Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium

Boscoreale, Campania, Italy

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020

About Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium

The Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium complex contains the remains of an ancient Roman villa as well as an archaeological museum dedicated to this and other ancient sites – including Pompeii, Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae.

History of Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium

The archaeological site at Boscoreale was actually home to a number of Roman villas, which were destroyed in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Of these villas only one is open to the public, the partially-restored Villa Regina.

The neighbourhood of Monte Bursaccio which was overcome by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD that obliterated and preserved its better-known neighbours, Pompeii and Herculaneum, is famous for the frescoes of its aristocratic villas, excavated before World War I. A hoard of Roman silver and coins that had been hurriedly stashed in a cistern for protection at the time of the eruption was also recovered in Boscoreale in 1895, and divided among several museums, including the Louvre and the British Museum.

Boscoreale, about a kilometre north of Pompeii of which it was an expansive, more rural outlying suburb, was notable in antiquity for having numerous aristocratic country villas and was preserved as a hunting park – hence its name, meaning “Royal Grove” – by the kings of Naples. The villa probably dates back to the first century BC and had been further enlarged during the Julio-Claudian era.

Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium today

Boscoreale villa  is comprised of a number of rooms, arranged on three sides of an open courtyard which houses the wine cellar. It is believed the villa formed part of a farming complex, which was probably a vineyard and wine-press. Other villas excavated at the site include Villa Pisanella and the Villa of Publius Fannio Sinistore.

The Antiquarium archaeological museum contains artefacts from the Boscoreale villas as well as finds from the other major ancient sites in the area. Visitors can see food remains, plaster casts of the victims of the eruption and a number of the every day life objects. The museum provides guided tours of all the major sites in the area.

Getting to Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium

Boscoreale Villa and Antiquarium is located only 3 kilometres north of Pompeii, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. Transportation can be accessed from Pompeii and surrounding historic sites.

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