Showing posts with label 1944. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1944. Show all posts

16 December 2016

Santo Versace - businessman and politician

Entrepreneurial brain behind Versace fashion empire

Santo Versace's business skills lay behind the brand's success
Santo Versace's business skills lay
behind the brand's success
Santo Versace, sometime politician and the business brain behind Italy's world famous luxury fashion label, was born on this day in 1944 in Reggio Calabria.

Along with his brother and sister, Gianni and Donatella, Santo grew up in Italy's southernmost major city, which is situated right on the "toe" of the Italian peninsula and separated from the island of Sicily by barely 10km of the Strait of Messina.

Unlike his younger siblings, who were inspired by their mother, Francesca, a dressmaker who owned a small clothes shop, to become designers, Santo took after their father, Antonio, a coal merchant who in time became an interior decorator, in wishing to become a business entrepreneur.

He helped his father hump sacks of coal while still a child and learned the basics of running a business as a teenager before attending the University of Messina, from which he graduated in 1968 with a degree in economics.

At first, Santo worked in banking for Credito Italiano in Reggio Calabria before switching to teaching economics and geography to high school students. In 1972, after completing his military service, he set up as an accountant and management consultant in Reggio Calabria.

By this time, Gianni and Donatella were beginning to attract attention in the fashion world and when Gianni was invited to work in Milan in the mid-70s, Santo decided to follow him and base himself in the northern city.

Versace's current flagship Milan store is in the prestigious Via Monte Napoleone
Versace's current flagship Milan store is in the
prestigious Via Monte Napoleone
It was he who encouraged Gianni to turn his talent into a business and the company Gianna Versace Donna was launched in 1977, opening their first Milan boutique in Via della Spiga the following year.

Santo was chief executive officer from the outset, a position he retained until 2004.  While his siblings concentrated on design, he brought his business skills to bear in the areas of communication, organization, productivity, and quality. He oversaw sales, distribution, production and finance and gained a reputation as one of the fashion industry's most able and well-respected business people.

His first involvement in politics was at a fashion industry level. In 1992, he co-founded the Association of Italian High-Quality Enterprises and from 1998 to 1999 was president of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion, which aims to support and the develop Italian fashion.  Even beyond his own business, he would always support initiatives to promote Italian brands.

Santo's personality and skill as a speaker did not go unnoticed and he was invited by former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi to run for office in 2008 as a member of Berlusconi's new party, Il Popolo della Libertà - The People of Freedom.  He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies as member for Calabria and Berlusconi won a second term in office after forming a coalition with the Lega Nord and the Sicilian Movement for Autonomy.

However, it was an uneasy alliance. Friends considered Santo too left of centre to sit comfortably in a Berlusconi government and he quit the party in 2011 over the coalition's decision to back a mafia-tainted cabinet minister, describing his decision as "my present for Berlusconi” in a reference to the media tycoon's upcoming 75th birthday.

Donatella and Gianni Versace pictured in around 1990
Donatella and Gianni Versace pictured
in around 1990
He initially joined the Allianza per la Libertà Nationale and subsequently aligned himself with Stop the Decline, a small party formed by a group of economists with the aim of cutting Italy's national debt by 20 per cent within five years.  Since 2012, he has been part of the Gruppo Misto, a group that comprises politicians of no party affiliation.

Divorced from his first wife, Cristiana, Santo is now married to Francesca De Stefano, a lawyer.  Francesca Versace, one of his children from his first marriage, is a fashion designer herself, based in London.

Santo, of course, has known tragedy in his private life.  The murder of Gianni Versace in Miami Beach in 1997 left him with only one surviving sibling from a family of four children, his older sister, known as Tina, having died when he was a child from complications relating to a tetanus infection.

Away from fashion and politics, he has been a financial supporter of Viola Reggio Calabria Basketball, and has been chairman of Operation Smile Italy Onlus, an association of doctors and volunteers which deals with children with facial deformities in 70 countries around the world.

