The Sanctuary of Venus is placed on spectacular artificial terrace that offers great views of the Gulf of Naples, overlooking the bay where the harbour was to be situated.  Venus was the patron goddess of Pompeii, to whom the colony was named upon conclusion (80 BC), already worshiped in pre-Roman times and later was patron goddess of sailing.

The earthquake of 62 AD and those that followed up to the eruption, caused the destruction of the temple whose reconstruction had not yet been completed in 79 AD. The first sanctuary dates back to the 2nd century BC and consisted of a space surrounded by porticoes at the centre of which stood the temple. That which can be seen today dates back to the early imperial age.

A large gold lamp weighing 896 grams was found during the 19th century excavations, in a small provisional chapel leaning against the bottom of the cell of the temple, which was a gift of Emperor Nero, and is now found at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples.

Date of excavation: 1852; 1869; 1872; 1898; 1937, 1952-1953; 1984-1985; 2004-2005.