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Ninfeo di Pipiano

Surrentum, holidays by emperors

The free exhibition at the Museo Vallet in Piano di Sorrento

The exhibition at the free entrance to Villa Fondi entitled Surrentum, vacations by Emperors, was inaugurated in the Sorrento Peninsula.

It is a very interesting exhibition, with free admission, which has been masterfully set up in the premises of the beautiful Georges Vallet Archaeological Museum in Piano di Sorrento. The Museum is housed in the extraordinary Villa Fondi, with its extraordinary and panoramic park overlooking the sea.

The Surrentum exhibition, a holiday by emperors, offers us Roman masterpieces found in the Sorrento Peninsula as well as the permanent collections of the George Vallet Museum. In particular we can also admire the Athlete of Koblanos and the second part of the splendid mosaic Nymphaeum of the museum, with a digital reconstruction.

In the first century of the Roman Empire, the Sorrento Coast was chosen by the Roman patricians as a holiday resort and built luxurious villas along the coastline. In fact, in the Peninsula, from Vico Equense to Punta della Campanella there are numerous ruins along the coastline that recall the presence of large and luxurious Roman villas.

The Surrentum exhibition, an emperor’s holiday, will allow us to take a close look at the Athlete of Koblanos, the great statue found in 1889 in Sorrento, among the remains of a Roman villa. The work is a male nude, dating back to the first century after Christ, and has an olive crown on the head indicating that it represented an athlete, a boxer.

The statue was made by Koblanos, a famous sculptor of Aphrodisias in Caria, in Asia Minor and indicates the wealth of the Roman patrician who owned it in Sorrento and who brought it from so far. The Athlete, which is on loan from MANN, the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, is presented for the first time in the Sorrento Museum and will remain there until March 5, 2019.

Ninfeo di Pipiano
Ninfeo di Pipiano

In the exhibition at the Vallet Museum we can also admire the second part of the great mosaic Nymphaeum, which was exhibited in a traveling exhibition in the main museums of China. Also this work was found of one of the Roman villas on the sea and is a beautiful and refined representation of a flower garden populated by birds, fish and still lifes.

The George Vallet archaeological museum, located in Villa Fondi De Sangro, in Piano di Sorrento, is the first territorial archaeological museum of the Sorrento Peninsula, named in honor of the French archaeologist and scholar Georges Vallet. It was inaugurated on July 17, 1999, with the aim of exposing the documents and findings of archaeological excavations, through which the various phases of population and transformation of the Sorrento Peninsula from the prehistoric age to the Roman age are revealed.

The villa with its park, which houses the museum managed by the Superintendency, but also a modern congress hall and an exhibition hall, is an example of neoclassical architectural structure dating back to the nineteenth century, placed in an extraordinary position in front of the enchanting panorama of Vesuvius and the Gulf of Naples.

On the ground floor of the Villa Fondi, with its splendid frescoes of the eighteenth century ceilings, it is possible to admire the finds related to a settlement of the culture of Gaudo (II Millennio a.C.).

On the first floor, on the other hand, archaeological finds were discovered recently found on the coast and previously housed in Villa Fiorentino in Sorrento.

In particular, there are examples of sculpture and archaic architecture, including a marble head and Doric capitals in tuff. The route continues with the display of tomb goods, glass and terracotta balsamari and red-figure vases dating back to the 4th century BC.

Magnificent are also the colossal female statue of the Roman imperial era, found in Sorrento in 1971, and in particular the famous Ninfeo di Pipiano. Extraordinary mosaic nymphaeum dating back to 55 AD and found again in Marina della Lobra in Massa Lubrense that will soon be reassembled in its entirety with the other half exposed in the exhibition.

The exhibition can be visited free from February 9th to April 30th 2019; the Athlete of Koblanos until March 5, 2019.

From 9:00 to 18:50, with weekly closing on Monday.

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