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The Villa of the Mysteries: History untouched


One of the things uncovered in 1909 after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD is The Villa of the Mysteries (Italian: Villa dei Misteri). A well-preserved suburban ancient Roman villa on the outskirts of Pompeii, it is famous for a series of exquisite frescos in one room, which are usually thought to show the initiation of a young woman into a Greco-Roman mystery cult.

These are now among the best known of the relatively rare survivals of Ancient Roman painting. The villa retained most of its walls and ceilings. The structure had both fine rooms for dining and entertaining as well as more functional spaces. A wine-press was discovered when the Villa was excavated and has been restored in its original location. It was not uncommon for the homes of the very wealthy to include areas for the production of wine, olive oil, or other agricultural products.

The frescoes, however, remain the most impressive parts. Theories have been varied, but the two most pertinent ones maintain that it either depicts the initiation into a mystery cult or a girl being prepared for marriage.

Come visit the Villa of the Mysteries, which ispart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Pompeii. We’ll take you there and back, and make it a day to remember!

Find out our Pompeii Tours and live the Mystery of the Ancient Roman Empire.