Poppea’s Villa at Oplontis, buried in 79 A.D. by material from the eruption of Vesuvius and a cover of mud from sea water mixing with volcanic ash (imagine a tsunami-like wave meeting the flow down from the mountain), was found again in 1964 and benefits from modern methods of archaeological excavation: preservation “in situ.”

The people in our group of 16 were the only visitors to enjoy this magnificent seaside house this morning.

How the wealthy lived!

Incredibly stunning are the colorful frescoes, fine mosaics, flooring, design, gardens and engineering that we saw up close. Even more incredible is the realization that everything was buried for all these years and that the wall paintings were pieced together like a jigsaw puzzle from the rubble.

The Roman suburban villa is believed to be a gift from Roman emperor Nero to his second wife Poppea Sabina (30-65 A.D.). It is ancient, with the first foundation built in 1 A.D. The site is in the modern town of Torre Annunziata, about 10 meters below today’s ground level. A UNESCO World Heritage site.

My camera would not do justice to the beauty and grandeur of this place, so I chose to focus on selected details.