The Special Superintendent for Archaeological Heritage of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae reported on 29 October 2014 that studies have confirmed that the Villa of Poppea in Oplontis did in fact, overlook the sea. According to a SSBA press release:

It has long been presumed that the Villa of Poppea in Oplontis had spectacular views of the sea, with panoramic living rooms and terraces that spread across other levels under that of the main hall, already brought to light. Recent stratigraphic excavations conducted by the Superintendency in the area of the former Foglia Manzillo Windmill, to the south of the villa of Poppea and the Conte di Sarno Canal have confirmed this. The excavations were preceded by a phase of geo-archaeological type research, which made it possible to identify the areas to be subjected to stratigraphic surveys in order to better understand the development of the villa which at this point looked out on a high cliff overhanging the sea.


Photo courtesy of SSBA-PES-Pompeii

In this first phase of the investigation, remains of terraces, and their respective retaining walls, a porch with columns found in the process of collapse and the first traces of mosaic floors and wall paintings came to light. Ongoing investigations are aimed at defining the architectural development of this side of the complex and to investigate the existence of a direct link between the villa and the sea, the presence of the tunnel visible in the southwest corner of the peristyle servile, apparently directed towards the sea to the south, until now hinted at.


Photo courtesy of SSBA-PES-Pompeii

The villa of “Poppea”, grandiose in size, with the quality of the frescoes and sculptures in marble attributed to Poppea Sabina, the second wife of the Emperor Nero, presents the almost entirely excavated eastern part, while the west has not been fully brought to light, due to the presence of the modern road and a military building, the old Royal Arms Factory. The ongoing excavations are therefore an important part in helping to define more fully the structure of the villa and the surrounding area.


Photo courtesy of SSBA-PES-Pompeii