Experience Pompeii in a Whole New Light: Completely Deserted – Prowalk Tours – Video

Experience Pompeii in a Whole New Light: Completely Deserted – Prowalk Tours – Video

Discover Pompeii in a whole new way with this virtual walking tour that takes you through the ancient ruins of the city as if you were there yourself. Filmed on a quiet Friday morning, the video captures the empty streets and buildings of Pompeii, allowing you to see the historical site without the usual crowds of tourists.

Starting at the Piazza Immacolata Entrance, the tour takes you through various landmarks such as the Amphitheater, Gymnasium of the Iuvenes, Praedia of Giulia Felice, and more. You’ll explore the House of Octavius Quartio, House and Thermopolium of Vetutius Placidus, Stabian Baths, Forum, and Temple of Fortuna Augusta, among other sites.

The video provides detailed information about each location, giving historical context and insights into the daily life of the ancient Pompeiians. As you walk through the streets and buildings, you’ll get a sense of the grandeur and sophistication of this once-thriving Roman city.

The tour also includes links to maps of the walk and additional resources for further exploration of Pompeii. You can learn more about the architecture, art, and culture of the city through the detailed commentary and visual elements captured in the video.

Experience Pompeii like never before, empty and serene, with this immersive virtual tour from Prowalk Tours. Join the journey through the ancient ruins and uncover the treasures of this fascinating archaeological site. Ciao!

Watch the video by Prowalk Tours

Video Transcript

Welcome to the Archaeological Site of Pompeii, Italy. There are two entrances to the site. One here near the amphitheater and another by the Porta Marina. The other entrance was closed on this day.

The Porta Marina entrance is right across the street from the ‘Pompei Scavi’ train station which makes it the most common entrance for tourists. The site of Pompeii has been divided up into nine regions, four of which are largely unexcavated.

We are currently in Region II, which occupies the south-east corner of Pompeii. Built around 70 BC, the amphitheater is one of the earliest Roman amphitheaters built of stone; previously, they had been built out of wood. This is an inscription commemorating stadium builders, Quinctius Valgus and Marcius Porcius.

The arena wall was once decorated with frescoes of gladiators. The names of magistrates who funded the construction are still visible on some of the wall’s topmost stones. The lowest seats, the ima cavea, were occupied by town magistrates, priests and priestesses, and other nobility.

The middle rows, the media cavea, were open to males of the general public. The summa cavea, the highest rows, were usually occupied by women and children. The amphitheater is the earliest surviving permanent amphitheater in Italy and one of the best preserved anywhere.

It was used for gladiator battles, other sports and spectacles involving wild animals. In 59 AD, a bloody brawl between fanatical fans from Pompeii and those from Nocera resulted in the amphitheater being closed for 10 years. However, the ban was lifted in 62 AD after a disastrous earthquake.

The term amphitheater derives from the ancient Greek words ἀμφί (amphi), meaning “on both sides” or “around” and θέατρον (théātron), meaning “place for viewing”. Most amphitheaters were in the Latin-speaking western empire of Rome while in the East, spectacles were mostly staged in theatres or stadia.

This corridor ran the circumference of the amphitheater and is used to access the arena seating. This Amphitheater was designed to fit upwards of 20,000 people. Being one of the earliest Amphitheaters made, there was no underground areas for the gladiators.

These holes are thought to have been used to divide the corridor into two lanes. Wild grapevines have likely sprawled across the Italian peninsula since prehistoric times, but the art of winemaking was significantly advanced by the Etruscans and the Greeks, who settled in the region around 700 BC.

On days when the amphitheater hosted spectacles, enterprising merchants seized the opportunity to set up their stalls within the arches that encircle the arena, creating a bustling marketplace for spectators. Across from the amphitheater is a large palaestra, or outdoor gym.

Built at the beginning of the 1st century AD, the palaestra was used for the physical and intellectual training of young men. Poetic and even erotic graffiti can still be seen on the walls and columns. During excavations, many victims seeking escape from the eruption were found here.

This area is sometimes open to the public, but not today. In fact, many areas and houses were closed on this day due to lack of staff at the site.

If you are interested in learning more information about each location, there is a great website called “Pompeii In Pictures” that I highly recommend. The site has now expanded beyond just Pompeii, to encompass areas such as Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, Boscoreale, Boscotrecase, Gragnano, Scafati and surrounding areas.

Here you can see the external staircases which provided access to the upper tiers of seating. Pompeii is located approximately 8 kilometers (about 5 miles) away from Mount Vesuvius. This close proximity played a significant role in the history and eventual destruction of Pompeii during the volcanic eruption in 79 AD.

We are now going to walk through a property known as the Praedia of Julia Felix. Julia Felix was a wealthy woman who lived here in the first century AD. he term “Praedia” translates to “property” or “estate” in Latin.

Julia Felix was likely a member of the elite class in Pompeii, and her estate was one of the more impressive and well-known properties in the city.

