Old Villas of Stabiae

Flora. Fresco from Stabiae. Inv. No. 8834. Naples, National ArchVilla Arianna opens the thermal complex to its visitors: a suggestive archaeological itinerary in Castellammare di Stabia.
 
In the heart of the Gulf of Naples, on the hill of Varano, in Castellammare di Stabia, there’s an archaeological site of rare beauty and great appeal which still preserves a complex of Imperial Age villas, once summer residences and agricultural businesses of the best Roman aristocracy.
The two main complexes are named Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna, and today they face an underlying urban landscape which took the place of the beach and the sea that once reached the base of the hill and were accessed through a private path made of tunnels and sloping terraces from the Ville.
The sumptuous residences, sealed by the ash of Mount Vesuvius for centuries, are surprisingly well preserved and have a variety of richly decorated spaces which makes them unique and have raised interest of prestigious universities such as the Hermitage of Saint Petersburg, which has been participating in the restoration and preservation of the site.
The last restoration intervention, done with the collaboration of the workers of Stabia’s Ufficio Scavi, allowed public access to the thermal baths of Villa Arianna, which wasn’t possible until August 2015. They consist of a series of rooms, tepidarium, calidarium, laconicum and frigidarium organized around a small indoor porticoed garden and they were part of the “salus per aquam” itinerary, which consisted of going through pools at different temperatures.
The luxurious nymphaeum and the knowledgeable iconography of the porticoes of Villa San Marco, the refined frescos of the rooms in Villa Arianna, the most important of which is the illustration of the difficult love between Theseus and Adriadne (Arianna), which also gives the Villa its name, are only a few of the wonderful treasures that this site safeguards.
A fascinating and suggestive archaeological itinerary which will thrill visitors with magnificent examples of the best and highest expression of a culture which laid the foundation for western civilization.
 
How to get there, dates and time.
Accessible through Via Passeggiata Archeologica from the archaeological site of Stabia. Free entry.
 
Time schedule:
1st April – 31st October: every day from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm (last entry 6 pm)
Closing day: 1st May
1st November – 31st march:every day from 8.30 am to 5 pm (last entry 3.30 pm)
Closing days: 25th December and 1st January
For more information: www.pompeiisites.org