Touring Exhibition Escape from Pompeii

Escape from Pompeii. The Untold Roman Rescue

Many know that in August in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted in one of the most infamous catastrophes of ancient history, resulting in the burial and obliteration of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Few know however of the untold tale of the heroic rescue attempt launched by Pliny the Elder, commander of the Roman fleet stationed across the Bay of Naples at Misenum.
We know of the rescue attempt through the letters of his nephew Pliny the Younger. Around 17 years old at the time, he was living with his uncle at the naval base. Later, he wrote about what happened to his uncle on that fateful day – it is the only surviving firsthand account of the disaster and the attempted rescue of civilians by the Roman navy.

Through a unique selection of +100 archaeological artifacts drawing from leading Italian institutions, like the National Archaeological Museum of Naples and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and thanks to innovative multimedia devices and video-projections, this special, in-depth exhibition illustrates the cataclysm that hit Pompeii and the world it buried – from a simple loaf of bread to fine jewelry, from frescoes to mosaics – as well as the prowess, dominance, bravery of the Roman navy in the larger Mediterranean theater; bravery that Pliny embodied.


  • The Roman Navy Conquering the Mediterranean
  • Defending Trade. Ancient Globalisation.
  • Rescuing the Victims of Mount Vesuvius
  • Maritime Archaeology


  • +100 Archaeological Artifacts, including: maritime archaeological artifacts, wall paintings, mosaics, bronze statuettes, plaster casts etc.
  • Interpretive Graphic Panels
  • Video&Multimedia
  • Catalogue


World-class exhibition on the untold story of Pompeii and on the prowess of the Roman Navy with +100 archaeological artifacts. The exhibition successfully toured to China, Australia, France, Denmark.



Exhibition Views

Original artworks

Still Life with Fish and Other Animals

1st century BCE

Relief Depicting Two Roman Warships with Soldiers

2nd – 1st century BCE

Marble Mouth of a Fountain

1st century CE

Amphora of the “Keay 52” Type with Coral

3rd century CE
Terracotta, Coral

Bracelet with Head of a Snake

1st century CE

Fresco Depicting Ships (Navalia)

1st century BCE

Satyr and the God Pan

1st century CE

Statue of Bacchus

1st century CE


45-79 CE

Roman Nib from the Egadi Battle

3rd century BCE

About the exhibition

Download the Exhibition Book

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    via del Campofiore, 106 - Firenze
    +39 055 6802474

      Contemporanea Progetti Srl – Via del Campofiore, 106 – 50136 Firenze – Italia – Reg. Imprese, C.F e Partita Iva: 04960390484 – Numero REA: FI – 505041 – Capitale Sociale: €. 72.858,00 i.v. – Certificazione ISO 9001:2008