A sweeping waterfront is a feature of modern day Reggio  Calabria, which had to be rebuilt after the 1908 earthquake
A sweeping waterfront is a feature of modern day Reggio
 Calabria, which had to be rebuilt after the 1908 earthquake
Travel tip:

For a port city with a population of 200,000 people in a metropolitan area of more than half a million residents, Reggio Calabria is a surprisingly elegant and pleasant place to visit, its attractiveness owing much to the careful rebuilding programme undergone after a devastating earthquake in 1908, which destroyed most of its historical centre and inflicted similarly catastrophic damage on Messina, across the water in Sicily. Such remains as were salvageable, including many of Greek origin, are preserved in some impressive museums. The rebuilt city featured many Liberty style buildings and the seafront is particularly panoramic.

Hotels in Reggio Calabria from

Travel tip:

The Via della Spiga, where the first Versace shop opened in 1977, is one of Milan's top shopping streets, forming the north-east boundary of the city's fashion quarter, of which Via Manzoni, Via Monte Napoleone and Corso Venezia form the other borders.  It is one of Milan city centre's few streets restricted to pedestrians only.  Details of the stores with premises on Via della Spiga can be found at the Amici Di Via della Spiga website.

Hotels in Milan from Expedia

More reading:

How former army medic Giorgio Armani became a fashion icon

Short life and tragic death of Gianni Versace

How horses inspired the world's most coveted shoes and handbags

Also on this day:

1945: The death of Fiat founder Giovanni Agnelli

(Picture credits: Versace shop by Bahar via Wikimedia Commons)


7 November 2016

Luigi Riva - an Azzurri great

Italy's record goalscorer and hero of Cagliari

Striker Luigi 'Gigi' Riva pictured during Cagliari's victorious 1969-70 season
Striker Luigi 'Gigi' Riva pictured during
Cagliari's victorious 1969-70 season
Luigi 'Gigi' Riva, who was born on this day in 1944, is widely regarded as one of the finest strikers in the history of Italian football.   

Despite playing in an era when football in Italy was notoriously defensive, he scored more than 200 goals in a 16-year club career, 156 of them in Serie A for Cagliari, with whom he won the Scudetto (shield) as Italian League champions in 1970.

Nicknamed 'Rombo di tuono' - thunderclap - by the football writer Gianni Brera, Riva is also the all-time leading goalscorer for the Italian national team with 35 goals, his record having stood since 1974.

After his playing career, Riva spent 23 years as part of the management team for the Azzurri and was a key member of the backroom staff when Italy won the World Cup for a fourth time in 2006.

Born in Lombardia, not far from Lake Maggiore, Riva spent virtually his whole football career with Cagliari and made his home in Sardinia.  The 1969-70 title is the only championship in the club's history and Riva, who scored 21 goals in the title-winning season, is as revered on the island as Diego Maradona is in Naples.

Although he came from a loving home in the small town of Leggiuno, just a few kilometres inland from the shores of Lake Maggiore, Riva had a tough upbringing.

His father, Ugo, died when he was just eight years old, killed in an accident at the foundry where he worked, after which his mother, Edis, decided to send Luigi to a religious boarding school, where the regime was hard.

Luigi Riva in his Italy shirt
Luigi Riva in the Italy shirt in which his
goals tally is still the highest.
He did not blame his mother, who had no choice in her circumstances but to work long hours for low pay, but Riva would later confess to suffering loneliness and depression.   One of his regrets was that his mother did not live long enough for him to provide her with a comfortable retirement.

Release from the deprivations of school came when he was 15 and went to live with his sister, taking a job as a motor mechanic with dreams of becoming a racing driver.  But it was his skill as a footballer, and in particular what he could do with his powerful left foot, that began to get him noticed.  After scoring 63 goals in two seasons for a local amateur team, he earned a trial with Internazionale in Milan.  That came to nothing but he was offered a contract to play in Serie C for Legnano, based about 50km from Leggiuno.

He stayed there only one season.  His talent attracted numerous scouts and when Cagliari offered him the chance to play in Serie B he took it.

Sardinia was still a somewhat primitive island in 1963 and Riva was not sure what to make of it. His first impression was of a place 'where they sent people to punish them'.

Yet he grew to love the island and the Sardinians took him to their hearts.  Previously regarded as a perennial Serie B club, they were promoted to Serie A in his first season and, on the back of his goals, began to climb steadily.

Leading Serie A scorer in 1966-67, when Cagliari finished sixth, he was capocannoneri again in 1968-69 with 21 goals as Cagliari achieved the highest league position in their history as runners-up to Fiorentina.