The estate of Julia Felix was excavated in the 18th century, revealing a large complex with multiple buildings, including a grand house with luxurious decorations, a garden, and various other facilities. A private water supply fed water channels, pools with fish, and fountains as well as fruit trees and grape vines.

The house’s elegant triclinium, with three dining couches and a waterfall, welcomed some of Pompeii’s wealthiest citizens. One of the earliest properties excavated, the first skeleton of a victim of the Vesuvian eruption was found here in 1748.

Niches along its frescoed portico probably held statues of mythological figures and Lares, Roman household gods. Fragments of frescoed plaster, that once depicted scenes from Pompeii’s forum, still cling to the walls of the atrium that greeted visitors entering from the Via del’Abbondanza.

The forum frescoes are now in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. The area on the north side of the street has not yet been excavated. This is the formal entrance to Julia Felix’s baths which included an Apodyterium, Tepidarium, Laconicum, Caldarium, Frigidarium, and swimming pool.

This is a thermopolium, a Roman establishment where drinks and hot food could be purchased. Foods available included legumes, vegetables, eggs, olives, onions, skewers of meat, sausages, game, fish, cheeses, dried or seasonal fruit, focaccia bread, and desserts such as honey cakes.

We are now heading west on the Via dell’Abbondanza, ancient Pompeii’s main street, known as the Decumanus Maximus, towards the Forum. Here is one of more than 40 restored public fountains along the streets of Pompeii.

Isicia omentata, a patty of minced meat combined with breadcrumbs soaked in wine, was one of the most popular items found at a thermopolium. The House of the Augustales with the wreath over the doorway has benches outside to accommodate clients waiting to visit their patron during the morning salutatio.

Once known as the House of Loreius Tiburtinus because of an election slogan painted on the outer facade, it was renamed after a seal ring was found in one of its rooms. Here is a spacious atrium with a fountained impluvium planted with flowering shrubs.

Like the Praedia of Julia Felix, the House of D. Octavius Quartio is thought to have been used commercially, however, its gardens were supplied by the public aqueduct by way of a water tower at the corner of the property.

Frescoed triclinium with scenes of Heracles battling Laomedon, father of Priam (upper register), and scenes from the Trojan War (lower register). The fresco ahead on the left depicts Narcissus admiring his reflection in a pool. This is the Summer biclinium with two masonry dining couches on either side of a water feature.

The fresco on the right depict the suicides of Pyramus and Thisbe, two ill-fated lovers whose story is told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Small sculptures of mythical beasts and figures that may have been selected to stimulate conversation or meditation.

On one of the couches of the summer biclinium was the only known artist’s signature in Pompeii: “Lucius pinxit” or “Painted by Lucius.” Some scholars think the orderly rows of pergolas and plantings point to a well-organized owner or caretaker of the property. The home suffered extensive Allied bomb damage during World War II.

Two shops flank the entrance, the Caupona of Astylus and Pardalus on the left with stairs to an upper floor and the Caupona of Athictus on the right. Plaster casts of the original doors decorated with protruding studs of bronze and iron.

The property has been replanted with fruit trees based on studies of carbonized roots found there. Here are some of the famous pedestrian stepping stones which allowed residents to cross the street without getting their feet wet.

With 316 of them across the city, Pompeii has 20 times more crossing stones than any other known Roman city. Stepping stones were needed because Pompeii lacked proper under-street sewerage and carried the constant overflow from over three dozen public fountains and the runoff from rainstorms.

Fragments of an advertisement for gladiatorial games still clings to the two-story House of Aulus Trebius Valens originally excavated between 1913 and 1915 then bombed by the Allies in 1943. The games were promised to include a procession, hunt, athletics and awnings east of the entrance doorway .

The Caupona di Sotericus, excavated in 1914, originally had a painting of Minerva to the right of the doorway above the election graffiti asking you to elect Aulus Trebius (Valens) for aedile. Inside the establishment is a large dining room with a dolia-studded buffet counter overseen by a fresco of a watch dog.

The Caupona, with a counter faced with a geometric opus sectile mosaic and niche above, excavated from 1912-13. A painting of Venus and Dionysus once graced its dining room. Here is another thermopolium with a colorful marble mosaic countertop. There is hearth, in which to cook, and display shelving on one end.

House of C. Julius Polybius aka Domus of C. Giulio Polibio, a powerful freedman of the Emperor Claudius, was excavated in 1912, 1964, 1966. This elegant Samnite-era house (2nd century BC) contains a peristyle with panel paintings of still life and theater masks.

The central figure of the lararium (household shrine) is the Genius flanked by two Lares (household gods). The outermost figures are Mercury on the left and Bacchus with his panther on the right. 1385 bronze coins with a total value of 585 sesterces were found in one of the dolia (ceramic food containers).

