Tucked away behind a complex of apartments, Boscoreale lies about two kilometers away from Pompeii. In Roman times, the area was part of a hunting reserve.

This particular villa burned down during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, so there’s not much to see. A grassy slope leads to the excavation site thirty feet below ground level. Only a few rooms remain, but the kitchen makes the visit worthwhile. Inside are rows of buried amphorae that must have held all sorts of delights.

Next to the villa, a small museum houses frescoes, marble statues, and other items, but there’s no brochure and the collection is eclectic, not necessarily displaying what was found exclusively at this location.

Interestingly, a huge number of coins were hidden in a cistern at Boscoreale just before the eruption. They were re-discovered in the late nineteenth century and museums throughout Europe, including the Louvre, snatched up the coins for their own collections. Fortunately, the National Archeological Museum in downtown Naples also houses many frescoes and coins from Boscoreale.

NOTE: The villa is currently closed for renovations, so call ahead to check if it’s open.  The museum is open.