But the crowning glory of his career was the 1969-70 season as Cagliari lost only two matches and conceded just 11 goals in winning their one and only Scudetto.

Riva scored 21 goals of all kinds - tap-ins, long-range shots, powerful headers. Although some critics complained he was too reliant on his left foot, many players effective with both feet could not match his versatility.  An overhead kick with which he scored against Vicenza is still regarded as one of the best Serie A goals of all time.

Although they had other good players, Cagliari supporters hailed Riva as the one who made it possible and his place in the island's folklore was established for all time.

A short film from RAI about Riva and the 1969-70 season

It might not have happened had Riva not felt so at home on the island. In 1967, when Juventus offered him a fortune to go to Turin, he had turned them down.

“I would have earned triple,” he said later. "But Sardinia had made me a man. It was my land. In those days, they called us shepherds and bandits around Italy. I was 23 and the great Juve wanted to cover me in money. I wanted the Scudetto for my land. We did it, the bandits and shepherds.”

With Italy, for whom he won 42 caps, he was a European champion in 1968 but the ultimate title of World Cup winner eluded him, essentially because the great Italian team of 1970 met an even better one in Brazil in the finals in Mexico.

Riva scored twice in the 4-1 quarter-final win over the hosts and Italy's third goal in the so-called 'Game of the Century', the 4-3 extra-time semi-final victory against West Germany, but Italy were overwhelmed as the brilliant Brazilians won 4-1 in the final.

Bedevilled by injuries for most of his career - he suffered a broken leg twice while playing for the national team - he retired in 1978, two years after rupturing a tendon in his right thigh. Cagliari retired his No 11 shirt in his honour in 2005.

The Castello district of Cagliari is especially beautiful at night
The Castello district of Cagliari is
especially beautiful at night
For all that he regarded himself as an adopted Sardinian, Riva never forgot his roots.  In retirement, he returned to Leggiuno, where he knocked down the house where his parents had lived and built a new one in its place, staying there periodically to chat with local people, some of whom he had known when he was a child, and to reflect on the course his life had taken him.

Travel tip:

Although it is Sardinia's main port and industrial centre, Cagliari has become a popular tourist destination for the tree-lined boulevards and elegant arcades of the marina area and the charm of its historical centre, known as Castello, with limestone buildings that prompted DH Lawrence to call it 'the white Jerusalem', which take on beautiful pastel hues at sunset.

Stay in Cagliari

The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
The Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso
Travel tip:

Leggiuno, situated in an elevated position just inland from Lake Maggiore, is close to the Hermitage of Santa Caterina del Sasso, an extraordinary structure that appears to rise from the waters of Lake Maggiore, clinging to a sheer rock cliff face.  A Roman Catholic monastery dating from the 14th century, it used to be accessible only by boat or by a steep flight of steps descending from the top of the cliff.  Since 2010, visitors have been able to reach it via a lift built into an old well.

Stay in nearby Reno Leggiuno

More reading:

Italy's historic fourth World Cup victory

Paolo Rossi's 1982 World Cup hat-trick

Dino Zoff - captain of the 1982 Azzurri

Also on this day:


17 September 2016

Reinhold Messner - mountaineer

Climber from Dolomites who conquered Everest

Reinhold Messner, pictured in 2012 at Castel Juval,  one of the sites of his Messner Mountain Museum
Reinhold Messner, pictured in 2012 at Castel Juval,
 one of the sites of his Messner Mountain Museum
Reinhold Messner, the Italian mountaineer who was the first climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and the first to reach the peak on a solo climb, was born on this day in 1944 in Bressanone, a town in Italy's most northerly region of Alto Adige, which is also known as South Tyrol.

Messner was also the first man to ascend every one of the world's 14 peaks that rise to more than 8,000 metres (26,000 ft) above sea level.

His 1976 ascent of Everest with the Austrian climber Peter Habeler defied numerous doctors and other specialists in the effects of altitude who insisted that scaling the world's highest mountain without extra oxygen was not possible.

Born only 45km from Italy's border with Austria, Messner grew up speaking German and Italian and has also become fluent in English.  His father, Josef, introduced him to climbing and took him to his first summit at the age of five. He soon became familiar with all the peaks of the Dolomites. 

