HOUSE OF THE CHASTE LOVERS
FROM 11th TO 14th FEBRUARY
To celebrate the Feast of Saint Valentine, for the long weekend from Saturday 11th to Tuesday 14th February, the Superintendency of Pompeii opens the doors to the House of the Chaste Lovers.
Opened for the first time in 2010 and then closed again, now subject of an exclusive opening to the public before the onset of major works which will allow a total restoration and development, as well as a reconfiguration of the escarpments of the area.
The house forms part of a large Insula which also comprises the House of the Painters at Work and several small shops, and covers an area of over 1500m².
The name originates from the 'chaste' kiss exchanged by two lovers in one of the small paintings which decorate the triclinium of the house, which has an adjoining bakery.
It was in fact the home of a rich baker, and apart from the splendidly preserved bakery oven with the millstones still attached, two stables with the remains of seven animals survives.
Still not been fully explored today, in 1912 Vittorio Spinazzola began investigation of the façade with the balcony and colonnade, which was then damaged in the 1943 bombing.
Excavation continued in various phases, from 1982 until recently, in a broad plan of restoration and development.
Shortly before the dramatic events of 79 AD, maintenance work was underway on the hydraulic network and, in the House of the Painters at Work, the restructuring of the wall decorations in the large oecus: the sudden interruption left the small paintings incomplete of which the preparatory drawings had been completed. The presence of numerous cups still full of pigments which the artist was using would seem to prove that the work was abandoned in a hurry.
Access will be allowed to a maximum of 15 people at a time, and will be managed at the entrance to the Domus. No booking is required.