:: Poppea's Villa - Oplontis ::
Just a few miles from Naples, near Pompeii, today's town of Torre Annunziata is the site of Oplontis -
where Nero's second wife is believed to have had a villa, adorned with Pompeian Style II wall paintings.
(The lady is variously referred to as Sabina Poppea, Poppaea Sabina and Poppaea Augusta Sabina)
Here, click on individual thumbnails for a larger version, and perhaps notes etc!
For further pictures and a plan, see http://www.indiana.edu/~leach/c409/oplan.html
You may also be able to find a fine work about the Villa, prepared by Colin.J.Andrews M.A.
Last time I looked, the official website had further photos here
... and a reasonable map of the site, on
:: Boscoreale ::
A visit to the Antiquarium and archaeological site at Boscoreale - just a few miles north of Pompei - for details, see:
Click on individual photos on this page to see a larger version - and, for some, a few notes!
Sadly, the collection in the Antiquarium is missing the best of what was found nearby - amongst
the plunder carried away over the years...
- frescoes from a villa, said to be that of P. Fannius Synistor - long lost to American hands:
- much of the fabulous Boscoreale treasure, unearthed in 1895, is displayed at the Louvre, in Paris:
April 2013 note... Some of the Boscoreale artefacts that do remain are currently "on loan" to London,
where they can be seen as part of this bumper exhibition - set to run until the end of September:
On display during our visit was a collection of plaster casts of bodies found in the ruins of several
of the ancient Roman villas - all of whom had been buried alive during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
in 79 AD.
:: Augustus' Villa ::
The remains of this little-known Roman villa - near the town of Somma Vesuviana, just north of
the volcano - were opened to the public just once this year (2010), in early October.
Archaeologists now say it's not where Rome's first Emperor breathed his last after all but, for
many Italians the name - Villa Augustea - has stuck.
Buried in a later eruption than Pompeii, and discovered only in the 1930s, a team from Tokyo's
University has been excavating the site since they bought it outright at the turn of the
century, and each year they've allowed the public to see the progress that's been made.
Thanks to them for opening the site so we could see it - and to the young volunteers from Somma,
who made it such a great visit... your efforts are sure to have been appreciated by all of the
1600 who came over the weekend!
For larger versions, click on a photo, and then use "Previous" and "Next" to move around..
Pressing F11 may help with seeing the various explanatory notes and captions!
There's also an interesting, and entertaining, blog of the excavations' yearly
progress to follow on ___http://villasomma.blogspot.com/
:: Caserta's Royal Palace ::
Italy's largest royal palace, whose 1200 rooms enclose a volume of some 2 million cubic metres, the baroque
Reggia di Caserta was built for Charles III of Naples in 1752 - in response to the French kings' Versailles.
Possibly familiar from appearances in the movies - in 'Angels and Demons', as the palace of an alien queen
in Star Wars, the Vatican in Mission Impossible III, home of Louis XVIII in the 1970s epic, Waterloo...
Neither Charles nor his architect, Vanvitelli, was to see the project completed, however his son and successor
- Ferdinand IV of Naples - and his wife, ironically the sister of France's Queen Marie Antoinette, lived in
the luxurious Royal Apartments for many years.
The formal gardens are dominated by an enormously long series of water features, fed by Vanvitelli's high-level
aqueduct - with the later addition of a more pastoral area, set out in the then-fashionable "English" style.
During WWII the Reggia served as both a military hospital and as the Allied Headquarters; on April 29th 1945 it
was here that the unconditional surrender of German troops in Italy was signed.
Click on individual pictures, and select 'Original' for a larger version - using F11 for full-screen mode.
Do check - but in early 2013: Closing: Every Tuesday, 1 January, Easter Monday, 1 May, 25 December.
NB - sic: 'The special openings in the closing days of indicated will be reported from time to time'
For prices, and the opening times - which, for the gardens, change with the seasons - see:
:: Vietri sul mare ::
Photos from a daytrip from Ischia to the first of the cities, towns and villages
at the eastern end of the Amalfi Coast - pretty Vietri sul Mare, which abuts the
area's historic provincial capital, the university city of Salerno.
:: Benevento ::
Benevento, capital city for one of the five provinces that make up the Campania region,
proved to be a charming place to spend the weekend... offering much to see and do, as well
as great local food and wine!
For the area's tourism website, see __http://www.eptbenevento.it/?language=english
Click the individual thumbnails on this page for larger versions, some with notes etc..
:: Capua ::
Not the Roman city, but one built nearby when the survivors of its sacking
needed a more secure place to settle.
Individual captions to follow - slowly!
:: Santa Maria Capua Vetere ::
A place that both Kirk Douglas and the rebel slave Spartacus would have known, the original town of Capua.
A Roman settlement some five miles west of Caserta, it was the site of a gladiator school where he's
said to have received his training - and, later, of ancient Italy's third largest amphitheatre.
After Capua's destruction by Saracen mercenaries in 841AD, the survivors rebuilt their homes in a more secure
position - within a sweeping meander of the river Volturno - taking with them the town's name
Eventually though these ruins were resettled, by a community that named itself Santa Maria Capua Vetere.
Today, as well as a mainline station in the centre of town, out near the amphitheatre there's a halt,
served by trains of the 'MetroCampania NordEst' railway on the route between Naples and Piedimonte Matese.
Click on individual image thumbnails for a larger version - with notes and captions
:: Mondragone ::
The comune of Mondragone - population 27,000 - is in the Province of Caserta,
some 45 km NW of Naples and 10 km north of Castel Volturno.
The town is in an important position, near the Via Appia. It's a short bus ride
from the local railway station - Falciano-Mondragone-Carinola - which is some
35/40 minutes from Pozzuoli or Naples (a little longer if you have to change
trains, at Villa Literno or Aversa respectively).
There's a small but interesting museum of archaeological finds, including
objects from the hilltop fortress of La Rocca. For more about that, see