Oplonti Villa di Poppea Ruins, Torre Annunziata

The Villa Poppaea is an ancient Roman seaside villa situated between Naples and Sorrento, in southern Italy. It is also called the Villa Oplontis or Oplontis Villa A by modern archaeologists. The villa itself is a large structure situated in the ancient Roman town of Oplontis, about ten metres below modern ground level. Evidence suggests that it was owned by the Emperor Nero, and it is believed to have been used by his second wife, Poppaea Sabina, as her main residence when she was not in Rome.House plan and constructionAccording to John R. Clarke in The Houses of Roman Italy, 100 B.C.-A.D. 250: Ritual, Space, and Decoration, the Villa Poppaea is best understood as a model on which many of the more modest city houses of ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum were based (Clarke, 23). This grandiose maritime villa is characterized by “rituals of reception and leisure” through both its physical space and its decoration.Like many of the other houses in the area, the villa shows signs of remodeling, probably to repair damage from the earthquake in 62 CE. The oldest part of the house centers round the atrium and dates from the middle of 1st century BCE. During the remodeling, the house was extended to the east, with the addition of various reception and service rooms, gardens and a large swimming pool.Detailed information about the various phases of construction on the Villa Poppaea can be found in Stefano de Caro’s chapter in Ancient Roman Villa Gardens published by the Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture.FrescoesLike many of the frescoes that were preserved due to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, those decorating the walls of the Villa Poppaea are striking both in form and in color. Many of the frescoes are in the “Second Style” (also called the Architectural Style) of ancient Roman painting, dating to ca. 90-25 BCE as classified in 1899 by August Mau. Details include feigned architectural features such as trompe-l'œil windows, doors, and painted columns.
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Oplonti Villa di Poppea Ruins Reviews
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  • Certainly less known than other excavations but no less beautiful and interesting. Too bad that the case remain deprived of the guide in Italian and we should settle for the one in Spanish. MAh
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  • This place was pretty cool. My favorite part of the area was the old paintings. The guide called them frescas. They are impressive and very old.  more »
  • If we come from Naples Central station, take the circunvesuviana towards Poggiomarino, we get off at the stop Torre Annunziata-Oplontis. Leaving the small station in via Boselli, take the via dei Sepolcri; After a while on the left, you will find the entrance to the excavations of the Villa named ' A '. Was allocated according to an inscription on an amphora to Poppaea Sabina, second wife of Nero. Its architecture is typical of the villas complex, ' otium ' a mare, iconographically common in ' pinakes parietal painting the same period '. The middle of the first century. BC took form a core group of construction, according to a usual model, by a vestibule (fauces), led to a Tuscan type with atrium impluvium to collect water, which will go into disuse at the Augustan age. The sides of the Atrium were two porches (amb. 13-24), followed the tablinum (amb. 4), an indoor garden (amb. 20) and a large hall Colonnade richly decorated on the sides there were two symmetric porticoes wings that they introduced such a large space in the garden . Beside this scheme opened various service or private spaces: cubicle, triclinium, and kitchens crossed a small tetrastyle Atrium, with a circular fountain, access was gained to the spa area. On the other side mostly servile, environments you have around a peristlio with great lararium in the middle. A long corridor with brick benches, connects the peristyle at the residential area more recently where the environments you have along a porticoed wings, looking out over a pool of sixty-seven meters long. The wall decorations of the second and fourth style is preserved in good condition. The artist has full mastery illusionistic pictorial architectures, the artifice competes with the natural surroundings, by inserting special miniature of a nature conditioned by the inspiration of the author, according to the tastes of wealthy clients and careful. Sculptures, friezes, mosaics, marble's opus sectile, wall decoration was in the collection of great visual effect, creating one of those paradises of Eastern mold, where the second-century Roman aspired for its ozii. Leaving the ruins on via dei Sepolcri after turning right, continue on the road until you come to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, on the right hand side is the town hall building. Here is the small Museum of the ' identity ' of palazzo Criscuolo, which houses some of the ancient records from the villa Poppaea: sculptures, capitals, goldsmiths give a preparatory panel to visit the excavations, but not exhaustive because the excavated material, as always happens is dispersed among warehouses and museums. Around is the squalor and degradation of a city that is dying, a general sense of abandonment and resignation is the outline of the ancient past. At one time there were sumptuous villas here a.m.b, surrounded by lush parks, a tangible sign of an empire and a people that radiated civilization up to the limits of the ' Orb ' known. Today in the villa of Poppaea sabina ' enhances ' by means of the company's Ales ' (art, work and services) which in turn has incorporated the questionable ' Arcus ' (society for the development of art.) ' operative arm ' of the ' usual suspects ' who among a private party and (events) a contract they seek to combine work and culture. ... Among these ruins remained just a phoneme: The ' ID ', as headlines the Municipal Museum institution, than in a grotesque and pitiful and meaningless context is inappropriate.
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  • Incredible. This site gives an excellent idea of an aristocratic Roman villa and a sobering illustration of the height of the lava flow that covered it. As well as examples of daily life it contains exquisite original murals. It can be explored within 90 minutes and is worth a stop, just three minutes walk from the Torre Annunziata station on the Naples-Sorrento line that also stops at Pompeii and Herculaneum.
  • Really underrated site. So well preserved and really gives an idea of Roman living. Grab or download a guide and stroll around this amazing villa!
  • Nice villa to look around, not a lot to see. An hour is enough time here.
  • one of the best archeological site you can see. it’s not packed as Pompei, but in 1 site only you can admire all the best pictures. it’s cheap, and easy to reach. be aware they don’t take cards for entry tickets
  • Loved the ruins!! Well preserved and marked. Getting there was easy via public transport. Scammers all running their games right at the entrance ...just walk past them.
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