Originally, like his brother Francesco, Pietro was a military engineer. He was also a trained cartographer. Beginning in 1764 he worked with his brother, Francesco, who at that time was appointed as the director of excavations for Ferdinand, the Bourbon king of Naples. In 1804, when Francesco died, Pietro la Vega took over as director. Pietro la Vega was a very thorough and meticulous excavator, who kept copious notes. As a result he made it possible for François Mazois (Carlo Francesco Mazois) to produce in 1824 the most complete report and synthesis ever published on Pompeii.
- DesRochers, Brigitte (2002) "Au-delà du style: naissance du classicisme structurel dans Les Ruines de Pompéi" Histoire de l'art, esthétique et muséologie 70e Congrès de l'Acfas Archived 2005-08-18 at the Wayback Machine in French
- Mazois, François (1824-1838) Les ruines de Pompei F. Didot, Paris, OCLC 23430300
- Pagano, Mario (1997) I Diari di Scavo di Pompeii, Ercolano e Stabiae di Francesco e Pietro la Vega (1764-1810) "L'Erma" di Bretschneidein, Rome, (in Italian)
- "Palmi Napoletanis" Drawings by Pietro la Vega from Art.com