Varignano Roman Villa

Porto Venere, Italy

Varignano Roman Villa is an ancient Roman residence in Varignano, now a frazione of the town of Porto Venere. Its site is marked by an archaeological museum.

Its first construction phase dates to the 1st century BCE and it mainly consisted of a house surrounded by a farm linked to olive oil production. The site is beside the Seno del Varignano Vecchio, overlooking the sea, near the santuario delle Grazie and, to the north-east, the Fortezza del Varignano.

Its main area - the pars urbana - and the productive area - the pars fructuaria - were separated by a courtyard used for 'torcularium' or pressing olives for their oil. The owner's residence was single-storey with atria paved with mosaics, living rooms and bedrooms. Its olive oil processing area contained two presses and a 'cella oleario' were active until the 1st century AD. At that period olive oil production shut down and the vilicus underwent a major rebuild, with the construction of a set of heated rooms and private frigidaria, whose cistern is considered as almost unique among similar buildings in northern Italy. This residence was then active until the 6th century.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1st century BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

alessandro pontiggia (11 months ago)
visita molto interessante fra i ruderi di una grande villa romana che circa duemila anni fa si affacciava sul mare. gli scavi sono ancora in corso e chissà quante rovine giacciono ancora inesplorate sotto al terreno. molti cartelloni illustrano molto bene tutti i particolari della villa, dal frantoio, al calidarium, dalla cisterna ai pavimenti meglio conservati.
Carla Ceruti (2 years ago)
I resti della villa sono ben conservati e tutta l'area è curata. Il custode è molto preparato e illustra all'ingresso ciò che si andrà a visitare accompagnando i visitatori nella meravigliosa cisterna, unica nel suo genere in quanto non interrata. È un peccato che nessuno si occupi dei moltissimi ulivi, con l'olio prodotto, si potrebbero finanziare ulteriori scavi.
Iain Robertson (2 years ago)
Pity it was closed in april
Daniel Amoah (3 years ago)
Worth the visit. Great!
Daniel Amoah (3 years ago)
Worth a visit when you are around Le Grazie. The Romans again.... Just fascinating history
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".