Stabiae is one of the four villages covered by the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD along with Pompeii Herculaneum and Oplontis. It is located near the modern Castellammare di Stabia, in an area known as Varano and approximately 4.5 km southwest of Pompeii. The site was declared an archaeological protected area in 1957, and by 1962 many of the ruins had been again uncovered. It is here that the Roman Pliny the Elder landed with a boat on the day of the eruption in order to rescue his friends living in town.The excavations returned two celebrated Roman villas, Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna, with frescoes, statues, sculptures, mosaics similar to those already found in Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Among the numerous villas of Stabiae archaeological residential area, today can be visited the ones called
Villa San Marco and Villa Arianna.
The tour starts at the
Villa San Marco, perfectly preserved, where everything is still evident: the entrance atrium, the kitchens, the porched garden with a long swimming pool, various frescoed rooms and thermal quarter in which the extraordinary
caldarium (sauna) is well preserved with all the structures used for heating.
Then is planned the transfer to the
Villa Arianna, (about 1 km walk) whose features are a large garden with patio, several decorated panoramic rooms, and an amazing thermal area.
The tour lasts about 2 hours.