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An exterior "patio" dining area with a household shrine in the back wall. This was taken at the House of Octavius Quartio, also known as the House of Loreius Tibertinus at Pompeii. This fairly well-known house features some incredible gardens, which are now enhanced by grapevines; the shade offers a welcome retreat from the scorching sun at midday during summer! The house isn't one of the largest in the town, but the family who lived there was still fairly affluent. Quartio's bronze seal was found in the house, thus indicating the name of the owner. Its entrance opens directly onto the main street, Via d'Abbondanza; it is fairly far up the street, toward the amphitheater which was considered somewhat "out of town" and is one of the first houses visitors encounter if entering the site from the eastern entrance. According to art historians, the stunning gardens complete with canals and elaborate fountains were once landscaped in imitation of sumptuous country villas amidst rivers and lakes. The beautiful columned passageway, fountains and paintings still remain. The area beyond the main living (reception) room was reconstructed in ancient times, after the earthquake of 62 AD, so decorations were never completed; the damage must have been substantial. The front hall leads to the atrium, which featured a marble pool and three fountains surrounded by flowerbeds. In the atrium is a household shrine dedicated to Diana/Isis. Some of the artwork that decorated the home still remains; the paintings are particularly spectacular but the gardens must have been incredible! I was most impressed here by the colors, which are still vibrant after almost 2,000 years! Now there is a protective (sheet metal) awning over this area to protect the frescoes from rain and water damage, but since it was a dining area (I think this is a "biclinium") there must have been some shade then also... I've often wondered what it would have looked like...

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1215] (2136)
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