The Vesuvian Museum, planned by Giovan Battista Alfano and inaugurated on 15 October 1911, preserves an interesting collection of documentary material on the eruptive history of Vesuvius. The Museum is situated in Via Colle San Bartolomeo, on the first floor of the villa which was the residence of Bartolo Longo, the founder of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary in the town's main square.
In the entrance wall of the Museum there are sixteen paintings on display which show the perfect reconstruction of buildings in ancient Pompei. In three large adjoining rooms are a large number of antique prints, water colours, sketches and photographs from the end of the 19th century of the most significant eruptions of Vesuvius beginning with the famous one of 79 AD. The museum also has a collection of about 200 samples of Vesuvian rocks and minerals, ash, volcanic bombs and fragments of lava relating to the various eruptions.
Named after the man who founded the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of the Rosary, this area of modern day Pompei was called "The Pompeian Camp". It was the site of various dwellings, some of which were built after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. After being a feud of Luigi Caracciolo and successively of Ferdinando of Aragon and then of Alfonso Piccolomini in 1593, this area commenced a slow degradation until it was abandoned in 1659. Over the next couple of centuries it was gradually repopulated by a few farmers until modern day Pompei was built at the end of the 19th century.
The inside of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary features frescoes representing Saint Dominique's dream and important landmarks in the history of the basilica. The central aisle is dominated by an enormous dome 57 metres high. The main altar contains the painting of the Virgin of the Rosary with Child and Saint Dominique and Saint Catherine of Siena on each side. The painting by Vincenzo Paliotti is worshipped all over the world.
Open: 6.30am-2pm and 3pm-6.30pm daily.
The bell tower next to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary, stands more than 80 metres high and offers views of the Lattari Mountains, Mount Vesuvius and the Sorrento coast. It's built in grey granite and white marble and was built in 1925. The bell tower is five floors high, each tapered and linked by pillars. It is possible to go up the bell tower by lift.
Open: 9am-1pm and 3pm-5pm daily.
There's not a lot to see in "modern day" Pompei except for this. Lying about a 5 minute walk away from the amphitheatre entrance to the ruins, this basilica may look old but was, in fact, built in 1934 at the request of Pope Pius XI.
Bartolo Longo, founder of the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of the Rosary, was born in 1841, the son of a doctor. Longo studied to be a lawyer. During his studies, he joined a sect and was ordained as a priest of Satan. He publicly ridiculed Christianity and did all in his power to subvert Catholic influence. It was Longo who gathered the inhabitants of the former little church that once stood here to give money in order to build a bigger church. He died in 1926 and was proclaimed "Blessed" by Pope John Paul II in October 1980.
Open: 6.30am-2pm. 3pm-6.30pm daily.
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