A house in the ancient Italian city of Pompeii was reopened to the public on Tuesday after an extensive restoration, 1,900 years after the city was destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption.
The House of the Vettii was buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. Believed by experts to have been originally built in the second century, the house was lost to eternity until it was unearthed during an archeological dig in the late 1800s.
The house was located in the wealthiest part of the city, and was owned by two former slaves who gained immense wealth after earning their freedom and starting a wine business. "It was not unusual for people freed from slavery to thrive in ancient Pompeii," The Guardian notes, and the house itself was filled with intricate frescoes and likely included a garden with marble statues and treasures.
However, there is more to the house than meets the eye, as there are also rooms believed to have been used for wine-making, a perfumery, and even a brothel.
While the house has been open to the public previously, it had been shuttered for the past 20 years to allow for extensive restoration.
"The House of the Vetti is like the history of Pompeii and actually of Roman society within one house," Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the director of the Archeological Park of Pompeii, told The Associated Press. "So, you have this mixture: nature, architecture, art. But it is also a story about the social life of the Pompeiian society and actually the Roman world in this phase of history."
Photos of the house can be seen below: