One building or two? A building was partially discovered in 1739 by Alcubierre. Described as a ‘temple’, it had semi-circular niches containing the well known frescoes of Thereus, Telephus, Chiron and Achilles and others. In Cochin and Bellicard’s book 1954 is a description of a building containing the frescoes and two equestrian statues. Cochin’s plan of the building, shown opposite, notes the location of the finds. Variously described as a temple, a basilica, and a forum, the building measured 68m by 40m and was placed on the north side of the Decumanus Maximus.
If this building, the source of these well known frescoes and equestrian statues, and the Basilica Noniana are one and the same, some obvious anomalies arise:
a) The location – on opposite sides of the Decumanus Maximus, this difference could be explained by the difficulty in locating the building due to the many twists and turns in the access tunnels.
b) The size – Cochin measured the building as 68m by 40m (larger, by the way than the Basilica in Pompeii) while the Basilica Noniana is less than half the size. Could Cochin’s measurements by out by a factor of two?
c) The orientation – Cochin placed the main entrance on the souhtwest side of the building, whereas the entrance to the Basilica Noniana is plainly on its northeast side, off the Decumanus Maximus.
Of all the ancient Rome tours, a visit to Pompeii and Herculaneum is a must while staying in Italy. Nowhere else will you see history so well preserved. The story behind this famous place is laid bare as you wander around the streets between former houses and brothels. You will see the last moments in the lives of the people of Pompeii that were captured by the erupting volcano.
From Rome tourists can take two modern and comfortable high-speed trains getting Naples in 1h:10min. The trains are called “Italo” and “Frecciarossa“; return tickets cost between 80 and 100 euros. Sometimes there’s the possibility to get discounts booking a couple of months in advance.
From Naples the best way to get Pompeii or Herculaneum is by Circumvesuviana local train. The trip lasts 20 minutes (stop at Ercolano Scavi) and 30 minutes (stop at “Pompei Villa dei Misteri”) 100 meters away from the main gate of the excavations called “Porta Marina Superiore”. The return ticket cost 4,50 euro.