Like most Roman colonies, Pompeii was modelled after a military camp and therefore consisted of two mains roads that intersected at the forum. This intersection was adjacent to temples, theaters, baths, taverns, and even a prototype of the Colosseum. Even despite the eruption of Vesuvius, the city and its structures remain in remarkably fine condition.
The city was a true municipality and even bears striking resemblance to modern day cities with plenty of residential structures for the elite and poor alike.
A domus (house of the elite) likely would have contained an open atrium that would have allowed rainwater to collect; here, family portraits would have hung upon the perimeter walls. Surrounding the atrium were cubicula, and beyond, additional cubicula would have surrounded a peristyle courtyard. Though no windows would have lined the home’s front, the front door would have likely been open to guests and patrons, as business was very often conducted within the first sets of cubicula.
Apartment buildings for the poorer citizens (“insulae” or “island”) closely resemble modern urban living quarters. As many as five stories would have housed families, all surrounding an interior courtyard.