Thanks to the Great Pompeii Project, a visit to ancient Pompeii introduces newly restored dwellings, such as the House of the Bear, the House of Siricus and the Bakery of Popidius.
The House of the Bear is named after the mosaics in the hallway, representing a bear injured by a spear and an inscription of the Latin greeting “Have”. It was built around 50 AD in the space formed between two old houses. Despite its small size, the domus stands out for its richness in decorations, especially the pavements, such as the mosaics, decorating the basin of the impluvium. Behind the house, there is a little garden, a fountain and an aedicule, with a decoration representing a seabed, a shoal of fish, Neptune and Venus in a shell, emerging from the sea.
The House of Sirucus is a large dwelling, whose owner, Publius Vedius Siricus, is well-known thanks to the finding of a bronze signet ring. It occupies from east to west the central part of the insula 1 of Regio VII, it’s an aggregation of two dwellings. Publius Vedius Siricus was a politician and business personality in Pompeii and he daily welcomed his “clientes” in his domus with the auspicious inscription of “cocciopesto” (fragments of earthenware or brick mixed with lime and sand) of these words: “Salve Lucru(m)”, i.e. “Welcome earnings”. At the entrance of the house which stands out for its elegance the large portico where the guests feasted on beds called “triclini”, located around a precious opus sectile pavement, surrounded by frescoes depicting Heracles at the court of Queen Omphale, Thetis in Hephaestus’ house and the construction of the walls of Troy. In the Triclinium, there are the casts of three fugitives, which were trying to leave, while the city was already half-buried by lapillus, and suddenly they were killed by a thermal shock, because of the first pyroclastic flow. The most recent interpretation identifies the four as a family consisting of a man, who paved the way in the vain escape from death, a woman that, clutching a few precious belongings she collected before fleeing, closes the line and encourages the race of two girls: a full-grown and one that still had to be a girl.
The Bakery of Popidius Priscus was nearest the Forum and was the biggest bakery in Pompeii; actually, it produced more than eighty loaves of bread every batch, it had five volcanic stone mills and received a great number of customers at peak times. On the door, there is the inscription: Hic Habitat Felicitas (i.e. Here happiness lives). Popidius was an ambitious businessperson; actually, in addition to the bread trade in the city, he stamped the loaves, as they were a real work of art and exported his products in the neighboring Nocera. Even today, with a little imagination, the aroma of freshly baked bread seems to envelop all the streets around this bakery.
Take a tour of Pompeii with us and time travel to the past! Start by viewing our guided Pompeii tours here. Or call our Pompeii office at +39 081 1877 7006.
Staff at Flashback Journey to Pompeii. Our goal is to bring you up-to-date information on events, continuing archeological excavations and more on Pompeii.