DOMUS OF THE CHASTE LOVERS

On the occasion of the Valentine’s Day, the Superintendency of Pompeii has provisionally opened the doors of the special Domus of the Chaste Lovers.

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Opened for the first time in 2010 and then closed again, the domus was exceptionally made available to visit before the big renovation that will allow the overall restoration and enhancement, as well as the reconfiguration of the escarpments of the area.

Archeology professor Ilaria Tartaglia regularly accompanies our students in field-trips to the archaeological excavations of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Oplonti. She was among the first archaeologists to be able to access to this domus, leading a visit of a group of students from Sant’Anna Institute even before 2010.

The house is part of one great insula which also includes the House of the Painters at Work and some workshops and covers over 1500 square meters.

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The name originates from the “chaste” kiss that two lovers share in one of the banquet pictures that decorate the triclinium of the house, with the adjoining bakery.

In fact, it was the house of a rich baker and inside the domus you can also see, in addition to the bakery oven, beautifully preserved, with the annexed millstones, the two stables with the remains of seven animals. Just before the dramatic event of the year 79 AD, the water circuit was apparently being reset, in the House of the Painters at work, along with the reconstruction of the wall decoration in the big oecus: the sudden interruption left incomplete the pictures of which the sinopia had already been completed. Clues of the sudden desertion of the work are the numerous cups still full of pigments that the artist was using.

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