Field Trip to Oplontis

Ciao Tutti!

Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my blog! My blog for today isn’t as exciting as the past few blogs I have posted – it is pretty hard to top Barcelona and Athens! But this trip was still a lot of fun for me.

As part of our archaeology class, we go on field trips to lots of archaeological ruins around the area of Sorrento. For our most recent field trip our class went on tours of both the ruins of Oplontis, which was an ancient villa that was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD. The tour was given by Illaria Tartaglia, who is the instructor of our archaeology class.

Oplontis was an amazing place to visit! It was quite large in size compared to other villas of the time. Illaria told us that this villa was the summer home of Poppea, the wife of Emporer Nero. Unfortunately the whole villa has not been officially discovered yet since there are buildings and roads built above the rest of Oplontis. The villa was beautifully decorated, and complete with its own garden, private pool, and impluvium space to catch rainwater. The villa also had tons of beautiful paintings on its walls.

Lots of the paintings in this villa displayed architectural perspectives and elements. Paintings of columns arches and windows were painted directly on the wall, covering its entire face to create illusions that the room is bigger than it really is. These paintings were everywhere in the villa, and were very high in detail. It was quite obvious that whoever owned the home was very wealthy.

Illaria also told us that despite the fact that Oplontis was completely buried by volcanic material, there were only a handful of casualties. Archaeologists have determined that this could be because Oplontis was damaged in an earthquake several years before the eruption of 79 AD, and was being repaired from damages.

Here are some pictures below from our class field trip! Enjoy!

The front of Oplontis!

Illaia talking to our class about the history of Oplontis

Illaria showing us one of the large fresco paintings of Oplontis

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