Studies of dolia contents have revealed these containers held dry food items not soups or stews kept warm over a hearth. Indoor plumbing (Amphora used as column fill) Shop of the Green grocer Felix Pomarius – Excavated 1912-1936 Reassembled counter fresco with yellow shield or clypeus and Bacchus motifs on a red ground

Partially excavated house with walls covered in election graffiti promoting local magistrates and their views including Marcus Lucretius Fronto, Caius Julius Polybius – a man worthy of the state, Caius Lollius Fuscus aedile, Cuspius Pansa aedile. Thermopolium of Asellina party excavated in 1911

House of Paquius Proculus, dating back to the Samnite period, was excavated in 1911 and 1923-1926. Entrance mosaic of guard dog, a popular custodial symbol of the early Imperial Period. Studies of graffiti around the city indicated Publius Paquius Proculus was an aristocrat from the beginning of his career.

Fullonica (Laundry) of Stephanus, orignally a private home, was converted into a laundry after the earth quake of 62 AD. The impluvium that was in the center of the atrium was converted into a tub for washing. During the cleaning process, clothes were washed and stains removed in vats of urine, soda, and fuller’s earth.

Cleaned clothes were then combed, brushed and trimmed and white cloth was bleached by laying it on a cage over burning sulphur and brimstone. House of M. Epidius Rufus aka House of the Diadumeni excavated in 1868 and 1866. This house suffered considerable damage in the Allied bombing of Pompeii in 1943.

The stately atrium included a large impluvium with 16 Doric columns. A skeleton was found in one of the rooms to the left of the atrium. This is a water tower used to equalize water pressure and distribute water from the Aqua Augusta aqueduct.

The Aqua Augusta supplied water to at least eight cities in the Bay of Naples including both Pompeii and Herculaneum as well as the new naval base at Misenum. The aqueduct was unique in that it served as a regional network rather than one delivering water to just one urban center.

The Aqua Augusta was the largest and costliest aqueduct in the Roman world. Public fountain with depiction of tragic theater mask The top of this water tower once had a lead box on top to hold water.

Normally, these streets would be filmed with thousands of tourists….but this was not filmed under normal conditions. Be sure to click on the link in the video description to see a map of this tour with markers corresponding to each location in the video.

This is the main intersection of the two main roads in Pompeii. This road is 900 meters long. The crossroad is 750 meters long. Next we are going to see part of the most famous bath complex, the Stabian Baths, which were unfortunately closed on this day.

This is a unique experience to see Pompeii without the crowds. Thermae Stabiana, the largest of the five public baths in Pompeii, was constructed about 125 BC. Columned palaestra (exercise yard) of the Stabian Baths. On the left-hand side of the palaestra was a swimming pool (natatio).

A sundial on the site contained an Oscan inscription, the language used by pre-Roman inhabitants. There is usually a long line of people waiting to get inside to see the baths here. Throughout the video you will see links pop-up in the upper right corner.

These links will lead you to exact spot in my other video where the rooms are actually open so you can see what is inside, like here at the baths.

In the first century AD, the west side of the palaestra was demolished to make room for an outdoor swimming pool (natatio), ball court, and a second changing room. The wings of rooms on either side were either loggias or shallow pools.

Here is a plaster cast of a victim of the eruption, which can be seen up close in my other video. We are now approaching the Domus Cornelia, aka the House of Cornelius Rufus, which was excavated in 1855, 1861 and 1893

The large impluvium in the atrium once featured a fountain fed by the nearby water tower and controlled with a key. Horned griffins that once supported a cartibulum at the far side of the impluvium were moved to the archaeological museum. The elegant peristyle garden was supported by 18 fluted tufa columns.

A peristyle is an inner courtyard that is surrounded by columns. The lower level contains the remains of a bakery and workshop of Felix.

The houses here in Pompeii had roof tops which sloped down to a whole in the ceiling which allowed rain water to fall through to the pool at the center of the atrium. The pool, known as an impluvium, had a cistern underneath which collected the water for personal use.

We are still walking towards the Forum of Pompeii, which is also empty! Little details like this are easy to miss with crowds of people walking down the road and with large tour groups huddled in one spot. The Lupanare (brothel) is down this road to our right.

During the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, the city was largely buried under a thick layer of volcanic ash and pumice.

The eruption was catastrophic and led to the city being covered by 4 to 6 meters (13 to 20 feet) of volcanic ash and pumice in a matter of a few hours.

This rapid burial of the city was a significant factor in the preservation of many buildings, artifacts, and even some organic materials like wooden objects and food. Anatomical signage pointing the way to the Lupanar (brothel) However, it’s important to note that the extent of the coverage varied in different parts of the city.

Public fountain depicting the goddess Ceres with a cornucopia Some areas might have been less heavily buried than others initially, but over time, additional layers of materials from subsequent eruptions and natural processes like erosion would have contributed to covering the city more uniformly.

In the immediate aftermath of the eruption, some parts of the city and its structures might have been partially exposed or less deeply buried, but the majority of Pompeii was deeply buried This lead to its loss from memory until its rediscovery in 1599 and more systematic excavations that began in the 18th century.

