Luogo antico di villeggiatura, Stabia con le sue Ville finemente decorate ed abbellite di meravigliose suppellettili è il sito che, a differenza di Pompei ed Ercolano, vere e proprie cittadine, rappresentano il lusso e l’otium dell’epoca romana. A partire dal I sec. a.C. a Stabia si assiste alla costruzione di numerosi complessi edilizi tipo rurale e residenziale. A quest’ultimo tipo, fanno parte le lussuose di Villa San Marco e Villa Arianna, che nel 79 d.C verranno poi sepolte dall’eruzione del Vesuvio.

Dr. G. Bonifacio

Stabiae played a major strategic and commercial role as early as the archaic period (8th century BC).  It was most densely populated in the period between the city’s destruction at the hand of Sulla (89 BC) and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 AD). During this period, numerous villae with scenic views and primarily designed for residential purposes were built on the northern rim of the hill of Varano. They had vast, lavishly decorated, living areas, complete with baths, porticos and nymphaeums. The main buildings uncovered by excavations are three villae that have still not been exhaustively studied: 'Villa San Marco' which, with a surface of over 11,000 sq. m, is one of the biggest residential Roman ‘villae’; 'Villa Arianna', the oldest of the three, named after the large painting of a mythological scene on the far wall of the triclinium; and the 'Second complex' of Varano, adjoining the former building.

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