This article appears in the February 2017 issue of Dream of Italy. Updated 2018.
The ancient city of Pompeii has seemingly been undergoing restoration since it was discovered in the 1700s, and the newest restorations include two homes and a brothel. Both homes – Casa Obelius Firmus and Casa Marcus Lucretius Fronto – were lavishly decorated with frescoes and paintings, and have been restored so that visitors can catch a glimpse of their former beauty. Archaeologists found human remains in both houses. The brothel is thought to have been a restaurant where prostitutes worked, and has erotic frescoes on the walls.
As part of the 100-million-euro Great Pompeii Project, 30 renovated buildings have opened to the public in the past two years and many more are in the process of being renovated. They include the House of the Ephebus, a large house that was owned by an upper-middle-class family; the Macellum, Pompeii’s main food market; and ancient kitchens in a three-story launderette. The House of the Ephebus had opulent decorations, including marble floors, and was named because a bronze statue of an ephebus (a name for a Greek adolescent) was found there.
Upcoming projects at the site include repairing the roof and structural support of the House of Chaste Lovers, adding handicap-accessible pathways and installing nighttime lighting. For more information, visit www.pompeiisites.org — Elaine Murphy
Find out what else is newly restored and renovated in Italy – in Florence, Rome and Venice.