A treasure under the vineyards: the Roman villa in Negrar di Valpolicella, Verona
30 April 2021
We can say that there are 2 things that an Italian fears most of all: carbonara with cream and digging his own land.
For the first question we will write a specific article, right now you just need to know that no, no cream in carbonara.
The second question comes from the richness of the historical heritage that our country ... hides. Under our cities, streets, houses, companies, there could be prehistoric, Roman or medieval remains, still there, since millennia. Well, this maybe explains you why not all our cities have a metro, or why it took us 12 years to finish line C of Rome metro.
In this story, however, the owners of this land have not been afraid, on the contrary they collaborated with all the institutions so that the treasures hidden under their land, could come out in the sunlight.
Why did we at Pagus Wine Tours decide to tell you this story? Because the owners of the land are two wineries and because the land in question is a vineyard, where Valpolicella wine is produced.
The two companies (Az. Agr. La Villa di Benedetti Matteo and Simone and Soc. Agr. Franchini srl) allowed the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage to work on the areas recently acquired by the previous owners, giving up occupation allowances and discovery prizes and supporting part of the expenses for the excavation.
What's under their vineyards? A Roman villa of about 270 square meters from the III-IV century AD.
Since 1886, when the first remains were discovered, several archaeological areas have been identified: a mosaic, which was purchased by the Municipality of Verona and is currently exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the Roman Theater; in 1922 new polychrome floor mosaics were found, of extraordinary value and exceptional state of conservation; in 1975 what could be the entrance to the villa was discovered; in 2020 the north side began to be mapped.
From this year the excavations have resumed and it is hoped for next spring to have concluded the works and the construction phase of the structures. They are trying to carry out archaeological research without hindering the viticulture activity, and then strengthen them in the autumn after the harvest.
An example of beautiful collaboration between private companies and institutions, for a very specific purpose: to ensure that the whole world can admire the beauty that Italy has been hiding for a very long time.
We really hope to be able to include a visit to this Roman villa in our tours, as soon as the works are finished. In the meantime, you can start dreaming by taking a look at our tours in Valpolicella, or by receiving a bottle of Amarone produced in this land rich in history at your home.