Those who are interested in the ancient city of Pompeii in Italy will enjoy drone footage of sections of Regio V, a 54-acre archaeological site in the north of the city that has been excavated over the past two years.

The footage is presented in a YouTube video, narrated by director of Pompeii Archaeological Park, Massimo Osanna. We may not be able to visit Pompeii in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this video takes viewers on a virtual tour of some of the fascinating discoveries that have been uncovered so far during the excavations. These include the 'House with the Garden' with its triclinium frescoes and painted portico, and the 'House of Orion' with its First Style paintings and the mosaic of Orion.

A fresco in the House with the Garden in Regio V in Pompeii
A fresco in the House with the Garden in Regio V © Marco Cantile/LightRocket via Getty Images

Pompeii was buried under ash and pumice after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, and the drone footage shows the "Room of Skeletons" in the 'House with the Garden.' This is where the remains of 11 victims of the catastrophic eruption were found. Mainly women and children, it appears that they sought refuge there, but sadly it was in vain.  The virtual tour also brings watchers to the ‘House of Orion’, where the most ancient furnishings have been preserved.

A small table discovered in one of the new excavations that are part of the Regio V site of the Pompeii archaeological excavations
A small table discovered in one of the new excavations © Marco Cantile/LightRocket via Getty Images

This includes stucco panels of various colours imitating coloured marble, recalling the luxury of the Egyptian Ptolemaic court and demonstrating where inspiration was drawn at the time. The mosaic of Orion gives the house its name and it depicts one of the more iconographically obscure myths of the ancient world. Viewers can also explore Pompeii’s smaller neighbour, Herculaneum, via interactive 3D scans, created using laser scanners and drone photography.

You can check out the drone footage of Regio V here and 3D scans of Herculaneum here.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

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