Torre del Greco

Villa Sora

The villa, in modern day Torre del Greco, dates to the first century AD, and, given its size and decorative scheme, is thought to have belonged to the imperial family. The villa was laid out over three floors; the topmost floor collapsed following the eruption of Vesuvius while the lower floors were buried by volcanic debris.
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The rooms uncovered by the Bourbons included a large apsed hall which opened onto a corridor that in turn led to a semi- circular fountain. The peristyle of the villa measured over 60m square, and was paved in polychrome marble.

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Archaeologists worked between 1989 and 1992 re-excavating the rooms already explored by the Bourbons, particularly the area around the large apsed hall and the small garden which opened off its north side.
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Other rooms excavated at this time included a cubiculum (pictured above and upper right) which was decorated in the fourth style with light blue panels above a lower dark red frieze.
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The villa, unfortunately,  has not been the subject of a systematic excavation and much still remains buried. Some of the best frescoes and artifacts are currently being held in the storerooms at Herculaneum, the nearest Soprintendenza facility to the site.
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The villa, known in the seventeenth century after the discovery of some marble sculptures, was the subject of 'excavations' by the Bourbons in the eighteenth century. The villa was rediscovered in 1974. The photograph opposite is of a statue of a satyr found in the property in 1797. It was gifted to the Archaeological Museum in Palermo by Ferdinand II.

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The other rooms were a reception room decorated in the fourth style, a vestibule decorated in the fourth style on a black ground (pictured above), an oecus decorated in the third style on a red ground (pictured below) and a service corridor decorated in the fourth style on a yellow ground.
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In the years following the excavations in the 1990s the property was sadly neglected and became the subject of vandalism and overrun with rubbish, being used as an illegal dump. Through the strenuous efforts of a local group of enthusiasts, the Gruppo Archeologico Vesuviana, the site has since been tidied up and the
Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei has begun some remedial work to improve security and accessibility to the site.




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