On Wednesday, Italy’s culture minister reopened Casa del Bicentenario (House of Bicenternary), a well preserved Ancient Roman villa, to the public for the first time since it closed 35 years ago. 

Located in the open-air archaeological site of Herculaneum, beside Pompeii, the Ancient Roman villa underwent years of painstaking conservation as archaeologists worked to secure the building’s structure and preserve the ancient artworks and artefacts inside. Considered the site’s most noble roman villa, the House of Bicentenary had been under restoration for 35 years.

Buried under about 15 metres (48ft) of volcanic ash unit the 18th century, the three-storey, 600 sq metre Domus, which contains stunning frescoes and mosaic floors, was discovered in 1938 while digging of a well. 

Ancient Roman Villa in Herculaneum Reopens

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Riapre dopo 30 anni la Casa del Bicentenario a Ercolano – Parco Archeologico: la preziosa collaborazione tra pubblico e privato, che da venti anni opera nel sito, ha portato un altro frutto, un risultato importante che coniuga studio, restauro e fruizione di un monumento straordinario. Il ministro @dariofrances: «Un’apertura significativa, che simboleggia il percorso iniziato qualche anno fa. Si è tornati a fare ricerca scientifica, tutela e valorizzazione: un’ulteriore prova del riscatto italiano che proseguirà nel futuro». #ercolano #ercolanoscavi #CasadelBicentenario #mibact #campania #igerscampania #visitcampania #pompeiitaly #pompei #herculaneum #archeological #archaeology #archaeologist #archeologia #sitoarcheologico #sitounesco #history #storia #storytelling #storiaromana @museitaliani @ercolanoscavi

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Dario Franceschini, the Italian Culture Minister, said during a ceremony to open the home on Wednesday that “this is an important result. An extraordinary monument, which had fallen into a state of neglect, is again accessible to visitors”. Featured with mythological scenes and Dionysian themes the frescoes, lines with the Herculaneum’s wealthy inhabitants. 

Also decorated with mosaic floors, it is considered to be the earliest depiction of Vesuvius, adorned with a cross which may be the oldest relic testifying to Christianity in the Roman Empire (even though it’s yet to be proven). The site though smaller and less well known than the neighbouring Pompeii, both the sites continue to fascinate archaeologists and the general public. 

Other recent discoveries include wooden furniture and a library of ancient papyrus scrolls all through the development of new x-ray technique and artificial intelligence. With a significant portion of visitors flocking to both Herculaneum and Pompeii, Franceschini said that money would continue to be invested in both Herculaneum and Pompeii, in the hopes of improving the sites while adding more onto the cultural importance of the sites.


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