Between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, the Forum was modified and surrounded by porticoes and paved. Most of the Forum’s decorations were stripped in ancient times after the eruption. The beautiful bronze sculpture of a mythical centaur is not ancient but crafted by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj (1944-2014)

If you are enjoying this tour, please leave a LIKE on this video and SHARE it with a friend. Thank you so much! The Temple of Jupiter in the north end of the forum was built in the mid-2nd century BC then enlarged under Roman rule.

The Temple of Jupiter replaced the Temple of Apollo as the most important temple in Pompeii. After the earthquake of 62 AD, the Temple of Jupiter became the main seat of worship to Jupiter and the Capitoline Triad. When Vesuvius erupted in 79AD, the original Temple of Jupiter was still awaiting restoration.

There was once a large archway here. You can see the rectangular spaces on the ground where it once stood. Originally the forum was just a clay rectangle but in the 3rd and 2nd century BC, it was paved with slabs of volcanic tuff.

During the imperial period the forum was repaved with travertine slabs. Entrance to the Macellum (fish market), built between 130-120 BC These were more shops outside of the Macellum. This is the Arch of Tiberius, which was actually built for Drusus, the son of Emperor Tiberius.

A relief depicting laborers carrying an amphora probably containing wine or olive oil. The temple would have originally had iron railings with gates at each set of steps to access the altar.

According to the inscription, Marcus Tullius, son of Marcus, three times Duumvir to administer justice, augur and tribune of soldiers elected by the people, raised the Temple of Fortuna Augusta from its foundations and at his own expense. Originally the podium was fronted by four Corinthian columns.

The Forum Baths are here on our right but they are closed today. You can see them by clicking on the link above. A public fountain, one of 36 in Pompeii Street corner sign with a goat. These pictures were designed to help Roman citizens navigate the city even if they could not read.

Before exploring the rest of the Forum, we will check out the former public latrine. Note the water channel running around the perimeter and seat supports. The word latrina was used to describe a private toilet in someone’s home while public toilets were called foricae.

The infamous sea sponge-on-a-stick was called a tersorium, literally “a wiping thing.” Although the Roman elite sometimes paid for the construction of foricae, no inscriptions have been found to acknowledge this public service.

Private toilets of the elite were built over cesspits that were not connected to the city sewer system. Instead, manure removers called stercorraii were paid as much as 11 asses (not a pun – a Roman coin) to empty them. This is the Forum Granary where various artifacts are stored.

The Temple of Jupiter with Arch of Augustus on the left More finds including amphorae used to transport liquids like wine and olive oil, a wagon, and a puteal (well head) embossed with mythological scenes. Amphorae, columned tables and bronze furnishings corroded from the heat of the eruption.

Plaster cast of a crouching man produced by pouring plaster into cavities left in the volcanic deposits by decomposing victims of the eruption. Plaster cast of a small child found in the remains of the House of the Golden Bracelet.

Here is a cartibulum with griffin legs, which were often found in elite Roman atriums on the edge of the impluvium (pool that collected rain water from the roof). The cartibulum was used to display family wealth in the form of bronze or silver serving ware.

Statue and a funerary stele of a young girl from a necropolis in Pompeii. Here is a strongbox, known,as an arca, used for storing money and other valuables which were often placed in the atrium to display the occupant’s wealth and power.

This is the mensa ponderaria, a counter used to measure traded goods, both liquids and solids. The original was used in pre-Roman times by the Oscans then adapted to Roman standards after Pompeii was absorbed into the Roman Republic.

The Basilica was first excavated in 1806. The name basilica is thought to have been derived from the Greek basileios, a royal hall of one of the successors of Alexander the Great. The building, with an inscription dating back to 78 BC, was used for business transactions and the administration of justice.

The elevated tribunal is located behind the central hall with its columned corridors. The tribunal’s narrow dimensions had room for only the judge and his assistants while litigants had to stand in front of it. I suppose we were bound to see a few people.

This is the Temple of Apollo, built in 120 BC and dedicated to the Greek and Roman god Apollo. A labrum for ritual cleansing This statue is a reproduction of a statue of Apollo. The original was removed by excavators when the temple was first exposed in 1817.

The columns were once Doric but converted to the Corinthian style with sculpted stucco. After the earthquake of 62, the entablature of the peristyle was adorned with griffins, sacred to Apollo.

The walls were once brightly painted with landscapes and human figures engaged in sports, contending with crocodiles, sacrificing to Priapus, and conducting domestic tasks. Scenes from the Trojan War included a painting of Achilles dragging Hector behind his chariot. and another of Agamemnon and Achilles.

The altar area was paved with an elegant green, white and black marble bordered by a Greek meander of black, white and red. A small room at the rear of the temple contained paintings in the Fourth Style including one of Bacchus with his panther and Silenus playing a lyre, now in the archaeological museum.

