The Lupanare, a luxurious brothel part of the ancient Pompeii excavations, opened to the public in late 2007. The building was built only a few years before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 AD). This is known since a coin print from 72 AD was found in the plaster of one of the rooms.
Opening times and ticket price. Once inside the archaeological area, you will find the brothel in the Vicolo del Lupanare.
History and description
The erotic images and frescoes, which leave fairly little to the imagination, served as a kind of advertisement for the services offered. Prices were displayed on the door.
The building consisted of two floors with five rooms each. The top floor, which had a balcony and a separate entrance, was probably intended for the wealthier visitors.
The beds in the brothel were made of stone. The walls bore the names of the girls and also described their specialties, with the frescoes providing visual support.
Brothels in ancient Rome
It is thought that Pompeii had a fair number of brothels, although often consisting of no more than a single room over a store or bar. The Lupanare was probably the only building with the sole, specific function of a brothel.
The prostitutes themselves were usually slaves and earned nothing themselves. Generally they were of Greek or Oriental descent.
The ancient Romans had a fairly tolerant attitude toward prostitution. Roman women also regularly used to visit brothels for sex with male prostitutes.
This open-minded attitude changed over time. When erotic objects were found during excavations in Pompeii in the 18th and 19th centuries, they were immediately stored out of sight.