Napoli: il terzo giorno: Pompei e Oplontis

Started as another rainy morning.

We drove to Pompei (Pompeii in English) about 30 minutes west. The sun started to shine.

We spent four hours walking with our guide Alberto from the west end to the east end of the excavated town.About 33% is still unexcavated. Here’s a few highlights.

The law courts:

The forum or public gathering area:

The Decumani, one of the two main east west roads.

A restaurant:

The hot room of a public bath house with its interesting ceiling:

Marble tile in the House of the Faun, a rich person’s house:

Micro-tessalae mosaic of Alexander the Great’s defeat of Darius II in the same house; a reproduction:

Pompeian Fourth Style painting in the house of nouveau riche wine merchants:

The oven of a bakery:

Fountain in a house’s summer dining room:

The outdoor theatre:

The anfiteatro or amphitheatre like the Coloseum in Rome but smaller and more intact:

Lunch with bottle of wine from the Vesuvius area grapes:

We then drove a few miles to Oplontis, a summer villa also buried by the Vesuvius eruption in 79. Excavation only began here in 1964 and has been limited by a major road and modern apartment buildings:

Not much is known about the villa. There is some evidence it was owned by the Emperor Nero’s second wife Pompea who had family from Pompeii. It has some of the best preserved wall murals:

Above is Second style which shows linear perspective. Below is the more austere First style:

The place had a swimming pool which can’t be fully excavated because of modern housing:


One of the many gardens has roses in bloom:

After returning to our hotel, we went to the 9th floor bar for a pre-dinner drink. I spotted a large bug on the wall. Three people came to inspect before a janitor came with a broom and dust pan, squished the bug and took it away. We received repeated apologies for what was a local version of a type of cockroach that shows up in warmer weather. We were poured a glass of wine, Brunello, no less!, as a “gift” for putting up with the bug. We wonder if I spotted something bigger like a mouse I’d get a whole bottle 🤔

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