Reproduction of a statue of the goddess of the hunt, Artemis (Roman Diana), sister of the god Apollo. Although both acknowledged as Zeus’ offspring, the children were not described as twins until a work penned by the poet Pindar in the the 5th century BC.

The twins’ mother, Leto, was ordered shunned by Zeus’s jealous wife Hera, who also sent the monstrous Python to pursue her. Other statues found at the time of excavation included Venus and Hermaphrodite. The Office of the Aediles, together with the Tabularium (Records office) and Hall of Magistrates, comprised the Curia.

The arched monument in the center was part of a four monument group honoring the Imperial family. One of the bases for the monument group honoring the Imperial family was constructed using the opus reticulatum technique. In constructing opus reticulatum, pyramid-shaped tuff blocks were embedded in a cement core.

The Romans used opus reticulatum because of the readily available stone and to reduce transportation costs. This construction technique was used from the 1st century BC to the early part of the 1st century AD and is used by archaeologists to date Roman constructions on the Italian peninsula.

Eumachia’s building excavated in 1814, 1817, and 1836 Eumachia, daughter of Lucius, who amassed a large fortune producing bricks, tiles and amphora, was a priestess of the goddess Venus Pompeiana. One of the rooms flanking the entrance where a large container for the collection of urine was found.

It is thought shops lined the walkway around the expansive courtyard. She built the colonnade, corridor and portico of this public building in honor of Augustan Concord and Piety An honorific statue of Eumachia in an exedra south of the courtyard. Peristyle of the House of the Fisherwoman (Casa della Pescatrice) excavated in 1823.

This house originally painted in the Fourth Style was named for a fresco of Venus Pescatrice or Venus fishing that was found in a room opening onto the peristyle.

The centaur, sculpted by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj using the “Lost Wax” casting method, is the only sculpture left in Pompeii from an exhibit that closed in 2017 after the artist’s death.

This is the Comitium or Hall of the Elections with a podium for candidates to address the public on the south of the enclosure. Built during the 2nd century BC, the Comitium served as a place to count votes and announce newly elected magistrates. Votes were cast, however, in the square of the Forum.

Looking northeast across north portico area of the Casa di Pane (VIII 3,31) viewed across the wall of a shop at VIII.3.28 that is connected to it. When first excavated in 1818, archaeologists found a landscape painting depicting Hercules and Telamon freeing Hesion, now lost.

Looking west across the first atrium with impluvium of the double atrium House of the Moray Eels (VIII 2,14) excavated in 1826. The spacious columned peristyle of the House of the Moray Eels known as the Courtyard of the Moray Eels, with fragments of mosaic pavements still extant.

A deep pool with terracotta filtration pipes is thought to have been used to breed fish. According to Pliny the Elder, among the first Romans to grow moray eels in separate tanks to avoid predation of other species was Gaius Hirrius.

Lucius Licinius Lucullus also bred eels and went so far as to dig a canal through the mountains near Naples to provide sea access to his pools. Columned peristyle of the House of the Championnet first excavated in 1808.

This sumptuous four-level house with ornate mosaic pavements was named after General Jean Etienne Championnet who commanded Napoleon’s Army of Italy and conquered the city of Naples in 1799. He died in early 1800 of typhus. Stairs to an upper floor of the south porticus of the Forum

Looking northwest across a narrow alley to the Basilica On the left, remains of the Temple of Venus used by archaeologists as a storage area Porta Marina Gate and remains of columns outside a large house that extended over the city wall, excavated in 1873,then bombed in 1943 as seen from the Temple of Venus.

Looking north towards Vesuvius from the northwest corner of the Temple of Venus Walking south past the Temple of Venus. On the left is one of 30 monumental sculptures by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj on display in Pompeii until 2017. The Pompeii Antiquarium is on the right.

Looking east along the southern edge of the city’s excavations The original Antiquarium was built by Giuseppe Fiorelli between 1873 and 1874 and housed some of the finds and casts of the victims of the Vesuvian eruption.

The museum was expanded by Amedeo Maiuri to house finds from the Villa Pisanella in Boscoreale and additional finds from excavations along the Via dell’Abbondanza. The Porta Marina gate, dating back to Sulla’s Roman conquest and colonization of the city in 80 BC, provides access to the west side of Pompeii.

This is the main entrance for most visitors. The building was severely damaged during World War II but restored under Maiuri’s direction and reopened in 1948. It now contains frescoes from the House of the Golden Bracelet, the Moregine Silver Treasure and a reconstruction of the triclinum of the House of Menander.

Retracing our steps heading north past the Temple of Venus Heading east back towards the Forum Looking east across the restored columned peristyle of the House of a pottery wholesaler, excavated in 1841,1862, 1881, and 1943 The House has 23 rooms on just its ground floor. Apparently selling pottery in Pompeii was pretty lucrative!

