Ambrussum is a Roman archaeological site in Villetelle. Ambrussum is notable for its museum, staging post on the Via Domitia, bridge Pont Ambroix over the Vidourle and the oppidum (fortified village). Its history of settlement spanned 400 years.
The whole site is still being excavated. A lower settlement prone to flooding was a staging post for travellers on the Via Domitia and provided stabling and accommodation and the full range of repair facilities that were needed by carts and the Imperial postal service. The higher settlement was based on a pre-Roman oppidum which was within a surrounding wall including 21 towers. The Romans re-modelled the oppidum, so there is evidence of a complete range of housing styles from the earliest one room dwellings to sophisticated courtyard houses on the second century AD.
The Roman road, the Via Domitia, ran at the foot of the settlement, leading from it is a paved road with visible with traces of Roman chariot tracks. The Roman bridge was used until the Middle Ages but fell into disrepair, and only one complete arch remains.
The site was first settled in 2,300 BC and the construction started on the oppidum around 300 BC. It was a settlement of Gauls. The Romans conquered the area in 120 BC. The paved road at the heart of the oppidum was laid around 100 BC. The staging post on the Via Domitia and the Pont Ambroix were constructed at around 30 BC. The flow patterns of the river changed around 10 BC, it became more aggressive and flooding became more frequent. The large houses on the south of the oppidum were built in AD 50. The whole oppidum abandoned in AD 100, but parts of the lower settlement were still in use in AD 400, and the Pont Ambroix continued in use through the Middle Ages.References:
Manarola is a small town, a frazione of the comune of Riomaggiore. It is the second-smallest of the famous Cinque Terre towns frequented by tourists, with a population of 353.
Manarola may be the oldest of the towns in the Cinque Terre, with the cornerstone of the church, San Lorenzo, dating from 1338. The local dialect is Manarolese, which is marginally different from the dialects in the nearby area. The name 'Manarola' is probably a dialectical evolution of the Latin, 'magna rota'. In the Manarolese dialect this was changed to 'magna roea' which means 'large wheel', in reference to the mill wheel in the town.
Manarola's primary industries have traditionally been fishing and wine-making. The local wine, called Sciacchetrà, is especially renowned; references from Roman writings mention the high quality of the wine produced in the region.