Oplontis (June, 2013)

September 6, 2013

The Villa of Poppaea at Oplontis is not nearly as well known as the sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum but it should be. Buried in the same 79 CE eruption of Vesuvius, this villa has amazing frescoes, plenty of rooms to explore, and is easily accessible via the Circumvesuviana. Also, it’s never been the slightest bit crowded when I’ve visited.

Oplontis (060313)

The view from street level.

Bird fresco, Oplontis (060313)

Birds are a popular fresco subject…

Fresco, Oplontis (060313)

Not sure what this is… Anyone know?

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Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (Naples Archaeological Museum)

August 10, 2013

This is my favorite museum in Italy. Like the Capitoline and Palatine Museums in Rome, the Naples Archaeological Museum has seen significant improvements in recent years. In particular, the lighting seemed better in many galleries. If you’re visiting the Naples area and have any interest in antiquity, you need to go here. A trip to Pompeii or Herculaneum is not really complete if you don’t also see the artifacts taken from those sites. Considering the current inaccessibility of vast swathes of Pompeii (see forthcoming post), I’d suggest visiting the museum instead of the site if you have a limited amount of time. Also, if you’re visiting Rome, be aware that the museum is easily reachable from Rome by train for a day trip. These photos don’t even begin to do justice to the breadth and quality of the collection:

Europa fresco, Casa di Giasone, Pompeii, MAN Naples, INV 111475 (060213)

Europa about to depart for Crete

Musicians mosaic, MAN Naples (060213)

Street musicians, late Republican mosaic by Dioscorides

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