Part of the House of the Vettii interior, Source: Pompeii - Parco Archeologico

Pompeii’s House of the Vettii open for visitors after 20 years of restoration

Pompeii’s House of the Vettii open for visitors after 20 years of restoration

The house is a true and rare gem of Ancient Roman interior design thanks to its unique frescoes

On 10 January, officials from the Italian Ministry of Culture officially re-opened the House of the Vettii in the Ancient Roman town of Pompeii for visitors, after two decades of restoration works. And if Pompeii is in a way the symbol of an immaculately preserved Ancient Roman town, thanks to the volcanic eruption it fell victim to, the House of the Vettii is the symbol of Pompeii.

What does the house tell us?

The house, which is one of the largest in Pompeii, follows a traditional floor plan and architectural design for a Roman domus. What sets it apart, however, are the immaculately preserved frescoes on its walls which give it a vibrancy and help the viewer feel the emotion of what it must felt like to have lived inside it.

The House of the Vettii was hailed as "the Sistine Chapel of Pompeii" by Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of the archaeological park, precisely because of its immaculately preserved interior decoration showing a variety of Classical subjects.

Much of their exuberant decor survives today, including a garden featuring statues and a fountain as well as a number of lavish, sometimes erotic, frescoes. One such fresco, located at the home’s entrance, features Priapus, the Greek god of fertility, with a large phallus balancing on a scale along with a bag of money. More erotic frescoes are contained in a small room that researchers think may have been used as a brothel.

This is the house which tells the story of Roman society,” Mr Zuchtriegel, told The Guardian. “On the one hand, you have the artwork, paintings and statues, and on the other, you have the social story. The house is one of the relatively few in Pompeii for which we have the names of the owners.

And those names are Aulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva. These two men were former slaves who had gained their freedom by becoming successful merchants of wine and amassing decent wealth, which allowed them to build the opulent house. In a way, their home is also a marker that social mobility was possible in Ancient Roman society.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU