Villa B OF Oplontis opens to the public
On Friday 16th July, the so-called Villa B of Oplontis, also known as the Villa of Lucius Crassius Tertius, opens to the public.
Thanks to a collaborative project between the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and the Comune of Torre Annunziata, it has been possible to open the ground floor of the complex - never previously open to the public - from where it is possible to admire the ancient architectural complex, in order to make part of the structure accessible via timed visits, prior to the commencement of a more extensive restoration and valorisation project.
On Thursday 15th July at 10:30, the Director General of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii Gabriel Zuchtriegel, along with the mayor of Torre Annunziata, Vincenzo Ascione, will meet the press for a preview visit to the rooms.
Every Friday in July and August, from 16:00 to 19:00 (with the last admission at 18:30) it will be possible to access the building, accompanied by the Archeoclub of Torre Annunziata, as part of an agreement between the association and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii.
Admission is included in the ticket for Villa A (The Villa of Poppaea - €5.00) for a maximum of 10 people every 30 minutes. Prior reservation is not essential, but is recommended, and can be arranged by calling the following numbers +39 333 307 8635 and +39 081 8612704, or by writing to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More than simply a villa, on the basis of the materials which have been found and the function of the rooms, it is probable that this was a business dedicated to the processing of agricultural goods as well as the bottling and trading of wine, with a residential area on the upper floor.
Within the complex, which dates from the late 2nd century BC, a signet ring was discovered which belonged to Lucius Crassius Tertius, the likely owner of the building.
The central core of the structure consists of a portico with two orders of grey Nocera tuff Doric columns, around which several service and production rooms are laid out. On the northern side a series of dwellings extends over two levels, separated by a dirt road.
In the period between 1984 and 1991, the excavations of the so-called Villa B of Oplontis concentrated on the south-facing area, where there were eight vaulted rooms overlooking a colonnaded portico, which in ancient times faced the sea, and of which only a small section remains. The materials which were discovered inside them - including containers of various types and sizes, furnishings containing organic remains, marble and terracotta weights, metal objects and tools as well as a large quantity of pomegranates interspersed with layers of hay - provide evidence that these rooms remained in use as warehouses and storage areas up until the moment of the eruption of AD 79.
One of them, Room 10, would become the tomb of a group of people who, in an attempt to flee the eruption, sought refuge within. Some of the individuals carried precious objects including jewels, bone and ivory ornaments, gold and silver coins and bronze furnishings. Most of the precious objects were found alongside the bodies, having evidently been wrapped in clothing or held in special containers made of leather, cloth or rope, but in other cases they were actually found being worn by their owners.
“The Archaeological Park of Pompeii is implementing a series of actions with the aim of broadening the range of visits offered across all sites as much as possible, with special openings and evening visits, subject to post-pandemic recovery activities” - declared Director Gabriel Zuchtriegel - “We are committed to improving visitor itineraries and promoting new routes, with a view to maximising the visitor experience and indeed participation in the activities of the Park. The site of Oplontis, like the other peripheral sites, deserves great attention, and to this end we shall be investing in projects to valorise the nearby Fuse Factory structure, and in interventions to extend the excavations of the Villa of Poppaea. Future projects will include the improvement of accessibility and the expansion of visitor access and enjoyment of the two Oplontis complexes, with the permanent opening of the so-called Villa B. Let us begin with modest steps. In this respect we have the full support of the Torre Annunziata Administration, with whom we are working productively on joint initiatives to relaunch the site.”
We will take this opportunity to inform you that from the 16th July, the last admission time to the Villa of Poppaea will be moved to 18:30 (with the site closing at 19:00), in order to extend the site visiting hours.
Furthermore, every Friday and Saturday until the 31st July, evening openings will take place at the Villa of Poppaea from 20:00 to 23:00 (last admission at 22:00).
Booking is recommended at the www.ticketone.it website (with an online booking fee of €1.50).
On certain days the following themed visits will take place, organised by the Archeoclub of Torre Annunziata, will take place: 17th July - Games and toys of Oplontine children; 24th July - Music and musical instruments of the Ancient Romans; 31st July - Myths and foods in Oplontine paintings. Groups of up to a maximum of 10 people. Booking is recommended by calling the following numbers: +39 333 307 8635 and +39 081 8612704 or by writing to the following email address: email@example.com.