Stabia, like Pompeii and Herculaneum, is absolutely worth visiting for its majestic villas that preserve frescoes and mosaics of fine workmanship.
A few kilometers from Pompeii ruins, there is the archaeological site of the ancient town of Stabiae, in today’s Castellammare di Stabia. It enjoys an excellent strategic position thanks to its terraces overlooking the sea. Here, in Roman times, the great patricians used to spend their holidays and build large and sumptuous panoramic villas.
Stabiae as well suffered from the fate of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The excavation of the site began with the Bourbons in 1749 and is still ongoing today. Archaeologists’ research has brought to light three sumptuous residential villas with beautiful frescoes and mosaics.
The first one is Villa S. Marco which, thanks to its surface of 11,000 square meters, is one of the largest residential Roman villas; then, there is Villa Arianna, which is the oldest and owes its name to the large painting depicting Ariadne abandoned by Theseus at Nasso found in the back wall of the triclinium; lastly, the “Second complex” of the Varano.
- Meeting the guide at the entrance of Villa San Marco
- The tour starts at the perfectly preserved Villa San Marco, where everything is still evident: the entrance hall, the kitchens, the garden with a long swimming pool, various frescoed rooms and a thermal district where the extraordinary calidarium (sauna) is well preserved with all the facilities used for heating.
- Transfer to Villa Arianna (1 km distant, we suggest to have a private car to have the tour)
- The visit consists in a walk through the large garden with patio, several decorated panoramic rooms and a splendid thermal area
- Make sure to take plenty of water.
- It is best to use closed shoes and not flip flops, since it can be difficult to walk through the ruins of Pompeii with opened shoes.
- The archaeological site is difficult to reach by public transportation; it is recommended to move with your own car. We can even provide a private transportation service.
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