About Regio V, Pompeii
One of the best known ancient sites in the world, Pompeii was an ancient Roman city founded in the 6th to 7th century BC and famously destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Today, the well-preserved remains of the once epic city include brightly-coloured frescoes, houses, temples, shops, cafes and even a brothel.
History of Regio V, Pompeii
Originally, archaeological excavations of Pompeii focused on areas where the wealthiest citizens of the city once lived. Regio V, however, was once an area populated by the middle and working classes and enslaved people, as well as shops, with the result being buildings which are often less richly-decorated, but no less fascinating.
The area known as ‘Regio V’ is home to a number of such sites, and is currently undergoing exciting excavations. It occupies the north-eastern sector of Pompeii, bordered to the south by the Via di Nola and to the west by the Via Stabiana. Archaeological work is ongoing, so sections of the site remain closed to the public.
Regio V, Pompeii today
Though Pompeii has been almost consistently excavated since the mid-eighteenth century, about a third of the city still remains buried beneath 20 feet of volcanic debris following the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius. However, when a section of volcanic debris in a neighbourhood known as Regio V began to collapse, authorities began excavation work.
The most striking finds, such as a luxurious and richly-decorated ‘lararium’ – a room used for worship – were revealed in 2018. Other finds included vibrantly-coloured frescoes, streets, houses, workshops and gardens as well as a number of bodies of people who weren’t lucky enough to escape the deadly eruption, including 11 found huddled together in one room.
In 2021 and 2022, more remarkable finds were uncovered, such as ornamental plates, three electoral inscriptions, additional frescoes in the House of the Dolphins and a precious candelabrum from a living room in the House of Jupiter.
Getting to Regio V, Pompeii
Pompeii is a modern day Italian town: there’s a train station with regular departures to Salerno and Torre Annunziata, where you’ll need to change trains if you’re heading to or from Naples, or you can stop at Pompei Scavi, which is on the mainline between Naples and Sorrento, and is much closer to the archaeological site itself. Buses 5000 and 5020 also run from Naples and stop in the centre of town.
The archaeological site is just off the E45 and SS18 if you’re heading into Pompeii: there’s some parking nearby but it gets extremely busy. Pompeii is about a 25 minute drive or a 35 minute train from Naples.