On the east wall of the entrance a doorway was opened up in a later
building phase, leading to a smaller side entry which may have been used
before or after the normal reception hours and for
less important visitors.
The entrance doorways opens onto the fauces which, when first excavated,
few remnants of first style frescoes, but was mainly decorated in the third style. Today, virtually none of this decoration remains.
The fauces has a lime-cement floor into which small pieces of lava and
fragments of coloured limestones and marble were inserted.
The fauces opens onto a rectangular atrium which has a very symmetrical appearance.
The monumental doorways to the rooms opening off the atrium are
mirrored on opposite sides and in the case where no real doorway
existed fake doors were inserted into the walls in order to preserve the
symmetry (e.g. in the left of the photograph opposite).
In the centre of the atrium is a marble lined impluvium
(pictured left). The impluvium, made of large slabs of white marble, was
equipped with three
sets of fountains. The first, placed on a pedestal on the northern rim
had the afore-mentioned statuette of a bronze bull as fountain figure;
second was a waterspout fountain in the centre of the impluvium while
the third one consisted of four small jets emerging from the frame
of the basin. The aqueduct water feeding these fountains came through a
now lost lead pipe from the rear of the house.
Opening off the
south west corner of the atrium is a small room with a flight of masonry stairs
to the upper floor. To the north of this room is a cubiculum (c) (pictured opposite) which retains
some of its second style fresco decoration. The decoration appears to have consisted of large
red panels above a lower black frieze, but all the finer decorative
detail has been lost.
The room's only source of light was by way of the doorway onto the atrium
In the middle of the west side of the atrium
is the oecus
(d). The walls
of the oecus
retain large areas of plasterwork but the surviving
decoration is badly weathered with very little detail remaining
(pictured left and below).
Facing the oecus
on the opposite side of the atrium is a similarly shaped room (h). It
too has a second doorway which opens onto the ala (g) but the walls of this room retain relatively well preserved remains of its first style decoration (pictured opposite and below).
The walls of the cubiculum are decorated in the third style with bold yellow and red geometric shapes on a white ground. The room had a split
ceiling with a vault in the northern part of the room and a flat ceiling
in the southern part.
The small 'room' (k) on the east side of the fauces
contains the larger of two lararia
found in the house. The altar (pictured left), in the form of a half
column, is built against the south wall. There are faint remains of
decoration on the wall which consisted in part of a painted
snake on either side of the altar. In addition, there are some remains
of first style
decoration on the upper part of this wall.
(f) is open to the atrium
over its full width (pictured
left looking back from the peristyle
towards the fauces
). Both east and
west walls retain some areas of plasterwork but all decorative detail
has been lost. The floor of the tablinum
of lime mortar decorated with small black and occasional coloured stone
in a similar manner to the floor of
. The tablinum
has a wide opening in its north wall which
gives access to the peristyle
(l) by way of two low steps.
The peristyle (pictured lower left and below) is porticoed on three sides and had a mixture of Ionic columns and rectangular pillars to support the inner margins of the roof. The columns and pillars are of tufa or brick stuccoed to resemble veined marble.
The main feature of the peristyle
, however, is the rear (north) wall
which consists of a large facade nymphaeum
(m) (pictured left and lower
left). The nymphaeum
was probably added when piped water was introduced
to the house sometime early in the first century AD.
Piped water was used extensively throughout the house with five
separate junction boxes in five different rooms to ensure that the water
was distributed and used in a controllable manner. The junction box
found in the peristyle is pictured below.
Situated immediately west
of the tablinum is the triclinium (n) (pictured left) which is open to the south side
of the peristyle over virtually its full width.
large areas of plasterwork on the south wall of the triclinium
little in the way of decoration has survived the passage of time. The triclinium
has a fine white mosaic floor with a double black border. The
threshold to the room is composed of black and white tesserae
Greek key pattern (shown below).
(o) opens off the south west corner of the peristyle
walls of the room retain a few weathered patches of plasterwork but no
decoration. The oecus
has lost its flooring thus exposing the cellar
beneath (pictured opposite and coloured pink in the floor plan) which
was accessed by way of a ramp from the small room to the west.
The large room (q) which opens off the north west corner of the
is in a semi-ruinous condition with little or no remaining
plasterwork. Opening off the opposite, north east corner of the peristyle
is a short passageway (r) (shown left looking west) which
leads to a secondary entrance at doorway No. 9 on the Vicolo di Cecilio Giocondo.
At the northern end of the east wall is a large arched recess (shown
above). There are remnants of plasterwork in the recess but but nothing
in the way of decorative detail.
The masonry bath is set against the south wall close to the furnace in
the adjacent kitchen. The bath is not in the middle of the wall but is
offset to the west (pictured left) and has a single step on its long
northern side to assist entry.