Pompeii has many houses (domus) that are fascinating to explore. Some of them are very large and well preserved with re-created roofs, gardens, original mosaics and wall paintings. They are creatively named for some outstanding feature - such as a mosaic or painting - found in each structure. For instance, the House of the Wild Boar (above) has a large floor mosaic of a porcine creature being attacked by two dogs. The Villa of the Mysteries (not to be missed!) has an incredible fresco of what is thought to be the rites of a Dionysiac initiation.
It's a great idea to familiarize yourself with the general layout of a standard house, the terms used for the individual rooms, and what those rooms were used for. I'm including some websites that should give you a good start.
The House of Memander is one of the largest and most lavish houses in Pompeii. Its name comes from the well preserved Fresco of Menander, an ancient Greek dramatist, situated in the Peristyle. Much of the house is in a Greek style, such as the large Doric style columns in the Peristyle. This emphasis in Greek culture in Pompeiian lifestyle is not surprising, as the area had been used as a Greek port and trading post before the Oscans founded the city in the 6th centure BC. Although nothing is known of the occupier at the time of the eruption, there is reason to believe that this large house once belonged to Quintus Poppeus, a relative of Poppea Sabina, the second wife of Nero.
Suffocated by volcanic gasses and covered in ash and debris, their bodies eventually decayed inside the hardening matter. This air space essentially formed a mold, since the ash that had surrounded the person retained an imprint of the body. Excavators realized this and filled the air pockets with plaster. The resulting "plaster mummies" poignantly capture the human tragedy of Pompeii.
I am putting these photos up of Pompeii in order to give you an idea of what you will see. I hope you will decide to go there because it is a fantastic treasure.
Here are some villa shots of paintings and scultures of the rich and famous of Pompeii.
As with many of the buildings in Pompeii, this house was still being restored after the Earthquake which hit the city several years earlier. This house is again famous for one of its fresco's, depicting the Birth of Venus in a clam shell, and is worth visiting for this alone.
The House of Octavius Quartio is another of the larger houses in Pompeii, occupying almost an entire Insula. It is famous for its remarkably preserved artwork and also its extensive gardens. The most famous of its Fresco’s Narcissus at the Spring and Pyramus committing Suicide, both of which share a common theme, death as a result of love. The signature of the painter, Lucius, has been preserved on a bench in the biclinium, it reads “Lucius Pinxit”, which means “Painted by Lucius”.
One of the nicest preserved houses in Pompeii was the House of the Little Fountain. It gets its name from the lovely ornate, and perfectly preserved fountain in the rear of the house. Its made of mosaic. The house also has some splendid wall paintings. All of this indicates the prosperity of the houses owner.
The Casa della Nave Europa (in English, House of the ship Europa) gave its name from the graffito on the north wall of the peristyle, depicting a cargo ship labelled EUROPA (the Greek heroine kidnapped at sea by Jupiter disguised as a bull).
Crossing the peristyle you can see a big garden where were discovered 28 terra-cotta vases with seeds of beans, grapes and lemon.
The Casa degli Amorini Dorati (house of the golden cupids) owes the name to the golden cupids that adorned the rooms (Now in the Museum of Naples). The house was owned by gens Pompea allied with Poppea Sabina second wife of Nero.
The house was built in the 3rd century BC and rearranged in the first century DC; it was organized on the peristyle with garden, on which there are the environments.
The house is very big and in the rooms you can see many frescos and mosaics.
The house is visitable only prior booking on the site below.
The big house Predia Iulia Felix was discovered in 1755. It was covered in the following years and led to the light, again, among 1936 and 1953. The house belonged to Giulia Felice how restored in a fresco to an entrance. All the environments have been stolen of their beautiful paintings that you can see nowdays in the National Museum in Naples. In the garden there are beautiful stuccoed pillars. The bath of the residence became of public use toward the end of the life of the town.
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