Discover two fascinating but little known ancient sites buried by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD
Price 20 €
duration 1.5 hours
Discover two hidden gems of the ancient world on our virtual tour of the spectacular archaeological sites of Oplontis and Stabiae. Like their more famous neighbours in Pompeii and Herculaneum, Oplontis and Stabiae were destroyed and preserved by the devastating eruption of Veusuvius in 79 AD. Although the magnificent patrician Villa Poppaea in Oplontis hardly ever features on tourist itineraries to this region, the opulent and well-preserved palace provides us with an extraordinary insight into the lavish world of the ancient Roman elites. Although we don’t know for sure who the villa belonged to, it was possibly once owned by the unfortunate Poppaea Sabina, kicked to death by her insane husband Nero. Hidden beneath the nearby Naples commuter town of Castellammare di Stabia meanwhile is the ancient settlement of Stabiae, made up of a series of residential villas belonging to well-to-do Romans seeking to escape the summer heat. Amongst the surviving remains of Stabiae are bathhouses, elegant gardens, service rooms, a stable, fishmonger and more, offering a rich insight into daily life in antiquity. Join expert local guide Andrea to explore these fascinating but lesser-known archaeological gems from the comfort of your own home, and get inspired for your next Italian adventure with Through Eternity!
Hi I’m Andrea! A native of Naples, I’ve lived in the Campania region of Italy all my life, and I have a deep love for its art, archeology, music, architecture, cuisine, natural beauty and - of course - its people. I have shared this world with many, many visitors over the years,showcasing the vast range of this wonderful place. When I was 14 years old I started working as an actor in theatres, and this plays a central role in how I communicate on my tours today - I always try to put something theatrical into everything I do :-)
The world of travel might be on hold right now, but just because we're all staying at home to help the world overcome a common enemy doesn't mean we have to put our wanderlust on the back burner. Frustrated with not being able to get our travel fix, we decided to transform our award-winning tours into immersive virtual experiences, meaning you can still explore Italy’s spectacular archaeological sites and jaw-dropping museums from the comfort of your own home.
If you cannot find a scheduled time for our virtual tours that work for you, please contact us directly and we would be delighted to set up a private virtual tour for you and your group!
* Please note that the booking times are in US Eastern Standard Time and Rome, Italy CET is 6 hours ahead *
Fun and informative, our virtual tours take the form of online real-time presentations led by our expert guides. Combining videos, high-definition photos and more, our guides will be sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience with you on these interactive walkthroughs of Italy’s most fascinating sites. The live format of our virtual tours means you’ll be able to ask your guide anything you wish, just like on a normal tour. We really believe it's the next best thing to being here!
Please note that the proceeds from our online tours go directly to our guides, providing them with a valuable lifeline in these tough times for the world of travel. Thank you for your support!
5.0 (2 reviews)
Wonderful visit to two little-known sites
When I visited the ancient Greek site of Elea/Velia in Campania in person, my guide kept talking about Oplontis - how wonderful Oplontis is, how nobody visits it, how I *must* see it when I someday return to the area (since I didn't have the time at that point to see it on the trip that I was on). After taking Andrea's virtual tour, I fully understand why my referenced in-person guide had raved about the site. Oplontis was a huge villa that was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE along with Herculaneum, Pompeii, and the other site visited on this virtual tour, Stabiae. The survival of the site is amazing, including not just much of the architecture but many extant frescoes and a number of artifacts. Andrea discusses the architecture, art history, social history, and archaeology of the site, including that evidence suggests it was owned by Nero's second wife Poppaea. Personally I especially appreciate that the excavated, visitor-viewable sections of Oplontis include the areas where the enslaved residents worked. Andrea then discusses the nearby complimentary site Stabiae, most of which has yet to be excavated by archaeologists. At both sites experts have used the extant evidence to try to reconstruct the gardens using historically accurate flora. As usual for his archaeologically-focused tours, Andrea enriches his tour with maps, reconstructions, and videos as well as photographs. I highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in ancient Roman history, the history of the Italian Peninsula, archaeology, and/or social history.
Luxurious leisure villas of ancient Roman elites
If you are even mildly curious about Pompeii, Herculaneum, and the Archaeological Museum of Naples, and if you haven't yet (re-)visited them virtually with Andrea, Francesca, and Lorenzo (respectively)--whether or not you have wandered the ruins or the collection in person--then, of course, I encourage you to take any or all of these wonderful tours. And if you think you already know everything you want to know about the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 and the lives and artifacts, frozen in time and still being meticulously excavated, then Oplontis and Stabiae may still surprise, inspire, and challenge you to take another look, and to imagine lounging around these extraordinary villas like the extravagantly wealthy, self-indulgent, and aesthetically astute ancient Romans. Given the scale of Pompeii and Herculaneum and the opportunities for archaeologists to excavate and reconstruct complex urban communities, it is understandable why those sites attracted and continue to attract almost all the attention. Oplontis and Stabiae, however, offer uniquely intimate and illuminating ways into understanding what money and power could buy for the most elite and ostentatious Romans in 79. And with Andrea as your erudite and engaging virtual companion, you will discover not just a sybaritic ancient lifestyle, but some breathtaking art and artifacts.