Villa dei Papiri

Bay of Naples

Currently closed, the Villa dei Papiri was the most luxurious villa in Herculaneum. Owned by Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, Julius Caesar's father-in-law, it was a vast four-storey, 245m-long complex stretching down to the sea; there were swimming pools, fountains and a collection of up to 80 sculptures. There was also an important library, whose 1800 papyrus scrolls lend the villa its name. Most of the carbonised scrolls are now in Naples' Museo Archeologico Nazionale.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bay of Naples attractions

1. Casa d’Argo

0.12 MILES

This noble house would originally have opened onto Cardo II (as yet unearthed). Its porticoed garden opens onto a triclinium (dining room) and other…

2. Casa dello Scheletro

0.14 MILES

The modest Casa dello Scheletro features five styles of mosaic flooring, including a design of white arrows at the entrance to guide the most disoriented…

3. Terme Maschili

0.15 MILES

The Terme Maschili were the men's section of the Terme del Foro (Forum Baths). Note the ancient latrine to the left of the entrance before you step into…

4. Casa del Tramezzo di Legno

0.16 MILES

Unusually, this house features two atria, which likely belonged to two separate dwellings that were merged in the 1st century AD. The most famous relic…

5. Ruins of Herculaneum

0.16 MILES

Herculaneum harbours a wealth of archaeological finds, from ancient advertisements and stylish mosaics to carbonised furniture and terror-struck skeletons…

6. Terme Femminili

0.17 MILES

A quick walk along Cardo IV leads you to the women's section of the Terme del Foro, the Terme Femminili. Though smaller than its male equivalent, it…

7. Casa dell’Atrio a Mosaico

0.17 MILES

An ancient mansion, the House of the Mosaic Atrium harbours extensive floor tile-work, although time and nature have left the floor buckled and uneven…

8. Casa dei Cervi

0.19 MILES

The Casa dei Cervi is an imposing example of a Roman noble family's house that, before the volcanic mud slide, boasted a seafront address. Constructed…