The viridarium

The Roman house had wide open spaces planted with gardens surrounded by a peristyle, a large columned porch, onto which dining rooms and sitting rooms opened.

The viridarium was laid out to reflect the home owner's specific intention to flaunt his wealth as he did in other areas of the house, through exotic and Mediterranean plants, colourful flower borders, exedrae decorated with fountains, pools and nymphaea with water features. A profusion of colours, sounds and scents was further embellished with sculptural ornaments. Small herms, i.e. small pilasters topped by carved heads of deities, and pinakes, small mythological marble plaques, were laid out among the flower beds and along walkways in an evocatively sacred composition. The garden decoration was complemented with basins, tables and marble candelabra. Rather than just a pleasant place where to spend time, the garden was a suitable place for contemplation, where the symbolic meaning of plants and decorations continuously evoked the concepts of life and death.

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