From ANSA:

Tourists can once again admire the beauty of 10 ancient Roman houses at Pompeii which have been specially reopened to the public for the summer after restoration work.

The houses are usually off-limits to visitors or, in a few cases, can only be seen by booking in advance.

But they will be open to everyone until the end of October at no extra cost to the price of a ticket to the Roman city, destroyed by the 79 AD eruption of Mt Vesuvius.

Among the most interesting sites is the House of Menander.

It is one of Pompeii's most elegant houses, containing a rich selection of wall paintings, including one of the Greek playwright (342-291 BC) who gives the dwelling its name.

This house is also famous for the stunning 108-piece silverware set found in a wooden box there in 1930.

Another big attraction is the Villa of Diomedes, considered a masterpiece of Roman architecture with its terrace overlooking the Gulf of Naples and its enormous garden, surrounded by a long colonnade. The House of the Surgeon is one of the city's oldest buildings - the materials and the style used suggest it was constructed in the third century BC. It takes its name from the surgical instruments found in the house - now stored at the Naples archaeological museum - presumably belonging to the owner.

Visitors can also take a look around the Roman city's suburban baths to see erotic wall paintings dating back to the age of the Emperor Augustus (63 BC-14 AD).

Decorations depicting scenes from The Iliad are on display at the House of the Lararium of Achilles.

A beautiful fresco of Apollo and Marsyas can be seen at the House of Apollo. The reopening of the 10 sites is not the only big attraction Pompeii has in store this summer.

The 2007 Classico Pompeiano (Pompeiian Classic) festival of shows and concerts at the archaeological site's Teatro Grande (Big Theatre) runs June 26-July 27.

Stars of the third edition of the festival include Oscar-winning Italian director and comedian Roberto Benigni, who presents his show revolving around the works of Dante - Tutto Dante - on June 29.