Pompeii’s “Sistine Chapel” reopens infographic
Graphic explains the significance of the House of Vettii.


House of the Vettii reopens after 20-year refurb

By Ninian Carter

January 11, 2023 - The House of the Vettii, renowned for its mythological frescoes preserved by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79, has reopened to the public after a 20-year restoration.

The House of the Vettii, regarded as Pompeii’s Sistine Chapel, has reopened to the public after a complex 20-year restoration project.

The domus – an upper class Roman town house – built in the second century BC, was buried by ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD79, preserving most of it until its rediscovery in the late 19th century.

The building was explored by archeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli from 1894 to 1895, when he undertook the task of excavating the Pompeii site – dividing it up into nine regions to aid cataloguing his discoveries.

It is named after its former owners, the Vettii ‘brothers’ – two former slaves (freedmen) who became wealthy by trading in wine. However, it’s improbable that they were biological brothers, more likely being former slaves of Aulus Vettius.

The building, which includes numerous rooms, a peristyle garden, atrium and shrine, is adorned in splendid mythological frescos and sculptures. It also features ornate furnishings, offering a unique glimpse into the lifestyles of the Roman elite.

PUBLISHED: 11/01/2023; STORY: Graphic News