The Orto Botanico, excavated in 1882, covers an area of over 800 sq. meters and includes examples of all species of plants cultivated in the ancient city of Pompeii. Re-opened to the public in 2016, the gardens include fruit trees and vegetables, as well as sacred, medicinal and textile plants that thrive within its confines.

One of the oldest sacred areas in the city of Pompeii dating back to the 6th century BC, the Triangular Forum is thought to contain the tomb of legendary founder, Heracles.

Its Ionic capitals along the portico facing the Via del Templo d’Iside and forming a monumental entrance to the forum and Large Theater have been recently restored. Looking west from the northwest corner of the Triangular Forum

A labrum (ritual basin) of carrara marble is near the remains of a statue base with inscription dedicating it to Marcus Claudius Marcellus, nephew of Augustus. The entrance to the Large Theater is to our left. It is closed today but it can be seen by clicking on the link above.

In the area of the large theater and its portico, 63 bodies of victims of the eruption were found, some with legs and arms bound by shackles.

The cavea of the Large Theater originally dated from the end of the 3rd century BC but was extensively restored and enlarged during the Augustan Period to enable it to seat 5,000 spectators. Following the earthquake of 62 AD, the colonnade leading to the theatre was converted into a gladiator barracks.

Armor for the legs, thighs, and arms, as well as helmets, some encrusted with silver, were discovered in the exedra, in the middle of the east end. A curious brass trumpet with six ivory flutes was also found. Inscriptions included a salute to Popidius Rufus, “unsurpassed organizer of gladiator games.”

Upper story rooms and gallery in south-east corner of the gladiator barracks To our right is a public restroom. Good to know on your next visit! The stuccoed columns were alternately painted red, yellow, or blue with the unfluted part always red.

The Odeon or Little Theater, one of the earliest excavated structures beginning in 1769, was built about 79 BC after Rome colonized Pompeii. “Gaius Quinctius Valgus the son of Gaius, and Marcus Porcius the son of Marcus, duumvirs, contracted its construction and approved the work” proclaims an inscription near the main entrances.

It was referred to as a Theatrum Tectum by the Romans because it was covered to enhance the acoustics. It hosted miming, musical and singing performances. Telamones, large male figures including a kneeling Atlas on the right, decorated the step supports and the structure was richly embellished with multi-colored marbles.

A marble band across the diameter of the stage with bronze letters acknowledging the contribution of Marcus Oculatius was vandalized by visiting Austrian soldiers in 1815. Shops and eating establishments across the Via Stabiana from the Odeon. Looking south down the Via Stabiana from the southeast corner of the gladiator barracks.

Porta di Stabia or Stabian Gate excavated in 1869. The ancient name of the gate may have been Porta Portuensis, however. In 1936, graffito “Patria,” another name for Minerva, was still visible on the east side of the gate.

A marble Oscan inscription was found on the west side of the gate naming the Aediles M. Sittius and N. Pontius as the magistrates who directed the “perfect repair” of the roads leading to and from the gate .

Looking west across the remains of shops lining the Via Stabiana near the entrance to the Odeon and gladiator barracks. Southeast entrance to the Odeon and gladiator barracks

I visited Pompeii for the first time in 2010 during a huge rain storm. I was right here when it started to rain and this road quickly turned into a river.

Two shops with rear vaulted rooms (I 1,5). The lararium niche visible in the vaulted room to the right was once stuccoed and painted with red, blue and green flowers and plants. Fountain on the southeast corner of the intersection of the Via Stabiana with the Via dell’Abbondanza.

In 1853 a bronze lamp with double wicks was found nearby engraved with the name Decimi Iuni, thought to be the owner of the shop immediately behind the fountain. Atrium of unnamed house with impluvium leading to an entrance on the east wall to a small peristyle garden.

A graffiti of two gladiators, both wounded and having thrown away their shields and fighting hand-to hand was found on the wall of the peristyle. It is now held in the Pompeii storerooms.

Thermopolium, aka Popina, with serving counter and rear room. Drain pipes and the remains of stairs indicate it also had a spacious room upstairs. The House of Paccius Alexander excavated between 1853 and 1866 featured this spacious atrium with a lararium niche and a recess for a large wooden cupboard along its south wall.

Remains of a stucco shell and cornice with relief of Aphrodite and Eros on a seahorse below in the lararium niche. Sign depicting tools of a blacksmith on the doorpost of the Workshop of L. Livi Firmi The remains of the interior of the large Workshop of L. Livi Firmi

Shop selling flour and bread with sales counter and terracotta urns engraved with the seal of VITALE GALLICI excavated in 1852.

Mills for grinding grain into flour with stable in the rear. Grain was poured into the top of the hourglass-shaped stone called a catillus then the flour was collected in a tray below called a lamina. Oven with phallic good fortune symbol carved onto the arched opening.

Ovens here in Italy have not changed much in 2,000 years. This looks like any pizza oven you’ll see in town. Interior of the oven with ceiling vent to disperse smoke. The lower opening was stacked with vinewood fuel.

