Villa buried by
Pompeii eruption is unearthed
By Hilary Clarke in Rome
An archaeological dig on the Amalfi coast
has revealed the first luxury villa to be built in the
idyllic fishing village of Positano, a popular haunt of
today's rich and famous.
A frescoe on a wall of the villa found in
Two storeys of a first century
millionaire's abode have been found under a church which
was hidden for 2,000 years by the same volcanic eruption
that devastated Pompeii in 79AD.
During renovation work on the church's
crypt last summer, roof beams were found poking up just
a few inches down.
They revealed an enormous building that
certainly would have belonged to an important person in
A subsequent initial dig by
archaeologists unearthed, about 6ft below the ground,
two storeys of remarkably brightly-coloured wall
frescoes and marble mosaics of mythical characters. They
had been perfectly preserved.
The villa, which looked directly out on
to the Mediterranean, is believed to have several
terraces although more digs will be needed to see
exactly how far it stretches.
Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian
film-maker, is the most famous latter-day Positano
Past residents include Rudolph Nureyev,
the ballet dancer, and Napoleon's marshall and later
king of Naples, Joachim Murat. The American writers John
Steinbeck and Tennessee Williams were frequent visitors