Monday, October 27, 2008

Villa Arianna and Villa San Marco in Stabiae

Among roman villas found at Stabiae, the most famous are Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna. Villa San Marco is one of the largest villas ever discovered in Campania, measuring more than 11,000 square meters.This villa is also important because it has provided us with beautiful frescoes, sculptures, mosaics, and architecture, which show styles and themes comparable to those found in Pompei and Herculaneum.
Villa Arianna gets its name from the fresco depicting Dionysus saving Ariadne from a desert island.This villa is particularly famous for its frescoes, many of which depict light, winged figures. It is difficult to get a clear sense of this villa, however, because it grew over the course of 150 years. This villa has one of the largest courtyards of any Roman villa, which measures two stadium lengths.Another interesting feature of Villa Arianna is its private tunnel system that connects its location on the ridge to the sea shore, which was probably only between 100-200 meters away from the bottom of the hill. The shoreline has since changed, making the archaeological site further inland than it was in antiquity.
Entrance free

Photos of Stabiae(Castellammare di Stabia)Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna

Photos by William Storage and Laura Maish

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