sacrifices. The sanctuary was dedicated to the worship of the Lares, the protectors of Pompeii. It was built to propitiate their favor: people believed that these deities tried an aversion to the city, triggering precisely the earthquake of 62 BC
Boscoreale, a little jewel
How about going to the discovery of Boscoreale and its excavations? Located to north of Pompeii, it goes to be embed just below the slopes of Mount Vesuvius. By the way if you have much time available and the clock does not force you to a pre-tour, launch yourself in a hike near the crater. Guided by an expert, you’ll be breathless in front of the panorama that you will see extended in front of you. Sea and sky will seem as one.
Boscoreale was considered a suburb of Pompeii, known by Latins as Pagus Augustus Felix Suburbanus. The main activities were related to agriculture and pastoralism, in these fertile lands they cultivated cereals and screws. These grapes with an intense flavor, still produced nowaday, give us one of the world’s most famous wines from Campania, the Lacryma Christi: let its aromas seduce you.
During the 1700 it underwent several exploration but it was only in 1876 that the most significant findings came to light: about thirty country villas used for agricultural works with some beautifully decorated apartments that belonged to the owner. During 1976 was discovered the famous treasure of Boscoreale, guarded inside the villa Pisanella, consisting of 109 pieces of gold, held now in the Louvre.
In addition to the villa Pisanella, many other Roman villas were found in Boscoreale: the Villa of Publius Fannio Sinistor with its many frescoes of Venus and Eros, Ariadne and Dionysus, the Three Graces. Villa Regina is the only one open to visitors, come and discover it. You’ll make an idea of farming activities and the tools used to work the land.
Dedicated to the production of wine, it has been completely restored and dates back to the first century B. C. It is characterized by a courtyard that housed a wine cellar. From this branch the various environments: torcularium where the press was located, a room used as a kitchen and storage, a little pool used for the pressing of the grape, a barn and a water cistern.
The most important room is the triclinium frescoed with paintings of the III and IV style. In the porch was found a transport wagon, in a side street near the villa you can still see the ruts left by the wheels.
An important detail: near Villa Regina there is the Antiquarium, the Archaeological Museum of Boscoreale: it takes about 30 minutes to visit it.
Inside it hosts findings from Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Stabia and Boscoreale. Through educational tools you can relive the customs and traditions of ancient Pompeii and neighboring towns. In the first room you’ll find artifacts that testify the exploitation of the sea and of the densely planted land, but not only, you will closely observe plant remains of pine and pine cones, wine amphorae and casts of animals, like that of a dog still wearing the collar.
In the second room there are the remains found in the Pisanella Villa and Villa Regina: a mill, a model of the Villa Pisanella and seals in bronze.
To get to Boscoreale from Naples you can take the Circumvesuviana line Naples – Poggiomarino and stop in Boscoreale. If you’re driving just take the A3 Napoli-Salerno and exit at Torre Annunziata sud, bordering Boscoreale.
Discovering Boscoreale: your opinion
Pompeii and Boscoreale tied in glove from the eternal charm of the story. Two different cities, one more urban, the other one rural. United by the same tragic fate. In your opinion is there any other place to visit? Give us your opinion in the comments. Meanwhile you can also download the tourist guide to Pompeii that we prepared for you.
source image Villa Regina