Oplontis is popularly believed to be the villa built by the Emperor Nero as a wedding present for his second wife, Poppea.
Poppea is understood to have been a member of the Sabina family which was a significant political force in Pompeii. The emperors had a number of houses in the area around Vesuvius and it seems likely that this building was a gift which would show her family the extent of Nero’s feelings for her rather than just being preferable to staying with the inlaws. It is magnificent.
The excavated area is only a small proportion of the range of buildings which would have made up the villa. The rooms are notable for their size and for the quality of decoration. The decorative styles are of interest as are the decorated light wells in the wing beside the swimming pool and the arrangement of the garden. The swimming pool is enormous.
Use the Circumvesuviana train service to go to the station named Torre Annunziata.
The main exit from the station is on the sea side, turn left out of the station, walk 50 metres to the main road, turn right and walk downhill, crossing a main road. The Villa is a hundred metres beyond the main road. It is on your left and in a big hole in the ground. There are signs directing you to the excavations near the station but they are a bit thin on the ground after that.
This site does not have a car park.
A summary of the train services is available.
The author last completed the journey described in June 2001 but he also visited by coach, driving down the route described, in 2008.