Running from now until September 2013, the British Museum is presenting a major exhibition on the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, sponsored by Goldman Sachs. It is the first of its type ever held at the British Museum and has involved the close cooperation of the Archaeological Superintendency of both Naples and Pompeii, to bring together over 250 fascinating objects, including recent discoveries and celebrated finds from earlier excavations. Many of them have never been seen outside of Italy. The exhibition will have a unique focus, looking at the Roman home and the people who lived in these ill-fated cities.

Popularised by some exceedingly good recent television programmes, Pompeii and Herculaneum, two cities on the Bay of Naples in southern Italy, were buried by a catastrophic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. While it ended the life of the cities, it also preserved them until rediscovery  nearly 1700 years later. Their excavation has given us unparalleled insight into Roman life.

The admission fee is £15, plus a range of concessions. Tickets can be booked online or by telephoning 020 7323 8181. Opening hours are 10.00–17.30 Saturday to Thursday and 10.00–20.30 on Fridays.