Fountain with adjacent water pressure tower and arcade containing street altars for the Lares Compitales, tutelary divinities thought to bring blessings to travelers at road intersections. Notice the phallic good fortune symbol carved on the left stone support. Street sign with Priapus, a fertility god and protector of livestock, fruit plants, and gardens.

Another phallic street sign to protect against the evil eye. The Domus of M. Caesi Blandi with mosaics of dolphins and mythical sea creatures in the entrance leading to a spacious atrium with impluvium.

Here on the right is the famous two-story Lupanar (brothel) of Pompeii. Click on the link in the upper right to see inside the Lupanar. The glassed in entrance to the House of the Wounded Bear named for the mosaic in its entrance.

The Caupona of Philipus selling food from a marble-clad counter with seven embedded urns. along the Via degli Augustali The so-called Arch of Tiberius, built to honor Drusus, the son of Tiberius, providing entrance to the forum and Temple of Jupiter in Pompeii collapsed during the earthquake of 62 AD then rebuilt and redecorated.

The honorary Arch of Caligula spanning the Via di Mercurio Walking east on the Via della Fortuna past the Temple of Augusta Fortuna on the right to the entrance to the House of the Faun, the largest villa in Pompeii.

It’s spacious atrium with a mosaiced impluvium and reproduction of the famous bronze of the dancing faun that gave the house its name.

The House of the Faun, built during the Samnite period about 180 BC is designed after a grand Hellenstic palace and is considered to be the finest example of a Roman Republican period aristocratic house. Excavated in 1830, the house contained five bodies including a woman and three boys.

An inscription bearing the cognomen Saturninus suggested the home was owned by the important gens Satria. A ring bearing the family name Cassius was also found indicating someone of the Cassii family married into the gens Satria. Geometric mosaic pavement in the entrance or “fauces’ of the House of the Faun.

Architectural motif shelf with columns on the upper west wall of the fauces of the House of the Faun Have! mosaic welcomes visitors to the House of the Faun Exposed in-wall drain in a shop next to the House of the Ancient Hunt.

The remains of a house possibly owned by Marcus Terentius Eudoxsus based on graffiti found there. Its peristyle was transformed into a weaving workshop after the earthquake of 62 AD but suffered extensive damage from Allied bombing in 1943.

Gated entrance to the House of the Vetti which is being restored. Well, that’s a shame for us. The peristyle is designed as a religious sanctuary with a temple-style lararium for traditional worship of the household gods and a chapel dedicated to the worship of Egyptian gods.

Graffiti and a seal ring indicate the owner was Gnaeus Poppaeus Habitus, a relative of Poppea Sabina, Nero’s second wife. Vaulted cubiculum decorated in the Fourth Style with floating mythological deities designated as Room Q by excavators.

Shrine dedicated to the worship of Egyptian deities depicting two Agathodaimon serpents and the family of Isis, Serapides and Harpocrates. 59Anubis, god of the dead, holds a caduceus symbolizing his association with the Roman god Mercury. Watching over all is Uraeus, the sacred cobra.

A temple-style lararium with aedicula that once housed figurines of the Capitoline Triad (Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, and the traditional Roman Lares who cared for the welfare and prosperity of a Roman household.

Oecus or exedra with a wall painting depicting Jason with only one sandal stepping in front of Pelias on the east wall, the goddess Thetis watching Hephaestus crafting the shield of Achilles on the north wall, and Achilles with Briseis and Patroclus on the south wall.

Water tower used to maintain stable water pressure and a public fountain looking north along the Via del Vesuvio House of Lucius Caecilius Jucundus, a successful banker, called an argentarius, who was involved in auction transactions. Banking records found in the house indicate he may have died in the earthquake of 62 AD.

Public fountain at the intersection of the Via del Vesuvio and the Via Nola. Workshops with boilers, vats or kettles thought to be used for dyeing textiles. Entrance to the Central Baths, the largest of Pompeii’s bath complexes taking up an entire block.

Although under construction at the time of the eruption, archaeologists noted that there appeared to be no divisions between men’s and women’s facilities so it is assumed the different genders bathed at different times.

The calidarium or hot room in the Central Baths. It is thought the series of rectangular and semi-circular niches housed stuccoes and marble statues. Columns and supports were found scattered throughout the unfinished structure.

Coming through the back entrance into the House of Marcus Lucretius also known as the Casa delle Suonatrici (House of the Female Musicians) and viewing the sculptures and fountain of the peristyle garden. Looking back towards the garden from the House of Marcus Lucretius’ atrium with impluvium.

The house was originally two residences on different levels joined together. It was excavated in 1846 then later in 1851 so many of the artworks were removed to the archaeological museum in Naples. The mosaic floors are still in situ, however.