From a family of 10 children - nine of them boys - Messner shared his passion for adventure with brothers Günther and Hubert, with whom he would later cross the Arctic.  He and Günther, two years his junior, began climbing together when Reinhold was 13 and by their early 20s were among the best climbers in Europe.

The Rupal face of Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, on the  descent from which Messner's brother Gunther sadly died
The Rupal face of Nanga Parbat in the Himalayas, on the
descent from which Messner's brother sadly died
Their partnership ended tragically, however, on Messner's first major Himalayan climb in 1970, after the two had reached the summit of the previously unclimbed Rupal face of Nanga Parbat. Günther was killed in an accident after the two became separated on the descent of the Diamir face. The circumstances of his death were never conclusively established but Reinhold, who himself lost seven toes to frostbite, claims Günther was swept away by an avalanche.

Messner's motivation for attempting Mount Everest without taking supplies of bottled oxygen stemmed from his belief that climbs assisted in that way were not true tests of human capability, that in a way it was cheating.  He pledged that he would ascend Everest "by fair means or not at all." Having succeeded once, he repeated the feat from the Tibetan side in 1980, which gave him the distinction of achieving Everest's first solo summit.

Reinhold Messner pictured at Everest base camp
Reinhold Messner pictured at Everest base camp
He became the first to complete all 14 of the so-called 'eight-thousanders' on 1986, a year ahead of the Polish mountaineer Jerzy Kukuczka.  All 14 are located in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges in Asia and Messner again scaled them all without extra oxygen.

Messner, who has crossed Antarctica on skis, has written 63 books, which include his autobiography Free Spirit: A Climber's Life, his Everest account The Crystal Horizon: Everest – The First Solo Ascent and All 14 Eight-thousanders, all published by Mountaineers Books.

As well as climbing, Messner became interested in politics and from 1999 to 2004 he was Member of the European Parliament for the Italian Green Party (Federazione dei Verdi).

Nowadays, he devotes much of his time to the Messner Mountain Museum project, which consists of five museums in his home region of Alto Adige, established to help educate visitors about the science and history of mountaineering and rock climbing.

Travel tip:

The small city of Bressanone - Brixen in German - became part of Italy only at the end of the First World War. It is characteristically German in its culture, with three quarters of the population of 21,500 speaking German as a first language. Located in a valley where the Eisack and Rienz rivers meet, it is shadowed on one side by Monte Telegrafo (2,504m) and on the other by Monte Pascolo (2,436m).

The Piazza Vescovile in Bressanone with the two towers of the Cathedral in the background
The Piazza Vescovile in Bressanone with the two towers
of the Cathedral in the background
Travel tip:

The third largest city in one of the richest regions in Italy, Bressanone has a cathedral that was rebuilt along Baroque lines in the 18th century but originates in the 10th century, and an unusual round Church of Saint Michael that was built in the 11th century with a Gothic bell tower added in the 15th century. Bressanone is a stop on the railway line from Verona in Italy to Innsbruck in Austria.

More reading:

Walter Bonatti - outstanding career marred by 50-year row

(Photo of Nanga Parbat by Daniel Martin GFDL 1.2)
(Photo at Everest base camp by Sanjay Kodain CC NY-SA 3.0)
(Photo of Piazza in Bressanone by Sailko CC BY-SA 3.0)


15 August 2016

Gianfranco Ferré - fashion designer

Sought to create clothes for real women 

The Italian fashion designer Gianfranco Ferré
Gianfranco Ferré
Gianfranco Ferré, who became one of the biggest names in Italian fashion during the 1980s and 1990s, was born on this day in 1944 in Legnano, a town in Lombardy north-west of Milan, between the city and Lake Maggiore, where in adult life he made his home.

Ferré was regarded as groundbreaking in fashion design in the same way as Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent in that his clothes were created with real people rather than catwalk models in mind, yet without compromise in terms of aesthetic appeal.

At the peak of his popularity, his clients included Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor, the Queen of Jordan, Paloma Picasso, Sophia Loren and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Ferré first trained to be an architect, placing emphasis on the structure of his garments in which strong seams were often a prominent feature. He was once dubbed the Frank Lloyd Wright of fashion, which was taken to be a reference to the powerful horizontals in his designs.  His staff addressed him as "the architect".

