Antiquarium of Boscoreale - History and Facts | History Hit

Antiquarium of Boscoreale

Naples, Campania, Italy

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About Antiquarium of Boscoreale

The Antiquarium of Boscoreale is a small museum in Naples that displays an array of ancient artefacts from Pompeii and the area of Villa Regina. Beside the museum is the 1st century BC site Villa Regina itself.

History of Antiquarium of Boscoreale

The Antiquarium of Boscoreale is a small building located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius. It was set up in 1991 as a place of education to complement the famous Villa Regina site which contains several Roman villas that were uncovered after being destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. The exhibition showcases the varied and numerous finds that were discovered during excavations carried out between the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis, Stabiae, Terzigno, and Boscoreale. 

There are findings of local fauna and flora, food such as carbonised loaves of bread, cosmetics and medicines, as well as plaster casts of victims of the volcano eruption. These objects were stunningly well-preserved when they were discovered, owing to the blanket of volcanic ash and Vesuvian lava that protected them from the elements for nearly 2,000 years.

As a result, archaeologists and scientists have been able to obtain precise and detailed information about the living standards, economic conditions, customs, and traditions of the Roman inhabitants who once inhabited the several farmhouses, villas, and commercial buildings that make up the site.

Antiquarium of Boscoreale today

The first exhibition room displays items that detail the local population’s relationship with the sea and coastal hinterland, agriculture within the local region, crafting such as textile production, as well as various medicines and cosmetics that would have been used by the local population.

The second room details human activity during the prehistoric and protohistoric periods, with a particular focus on manufacturing practises during the period. There are a number of impressive villas in the area, with the most impressive arguably being the Villa Regina, which is an extraordinary example of ‘villa rustica’, or Roman Farm. 

It is recommended that tourists book a two-hour private tour (coming in at about €90) to make the most of the array of knowledge that local guides can provide. These run regularly throughout the year.

Getting to Antiquarium of Boscoreale

The Antiquarium of Boscoreale is a 20 minute drive from Naples, mainly along the E45 road. There are also regular buses – the 116, 175, and 195 – that take around an hour. Both of these journeys enjoy a lovely view along the bay between Pompeii and Naples that looks out into the Gulf of Naples.