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Ercolano, Oplontis, Stabiae: Unknown Jewels

Apr 25, 2008
Pompeii is very famous all over the world, but also other important towns were buried by the terrible eruption of 79 a.C.: they are Ercolano and Stabiae, Oplontis and the modern Boscoreale. Only a few people know the importance of these towns and visit them. They are real hidden treasures and provide unique information and emotions.

The excavations of Ercolano are very important because they "complete" the ones of Pompeii. The town of Ercolano was buried by a hot "cloud" having a temperature of more than 100. It contained liquefied fragments of rocks, that became like a mud penetrating any spaces. This mud protected the materials that were not destroyed but burnt. This is why objects (also books, that were papyruses) were so well preserved. A "grocery" shop still contains the shelves with amphorae. The ancient Ercolano has not been completely unearthed since on it there is the modern town, so many things and buildings cannot be seen.

In the town of Torre Annunziata there are the excavations of Oplontis, a probable peripheral area of Pompeii, not an autonomous town. These excavations discovered two villas. Only the villa of Poppea can be visited. Poppea Sabina was the second wife of Nero; her villa is considered a world heritage by UNESCO. It is a very big and elegant house, it contains also the thermal baths. Many frescoes decorate it thus creating special effects, such as architectural elements, like columns, doors, etc. The second villa cannot be visited and maybe belonged to a certain Lucius Crassius Tertius. It was maybe a "firm" as many amphorae and tools show. Maybe in this house there was the processing of agricultural products. A wing of this villa was used by the owner and his family. The house is rich of frescoes, jewels and coins. Also 54 bodies and skeletons were unearthed.

Stabiae, today Castellammare di Stabia, was a very important town established not later than VII century b.C. It was an important commercial town between Etruria and Greece. During the wars of 89 b.C. it was destroyed and soon rebuilt. Three villas and thermal baths were found.

In Boscoreale there was the discovery of an ancient Roman farm, a rural house containing tools, objects, a cistern, the kitchen, etc. Tourists can realize how Roman farmers lived. The house is well preserved and a vineyard was recreated. These excavations are very important and interesting.

Pompeii is very important because gives information about Roman towns 2000 years ago. But if you want to understand more the ancient Roman world, that is so important for our modern times, you should visit also Ercolano and maybe Oplontis, Stabiae and Boscoreale.

If you want to organize a visit to the excavations, please see www.pompei.it

More info on the website of the Archaeological Superintendency of Pompeii
http://www.pompeiisites.org/

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http://italy.turismonews.it The portal dedicated to Italy, to its beauties and its facilities. News about events, towns, itineraries. A useful help to enjoy holidays in Italy.
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