He was also well known for inevitably including variations of white dress shirts in his collections, adorned with theatrical cuffs or multiple collars.  At one point, Ferré blouses were an essential in the wardrobe of high-flying career women.

Ferré won the Italian fashion industry's 'Oscar' - the Occhio D'Oro Award - six times and became the first designer from outside France to be made artistic director of Christian Dior in Paris, for whom he worked between 1989 and 1997.

From high school in Legnano, Ferré moved to the Politecnico di Milano University, where he graduated with a degree in architecture.  His first job was in the design studio of a furniture company but amused himself by designing accessories for a girl friend that were noticed by the owners of a boutique in Portofino, who asked him to design for them.

The Basilica of San Magno in Legnano, where the funeral of Gianfranco Ferré took place in 2007
The Basilica of San Magno in Legnano, where the funeral
of Gianfranco Ferré took place in 2007
After a period working for a rainwear company, he founded his own company, Baila, in 1974, and four years later in 1978 founded his own fashion house in the Brera district of Milan with his friend and business partner, Franco Mattioli.  He launched his first collection of pret-a-portér (ready-to-wear) clothing for women, which was followed the same year by a more sporty line, Oaks by Ferré. His first man's collection was released in 1982 and added a perfume range in 1984.

On leaving Dior, he returned to full-time to working on the Ferré clothing and accessory lines, which by now had substantial export sales in the United States.  But he and Mattioli fell out over the direction of the company and in 2000 they sold 90 per cent of Gianfranco Ferré SpA, although Ferré stayed on as creative director. 

Ferré died in 2007 at the age of 62, a few days after being admitted to hospital in Milan, having suffered a massive brain hemorrhage.  A big, bear-like figure, nonetheless always beautifully dressed in one of his trademark three-piece suits, he had always struggled to control his weight and had had at least one stroke previously. 

He was buried in his home town of Legnano after a funeral attended by giants of the fashion world, including Giorgio Armani, Valentino Garavani and Donatella Versace.

Travel tip:

Legnano is famous for being the only town, apart from Rome, to which reference is made in the Italian national anthem, thanks to the historic Battle of Legnano, in which the Lombard League inflicted a heavy defeat on the forces of Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa in 1176.  Almost 700 years later, Garibaldi referred to the battle as an inspiration in the struggle for unification of Italy.  The 16th century Basilica of San Magno, where Gianfranco Ferré's funeral took place, is the town's most important building.

Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore
Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore
Travel tip:

Lake Maggiore is the largest lake in Italy at some 34 miles (64km) long, its most northerly extremity extending into Switzerland.  While the upper end is of alpine character, the lake in general enjoys a mild climate all year round and is famous for the greenery of its surrounding terrain and for its gardens, many growing rare and exotic plants, in particular those located on the Borromean Islands and Isola Bella.

(Photo of Basilica of San Magno by Heimdall CC BY-SA 2.5)
(Photo of Isola Bella by MbDortmund GFDL 1.2)

27 May 2016

Bruno Vespa – television journalist

TV host opened the door to late night political debate

Photo of Bruno Vespa
Television presenter Bruno Vespa
Bruno Vespa, the founding host of the television programme Porta a Porta, was born on this day in 1944 in L’Aquila in Abruzzo.

Vespa, who celebrates his 72nd birthday today, has fronted the late night television talk show, which literally means ‘Door to Door’ in English, since Italy's state broadcaster RAI launched the programme in 1996.

Vespa became a radio announcer with RAI when he was 18 and began hosting the news programme Telegiornale RAI a few years later.  He had begun his career in journalism by writing sports features for the L’Aquila edition of the newspaper, Il Tempo, when he was just 16 years old.

On television, he became well known for interviewing influential world figures just before they became famous, an example being his programme featuring Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, the year before he was elected as Pope John Paul II.

In June 1984, Vespa was official commentator for the live televised broadcast of the state funeral for Enrico Berlinguer, the former leader of the Italian Communist party.

Photo of Matteo Renzi with Bruno Vespa
Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi has appeared on
Vespa's Porta a Porta show on a number of occasions
Vespa has won awards for his journalism and television programmes and has also written many books.

