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Ancient Roman Oven Photos - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Thank you for your patience with the Photo galleries. We've got your galleries online!
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Ancient Roman Oven Photos

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  • Ancient Roman Oven Photos

    Here is a permanent posting for our photo journal on the ancient Pompeii Ovens. There are more than 30 brick ovens preserved in Pompeii, including large commercial ovens with on-site grain mills, and small residential ovens inside homes. Some of the ovens are in great shape, and could almost be fired to make bread or pizza today. I have introduced myself to various staff members, and they have allowed me to crawl inside the ovens to take pictures.

    Here are the photos:


    The bread loaves found inside the excavated ovens were round, and had the seal of the bakery on top. My guess is that they were great. Many of the bakeries were in the "food" neighborhoods of Pompeii, and were surrounded by hot and cold food and drink bars -- complete with granite and marble counter tops.

    OK. They had milled wheat flour; natural yeast; salt; brick ovens; olive oil; cow, sheep and goat cheese; cured meats; a wonderful water table; and herbs. You cannot tell me that the ancient world didn't have great pizza.

    I am still struck by the ancient ovens, and the fact that the modern pizzeria just outside the city gate has a wood-fired oven that looks exactly like the ovens in the old city. There is nothing new under the sun; we just have to pick the pieces that we want to preserve.
    Pizza Ovens
    Outdoor Fireplaces

  • #2
    Hopefully hundreds or even thousands of years from now people will be discovering all the ovens this group has (or will have) built around the country!


    • #3


      What a wonderful, inspiring series of pictures for all of us to enjoy. Thanks very much for them and this forum.

      "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


      • #4

        Thanks for that. Lying down inside those ovens was an incredible experience. It was like I was channeling back 2,000 years. The floor was made from 2" round floor pieces, with a texture almost exactly like the Artigiano oven floor pieces. The floor was set in sand and clay. The dome was coated with a thin layer of mortar. They were insulated with a mixture of expanded clay or volcanic ash. A terracotta chimney system directly above the door opening. Everything except the Insulfrax. It has really stayed with me -- heck, it led to the oven plans and our user group.

        I was there inside the ovens long enough and made enough of a spectacle of myself that I definitely embarassed the kids. So that worked.

        There are also ancient ovens in Naples, and folks at the Pizzaiolo school have said they will take me to see them next time I'm there.

        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces


        • #5

          Awsome photos these realy make me want to finish mine,thanks for all your input of information


          • #6
            Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

            i saw the pic..it's classic..and that oven is still working though..it's really hard to preserve an oven like that..
            hello world


            • #7
              Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

              the oven looked like a cave


              • #8
                Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                Great stuff!!! These wood fired ovens have certainly been around for a long time, but it's my understanding that the Pizza wasn't "invented" until after Columbus came back with the tomato from the New World! Can it be that the Italians simply used their pre-existing bread ovens to bake the "new" concoction?!!


                • #9
                  Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                  Those pics are great. Was it in Pompeii or Herculaneum? Herc is so cool, with such a 'live' atmosphere, I can see how pizzas would fit into that picture perfectly.


                  • #10
                    Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                    Beautiful pix, thanks!


                    • #11
                      Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                      Thanks for sharing with us.
                      I have just found it:
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                      • #12
                        Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                        Here are photos of a very old and large oven under our property in Italy.

                        Roof of Oven (39" from roof to floor)

                        Door to Oven (24" High by 28.5" Wide)

                        Back View of Oven (84" Wide at the base inside Diameter)

                        Another Inside Back of Oven

                        Vico Villa > Home
                        Enjoy life! It's limited, you only get as much as you take.


                        • #13
                          Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                          E una cosa spectacolo!! Any evidence of what it was used for? (There doesn't seem to be a lot of black soot or other signs of long term burning, but it's been many years...)


                          • #14
                            Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                            wow! I would love to watch them build it! every little stone!


                            • #15
                              Re: Ancient Roman Oven Photos

                              Came back and looked at these pics again. They truly are amazing. Is Villa di Fontanella yours Optionsparty? I love what you have done there. Want to include Villa di Fontanella in an Italy trip of WFOs. It looks absolutely gorgeous, on the Adriatic, very quaint little town. Are there operational WFO's in town?

                              I would really like to get a list of all WFO's in Italy that people have visited. Planning an Italy trip in the next 2 years and would like to see as many ovens as possible, and cooking classes. Maybe I'll start a thread
                              Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443