Hic habitat felicitas

    Probably one of the most visited places by tourists is this2 storey building for its prostitutes and their business.  There were other brothels in town but these were usually located above a tavern or in private abodes not too luxurious either. The place was made up of 5 rooms on the ground floor and 5 on the upper one.  Every room had a concrete bed with maybe, if you were lucky, a mattress or a mat.
    To get men interested, there would have been erotic drawings on the doors to the rooms, a probable advertisement  dedicated  to the prostitutes who were better at doing what they knew best or maybe, it was a way of distinguishing rooms.
    The brothel is on one of the secondary roads and it’s not that easy to find but, hey don’t despair, but do as any   gentleman would do, look out for and follow the ‘phallus’ signs on the roadside or above the houses.

    As they didn’t have access to the internet in those times, clients would engrave how, in their opinion, things went, in fact there are(have been found) 120 ‘entries’
    lupanare di pompeilupanare di pompei

    Why is it called a lupanar?

    In ancient Lazio, the goddess Lupa was revered, and the priestesses practiced sacred prostitution near her temple, financing the temple by offering themselves for payment to the faithful. These women were called "lupae" because they attracted the attention of men by howling like wolves. The Romans later replaced the goddess Lupa with the god Lupercus and dedicated the Lupercalia festival to him. The name "lupa" shifted from the priestesses of the goddess to regular prostitutes, and thus the places where prostitution occurred became known as "lupanari."

    Did ancient Romans protect themselves from venereal diseases?

    There was a method that could be compared to our modern-day prophylactic. Dried sheep intestine prevented infections and could be reused; it was washed after use. It is likely that someone used similar methods in lupanari as well. According to some scholars, Roman legionaries were equipped with a form of this kind of condom, which wouldn't be surprising as soldiers have always been among the main users of prostitutes, and it's reasonable to assume that commanders wanted to avoid epidemics.

    What was the hierarchy among prostitutes?

    Firstly, prostitution in Rome wasn't exclusively comprised of slaves, but it was a diverse and varied world where both women and men engaged in prostitution, and many could autonomously manage their profession. The "lena" (often the mother of the girl) or the "leno" were the ones who exploited prostitution by renting rooms to a girl or making her work in a tavern or a lupanar.

    Some high-end prostitutes were known to accumulate significant wealth, and it is believed that actors and actresses occasionally engaged in prostitution when needed.

    Delicatæ or famosæ

    They were the equivalent of our escorts, educated and refined, catering to a wealthy clientele.


    A reminder of the ancient priestesses who practiced their profession in lupanari.


    They prostituted themselves near funerary monuments, not because they had a particular taste for horror, but because these were isolated and rarely frequented places where they could work undisturbed.

    Scorta erratica

    Street workers, the prostitutes who still populate the outskirts of cities today.


    They worked in taverns.


    They worked on the country roads.


    They worked under the arches ("fornices"), and the term "fornicating" comes from this practice. Arches were a common architectural feature in Rome, especially in the construction of aqueducts, bridges, and sports structures. These types of structures were located outside the urban environment and provided some shelter.


    Extremely cheap prostitutes who charged a quarter of an "as" (a Roman coin) for each service.


    Practically the most destitute women in Roman society. They prostituted themselves in the poorest neighborhoods of the cities, attracting a clientele of the lowest level with very little spending capacity.