House of the Restaurant is situated on the west side of the Vicolo del
Centenario, a narrow lane which lies to the south of the Via di Nola. The house, left of centre in the picture below,
is in a seriously dilapidated condition having been neglected and
left to the ravages of the elements since it was initially excavated in
The property is linked to, and incorporates, the adjoining popina or
lupanare which has its own separate entrance at door no.16 on the
unnamed street that defines the southern limit of the insula.
The paving is composed of a fine white mosaic framed by a broad black border. There is a
decorative threshold between the fauces and the atrium consisting of black tesserae forming a stylized floral pattern on a white ground.
When the house was excavated, the then accepted practice was to strip the house bare
of anything that didn't move. Had this attitude not prevailed these frescoes, and those in the adjoining room (c)
(or possibly room (h) according to which source you believe) would
in all probability have now been lost. The frescoes in question include Pyramus and Thisbe
, Aeneas before Dido
and Bacchus and Ariadne with the thiasus. These frescoes can now be seen in the National
Museum in Naples.
On the north
and south sides of the atrium
are the large alae
(d) and (d') which are
in a similar state of disrepair as the atrium
itself. A doorway in the
south wall of ala
(d') gives access to the second atrium
(l). The best
preserved rooms in the main part of the house are the cubicula
(f) on the south side of the fauces is decorated in a similar manner
with red panels on a yellow ground (pictured below). All three central
mythological scenes are still in place. They are perhaps not of the
highest quality but they do exhibit a naive simplicity.
The scene on the north wall (pictured opposite)
is of Hercules and Omphale
. On the east wall, facing the entrance, is a scene depicting Ariadne and Dionysus
with a panther and a
statue of Pan (pictured lower right) while on the south wall is a painting of Europa and the Bull
One such scene, found in a multitude of fragments in the south colonnade, is of Neptune and Amphitrite (pictured above). It has since been painstakingly pieced back together and is now in the National Archaeological Museum in Naples.
large rooms on the east side of the peristyle
, including room (i), one
of the potential sources of several frescoes to be found in the Naples
Museum, are now completely devoid of any remaining plasterwork.
off the south side of the peristyle
was the service area which included
the kitchen (j) (pictured opposite) with its large hearth. When the
kitchen was excavated there were traces of a painted lararium
south wall. The service area also included a latrine and a flight of
stairs to the upper floor. This area of the house sustained further
structural damage in 2010 when part of a wall collapsed.
the best preserved room of the whole property is cubiculum
opens off the west side of the atrium
(l). The room is decorated in the fourth style
with white panels framed in red with internal green
decorative borders above a lower white frieze. The white panels contain
erotic scenes and occasional floating figures. A window on the east wall
was blocked up some time before the eruption.