The House of the Vettii, Pompeii

Roman Site in Pompeii

House Of The Vettii, Pompeii
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Diego Delso,

The House of the Vettii is one of the richest and most renowned residences in Pompeii, reflecting the wealth and status of its owners, the brothers Aulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva. These former slaves, who gained their freedom and amassed significant wealth through trade, placed their home under the protection of Priapus, the god of prosperity. A painting of Priapus can be seen to the right of the entrance, symbolizing the economic success of the household.

Architectural Changes: The house underwent significant changes during the restructuring phase in the Augustan era (1st century BCE). Unlike traditional Pompeian homes, such as the House of the Faun and the House of Sallust, the House of the Vettii eliminated the tablinum (the main reception area) to create a larger garden space. This garden, filled with statues and water jets, became the focal point of the dwelling.

Decorative Features: The more richly decorated rooms are arranged around the peristylium (a colonnaded garden). One of the highlights is the living room with a frieze of Cupids, depicting them engaged in various productive activities of the time, such as selling wine, cleaning clothes, cultivating flowers, harvesting, making jewelry, and creating perfumes.

Lararium and Other Features: In the kitchen area, you will find the lararium painting, a small shrine dedicated to the household gods. Additionally, a graffiti at the entrance of the house indicates that a prostitute named Eutychus, who was a slave offering her services for two Asses, conducted her business in an adjacent room. This room is notably decorated with a series of erotic paintings.

Cultural and Historical Significance: The House of the Vettii provides a fascinating glimpse into the lives of wealthy Pompeians, showcasing their tastes, social practices, and economic activities. The elaborate decorations and innovative architectural modifications reflect the opulence and cultural sophistication of its owners, offering a vivid picture of life in Pompeii before the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The The House of the Vettii, Pompeii appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Pompeii!

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Visiting The House of the Vettii, Pompeii

Duration: 20 minutes

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