The Villa Poppaea is an ancient Roman seaside villa situated in the ancient Roman town of Oplontis (the modern Torre Annunziata). 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.

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.

Like 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” of ancient Roman painting, dating to ca. 90-25 BCE. Details include feigned architectural features such as trompe-l'œil windows, doors, and painted columns.

Frescoes in the caldarium depicting Hercules in the Garden of the Hesperides are painted in the 'Third Style' (also called the Ornate Style) dating to ca. 25 BCE-40 CE. Attention to realistic perspective is abandoned in favor of flatness and elongated architectural forms which “form a kind of shrine' around a central scene, which is often mythological.

Villa Poppaea is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata.

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Founded: 100-0 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Tony G (7 months ago)
Incredible experience walking through this time capsule. The artwork that survived all these years is stunning to see in person.
Jon Markman (8 months ago)
A very cool spot to check out the ruins without having to go through all of Pompeii (and avoiding those crowds). Incredibly well-preserved paintings and mosaics, and so much history to learn!
Karsten Hoven van den (10 months ago)
This villa is in such a good state! Really interested if you want to see how rich Romans lived. The wife of Nero lived here back in de days.
Steve Kershaw (10 months ago)
A thoroughly engaging elite Roman villa with some exceptional wall paintings.
Cheung Haynes (2 years ago)
If you want to enjoy a quiet visit consider to visit here.. they have a detail booklet of the site
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