Since he began presenting Porta a Porta, much of Italy’s political debate has taken place on the programme. The late night slot on RAI Uno is sometimes referred to sarcastically as ‘the third house’ after the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

Travel tip:

L’Aquila, where Bruno Vespa was born, is the capital city of the Abruzzo region. The city is set within medieval walls on a hill and has many fascinating, narrow streets lined with Baroque and Renaissance buildings and churches to explore.

Photo of Piazza Duomo in L'Aquila
The Piazza Duomo in L'Aquila
Travel tip:

RAI, which is short for Radio- televisione Italiana, is Italy’s national public broadcasting company. RAI’s main headquarters are in Viale Giuseppe Mazzini, just north of Vatican City in Rome.

(Photo of Bruno Vespa by Roberto Vicario CC BY-SA 3.0)
(Photo of L'Aquila by Ra Boe CC BY-SA 2.5)


18 March 2016

Mount Vesuvius – the 1944 eruption

The last time the volcano was seen to blow its top

The volcano is being circled by American B-25 bombers
A dramatic picture of American B-25 Mitchell bombers
circling Vesuvius during the 1944 eruption
Mount Vesuvius, the huge volcano looming over the bay of Naples, last erupted on this day in 1944.

Vesuvius is the only volcano on mainland Europe to have erupted during the last 100 years and is regarded as a constant worry because of its history of explosive eruptions and the large number of people living close by.

It is most famous for its eruption in AD 79, which buried the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum and is believed to have killed thousands of people.

An eyewitness account of the eruption, in which tons of stones, ash and fumes were ejected from the cone, has been left behind for posterity by Pliny the Younger in his letters to the historian, Tacitus.

There were at least three larger eruptions of Vesuvius before AD 79 and there have been many since. In 1631 a major eruption buried villages under lava flows and killed about 300 people and the volcano then continued to erupt every few years.

Smoke billows from Vesuvius in this picture taken from San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, a village destroyed by lava
Smoke billows from Vesuvius in this picture taken from
San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, a village destroyed by lava
The eruption which started on 18 March 1944 and went on for several days destroyed three villages nearby and about 80 planes belonging to the US Army Air Forces, which were based at an airfield close to Pompeii. Some of the American military personnel took photographs of the eruption, which have been useful for today’s experts to analyse.

Since 1944 Vesuvius has been uncharacteristically quiet although it is constantly monitored for activity and an evacuation plan is in place. Experts believe seismic activity would give them between 14 and 20 days' notice of an impending eruption. 

The area was officially declared a national park in 1955. The crater is now open to visitors and there is access by road to within 200 metres of it, but after that the ascent is on foot only.

The crater is about 200 metres deep and has a maximum diameter of about 600 metres. The climb is said to be well worth it because the view from up there takes in the entire coastline from the Gulf of Gaeta to the Sorrento peninsula.

Travel tip:

The excavated ruins of Pompeii, gli scavi, are among the most popular tourist attractions in Italy and many important artefacts have been dug up. When Vesuvius started rumbling in August AD 79 and a sinister cloud began to form above it, some people left the area immediately. It is believed those who stayed died from the effects of the heat and their bodies were buried under the stones and ash for hundreds of years. Engineers rediscovered them while digging an acqueduct. The first organised excavations began in 1748 and the site soon became an attraction for wealthy Europeans on the Grand Tour.  Trains from the Circumvesuviana railway station in Naples run to Sorrento every half an hour, stopping at Pompei Scavi station. From the station it is a short walk to the main entrance to the archaeological site in Piazza Porta Marina. The ruins are open daily from 8.30 to 19.30 during the summer and from 8.30 to 17.00 between November and April.

Pompei hotels by

The ruins of the forum at Pompei with a now dormant Vesuvius visible in the distance
The ruins of the forum at Pompeii with a now
dormant Vesuvius visible in the distance
Travel tip:

Highlights of the excavations at Pompeii include Casa dei Vettii, where there are well preserved wall paintings, Via dell’Abbon- danza, where you will see the remains of shops, a tavern and a brothel, the main amphitheatre and the Villa dei Misteri, which is outside the walls of the city and has some colourful wall paintings depicting the myth of Dionysis.