Description of the Villa
Regina lies about 1.5km north west of Pompeii in the town of Boscoreale.
rustic villa, discovered in 1977, consists of various rooms set round
three sides of an open
courtyard. The villa, which was built in the 1st century BC and enlarged
over time, lies in an open excavation about 8m below the level of the
The main entrance (a) on the west side of the
property (pictured below) opens onto a small vestibule. On either side
of the entrance are plaster casts of the original doors. The room
immediately to the left (c) appears to have been a storeroom; it was
here that a large quantity of pottery and farm implements were found.
To the east of the torcularium is the kitchen (f) which
has a low rectangular hearth and, in one corner, a brick oven. On the
wall outside (pictured below) is a temple style lararium which held a
bust of Bacchus (pictured bottom right).
vestibule opens onto the central court (b) which is colonnaded on three
sides. The columns are of brick with a coating of stucco painted red
and white as shown in the accompanying photos. The west side of the
colonnade (pictured below) gives access to the cistern area and a
cubiculum (d) which is decorated in the third style on a black ground.
large room (e) on the north side of the colonnade is the torcularium.
The room could logically be split into two separate areas performing two
separate though intrinsically linked functions; nearest the door was
the calcatorium where the grapes were trodden in a tub; at the back was
the press (pictured left), sited on a raised floor, which performed the
final extraction of the juice from the pre-trodden grapes.
the rear of the press was a strong post to which the inner end of the
press beam was attached. In front stood two posts to which were fitted
the ends of a horizontal windlass. By means of a pulley and a rope the
outer end of the press beam could be raised or lowered in order to exert
pressure on the grapes to be pressed. The grape juice ran into a round
vat sunk in the floor; from here it was transferred to one of 18 dolia
situated in the wine store (j) to ferment (pictured left). According to
Pliny's Natural History (XIV, xxi, 136) the best Campanian wines
underwent fermentation in the open air, subject to sun, wind and rain.
the right of the press are the remains of a small altar with a fresco
on the adjoining wall (visible in the photograph of the press and pictured below).
In the north east corner of the colonnade is a secondary access to the court. On the east side of the colonnade is the triclinium (g) (pictured left). The room is decorated in the third style
with large red, black and yellow panels above a lower black frieze. The
upper zone consists of architectural themes on a white ground. Beyond
is a barn (h) which gives access to the threshing floor (i) beyond. In
the south east corner of the colonnade was a flight of stairs to the
* Images ©Jackie and Bob Dunn are
reproduced by permission from their website at
(Su concessione del Ministero per
i Beni e le Attività Culturali:
Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di
Napoli e Pompei)