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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Details

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

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Raffaele Brescia (11 months ago)
It is small less famous site but rich of very well preserved ruins
Quentin Vole (11 months ago)
Just one enormous villa (more like a palace), but full of wonderful wall paintings, far better than any in Pompeii or Herculaneum. Easy to reach by Circumvesuviana and hardly anyone else there!
John (12 months ago)
Amazing villa to explore. Not too many visitors which is very nice.
rossana frattolillo (12 months ago)
The roman paitings of Villa Oplontis are so sofisticate and rich of elegant details showing off the opulence of the roman aristocrazy enchanted by the natural beauty and by the greek culture of the Bay of Naples The paintings are so well preserved and still so vibrant so bride leaving us simply speechless do not miss it
Enrico Mango (13 months ago)
Interesting like Pompeii and Herculaneum, but more fascinating because under-visited compared to its famous neighbours
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