New museum in Stabia tells story of Roman 'otium'

Franceschini says project followed by academics for decades

25 September, 13:28

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, SEPTEMBER 25 - The archaeological museum of Castellammare di Stabia was inaugurated Friday in the formal royal residence Reggia di Quisisana, and shows how wealthy ancient Romans passed their leisure time in the area of Vesuvius near Naples, where many of them enjoyed taking vacations and spending long periods of "otium". Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the new museum is a project that academics and enthusiasts have followed for decades, and is "now finally a concrete reality thanks also to the valorisation accord with the Reggia di Quisisana, signed last year between the City of Castellamare and the Pompei Archaeological Park". "I'm happy that after the rebirth of the archaeological site of Pompeii and the successes of the Herculaneum archaeological site, now even the third-largest city buried by Vesuvius in 79 A.D. has been brought to light again in the former Antiquarium Stabiano," Franceschini said. The story of Roman life brings visitors into the Roman "otium" villas, which were luxurious residences designed for relaxation of the body and soul, away from business and activities, as well as into rustic homes similar in concept to today's modern farms, that were situated in a panoramic location with a view of the Gulf of Naples. Numerous artifacts are on display for the first time in Italy, including frescoes, opus sectile pavement, stuccowork, sculptures, terracotta pottery, dishes, and objects in bronze and iron. Some of the artifacts were already hosted at the Antiquarium Stabiano, set up in the city centre by Libero d'Orsi, the archaeologist who resumed the search for artifacts in Stabia and after whom the new museum is named. The museum's visitor itinerary offers a complete picture of Stabiae and Ager Stabianus from the Archaic period through to the eruption in 79 A.D. The first rooms are dedicated to the history of the Reggia di Quisisana and the archaeological research, leading into space for the pre-Roman Stabiae, illustrated by votive materials that refer to a religion devoted to a female divinity and by funeral items from an Archaic-period necropolis. The Roman period until 79 A.D. was reconstructed through a chronological topographic display with thematic details.(ANSAmed). (ANSA).

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