Did you choose Campania for your holiday? Great. You haven’t decided yet where to stay? I know, that’s not easy. The tourist attractions of this region are among the most beautiful in the world, and it is impossible to be indifferent to Capri, Ischia, Procida, Sorrento and the Amalfi coast.
And then there is Naples with its sleepy giant, Mount Vesuvius, that dominates Pompeii. The eternal city with its rests that never find rest. Here, I want to leave a little advice you: choose Pompeii and visit Oplontis.
To reach Oplonti you just have to reach one of the three train stations that connect Pompeii, and go towards Torre Annunziata, the current name of the ancient Oplontis. The nearest station to the Oplonti excavations is the one of the Circumvesuviana train line. If you are driving from Pompeii just take the A3 / E45 motorway towards Naples and exit at Torre Annunziata Sud.
Visiting Pompei and Oplontis is a experience that you won’t forget. You will have the opportunity to travel over again centuries of history, walking in the ancient roman roads between the ruins, admiring the thin beams of the sun at the sunset that caress ancient decorated and frescoed villas, you will be able to get lost in the greatness of the Volcano, and at the same time to enjoy the scent of the flowers while you’re having a walk.
If you’ve just few hours in the morning, concentrate on the main attractions of Pompeii, and in the early afternoon go to Oplontis, and remember that the last entry is at 18.00 from April to October and at 15.30 in the winter months. No time problems? Perfect, you can spend a good part of the day in Pompeii, also visiting neighbouring monuments and choosing the paths beaten, you can plan for the next day the walk to the ruins of Oplontis by purchasing the ticket costs € 15.00 (children free) you can, in fact, visit 3 archaeological sites for 2 days-Pompeii and Oplontis, Boscoreale.
Here’s some helpful advice to take with you when you arrive in town. Here is an article with useful information on how to arrive and visit Pompeii.
The magic of Pompeii is everyday between sacred and profane, if you decide to visit it you can’t miss the ruins. Walked by million tourists they return living in their majesty without time, and you cannot miss the spirituality that lives in the Shrine of the Virgin, that receives crowds of faithfuls.
The Ruins are in the ancient part of the city, I have already spoken to you about the routes to follow in the ruins of Pompeii with some of the more known sites: the Forum, the Amphitheatre, the evocative Villa of the Mysteries, the House of the Faun, the Large and Small Theatre. There are other places to visit in the archaeological area perhaps less famous but not without charm.
House of Venus in the Shell
This old House is famous for the fresco of the goddess Venus on the south wall of the building. The painting is subdivided in three panels: in the right part is painted a pool with birds, on the left one there’s a statue of Mars.
At center there is Venus. Framed in a window that seems to open on the sea, the goddess rests on a clear shell rose, pushed out from two amorini. Venus was considered the goddes who protected the city. Try to look at the fresco from afar: Venus will seem very close to you, right in the garden out of the window.
The Lupanare (whorehouses)
These buildings were places devoted to sexual pleasure. In Pompeii there’s trace of two owners of brothels: Victor and Africanus, who before the eruption of 79 a.D. managed these places of perdition. They were frequented by poor people, above all farmers. The rooms where the customers laied with their companions are frescoed with erotic paintings made with great artistic fineness. The inner walls of the houses are decorated with numerous written that the customers wrote on the walls waiting for their turn.
House of the Garden of Hercules or of the Perfumer
This domus is encircled by an enormous garden of approximately 400 mq in which perfumed essences were planted and used in order to create scents and ointments. The greens zones have been riqualificated and newly cultivated. It is believed in fact that the room was property of a perfumer.
It is not difficult to imagine the intense or delicate scents that the perfumer prepared for the fascinating women of the city. It seems that were cultivated roses, flowers and perfumed grass like thymus, mint, basil. In the central area they found an altar dedicated to the cult of Hercules, that names the house.
Tips: where to stay in Pompeii
To the discovery of Oplontis
Oplontis is close by the Ruins of Pompeii, its name is the ancient derivation of the actual Torre Annunziata, and its archaeological excavations are located right in the centre of the new city. It was also overwhelmed by the Mount Vesuvius lava during the 79 a.D. eruption. The first tracks of its existence started to diffuse in the Middle Ages, Oplontis was indicated like a suburbana zone of Pompeii and predelight place for the rest.
What to see in this small ancient city preserved by the ashes of Mount Vesuvius and arrived till us still intact?
Among the archaeological findings we find: Villa of Poppea; a rustic villa attributed to L. Crassius Tertius, where uncovered bodies involved in daily activities were discovered, and coins in gold and silver too; a spa structure under the actual Terme Nunziante. The only visitable site is the Villa of Poppea, come and discover it.
Villa of Poppea
Built around the 1st century b.C., it is the only visiting monument of the ancient Oplonti. Defined by UNESCO world patrimony, it is a residential mansion and was part of the imperial patrimony, in fact the frescoes are both in real style and blend well with the geometry created by walls and columns. The western part is visitable, but it has yet to be completely flooded, while the eastern part is already almost completely accessible.
At the time of the eruption it was being restored and it was uninhabited, perhaps it was damaged by the many earthquakes that characterized the area at that time. It seems to belong to Poppea Sabina, the second wife of Emperor Nerone.
The beauty of this Villa, in addition to its exceptional size and structural complexity, can be attributed to the presence of wonderful frescoes almost perfectly intact, such as the famous Cassata of Oplontis, a dessert that adorned the walls of the triclinium that remembers the cassata and that was probably made of marzipan and nuts; the famous basket with figs, golden columns, cherubs, the depiction of the seasons and more.
Need any info?
These are the useful routes for visiting Pompeii and Oplontis. If you need specific information or study you can use the comments below: leave your questions, we’re here to help. Or you can download the free tourist kit, our guide to Pompeii.