Arcade with street altars for the Lares Compitales and carved “good fortune” phallus on support stone Heading south again on the Via Stabiana Another water pressure tower at the intersection of the Via Stabiana and Via dell’Abbondanza Looking east down the Via dell’Abbondanza Looking west down the Via dell’Abbondanza Continuing south down the Via Stabiana

Rear entrance to the House of the Cryptoporticus excavated between 1911 and 1929. The luxurious structure includes a private bath complex decorated with a Nilotic landscape. The caldarium or hot room of the private bath complex with mosaic pavement depicting human figures, a floral central element and dolphins.

Garlanded frescoes along the walls of the cryptoporticus Other rooms in the house are decorated with Greek mythological themes related to episodes in the Iliad. Remains of floral and geometric stucco elements that once decorated the vaulted ceiling of the cryptoporticus.

Mosaic pavements of the vaulted antechamber and spacious oecus or triclinium (dining room) of the House of the Cryptoporticus. Mosaic pavements of the antechamber and apodyterium (changing room) of the bath complex. The arched doorway on the left leads to the frigidarium (cold room).

Climbing to the upper loggia where diners in a masonry summer triclinium (dining area) would enjoy a southwest view of a spacious garden from its southern facing windows. The tables couches and benches were all painted with plants and birds.

A lararium on the west wall of the north portico features a niche with a painted portrait of the Roman god Mercury. Yellow serpents appear to be cautiously approaching the god on a background of plants with a peacock stretching its neck towards the larger serpent.

The black dado also features plants, butterflies and birds. Taberna of the four deities or House of Venus and the Four Gods (L to R: Apollo, Jupiter, Mercury and Diana) partially excavated in 1911. Notice the small bust of Dionysus to the right of the doorway.

Entering the House of Menandro and then turning left into a rear entrance to servants quarters, also known as the House of the Silver Treasure, covering about 19,000 sq. ft. Winestore and stables of the House of Menandro (Menander) with a reproduction of a two-wheeled cart found there.

Amphora used for the storage of liquids like wine and olive oil. Niches on the north wall of the stables where beams once supported an upper story

The elegantly columned peristyle garden restored with box hedges identified by root remains. A seal found in the servant’s quarters suggests it was owned by Quintus Poppaeus, a relative of Nero’s empress Poppaea.

Room 19 with human remains and a painting of a satyr playing a flute for a maenad on the south wall. Originally three skeletons with a mattock and a pick-axe were found in room 19.

Ten more skeletons were found a few days later that appear to have fallen from an upper floor into a lower corridor. The intermingled skeletons were then moved to the display case here Alcove with painting of the goddess Diana and admirer Actaeon being attacked by his own hunting hounds.

Another view looking north across the peristyle garden towards the atrium and formal entrance to the House of Menander Alcove with a lararium and plaster casts of wooden busts of household gods that disintegrated after the eruption. Mosaiced atrium with columned impluvium that once held rainwater from the impluvium in the roof

Triclinium with partially exposed rooms in the lower level Reception room with Nilotic mosaic embedded in the pavement The tablinum or office for the pater familias opening onto the atrium with impluvium where clients would be admitted for the morning salutatio.

The large temple-style lararium in the northwest corner would proclaim the owner’s pietas to visitors being admitted to the atrium. Reception room with a painting of Ajax dragging Cassandra from the Palladium before the eyes of Priam during the sacking of Troy on the north wall.

On the east wall a piper announces the Greek gift of the Trojan horse while Cassandra shrinks back in horror. A fresco on the south wall depicts the death of Laocoon who tries to warn the Trojans about the impending disaster. A partially restored columned peristyle with replanted trees.

Public fountain and corner shop at the junction of Via di Castricio with Via di Nocera. Walking back towards the Pompeii amphitheater with the grand palaestra (exercise area) on our right. A last view of Pompeii’s amphitheater that could accommodate 20,000 spectators.

It is thought women were confined to boxes seating up to fourteen people in the uppermost sections of the cavea. Magistrates and those aristocrats funding the games occupied double-width honorific seats called bisellia nearest to the arena.

Did you know that the word ‘Arena’ actually comes from the word harena, which was the name of the sand used to cover the amphitheater floor? The ‘Arena’ eventually became a word used to describe a place of combat. …and now we go to an arena to watch boxing, MMA and the WWF. 🙂

I think they need to have an MMA fight here! Like many other structures in Pompeii the amphitheater suffered damage from Allied bombing during a night raid on September 20, 1943. Part of the enclosing wall of the arena and a section of seating on the northwest side were destroyed.

A gladiator’s view of the spectators when the arena was filled to capacity. Looking back north towards Vesuvius with the grand palaestra on the left and the amphitheater with double staircase on the right.

We are exiting the archaeological area by way of the Viale Antiteatro into the modern day city of Pompeii, complete with a McDonalds across the street. Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this tour, please leave LIKE on the video and SHARE it with a friend. Thank you! Ciao!

Video “Pompeii like you’ve never seen it! EMPTY! – Prowalk Tours” was uploaded on 03/09/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by Prowalk Tours on Gretopia