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Thermopolia to Open Again After 2,000 Years

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Fast food restaurant recently unearthed at Pompeii will open to the public this summer. The 2,000-year-old diner was the ancient equivalent of Italy's "tavola calda" eateries.

The ancient diner offered its Roman customers culinary delights such as snails, duck, pig, goat and fish, traces of which were found in terracotta pots that had been buried in volcanic ash since A.D. 79. Massimo Osanna, director of the archaeological park of Pompeii, said the discovery of the pots gave “extraordinary insight,” into the Roman diet.

While archaeologists have excavated more than 80 other similar eateries - which are known as “thermopolia,” meaning "hot drinks counter" in Latin - this is one of the best preserved. It is an ancient version of Italy’s modern day “tavola calda” – a cheap restaurant that serves ready to eat meals and drinks.

The fast-food joint, the only one of its kind to be excavated in its entirety, sits in the north-eastern section of the city, Regio V. It's set to re-open on 12 August.

Pompeii, which normally draws around 4m tourists a year, has recently reopened after closing its doors due to the pandemic. This new discovery looks set to become a crucial pit stop for tourists who make it to the ancient city this summer.


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