The Varignano Roman Villa, among olive trees and sea
The ancient Varignano Roman Villa is located in the little bay of Varignano Vecchio, between the area of the sanctuary of Le Grazie and, to the northeast, the military fort of Varignano, an important Navy commandos base. It is one of the most spectacular points of the Gulf, with a stunning sea view (at the time, they could still choose where to build their glamorous villas), surrounded by the scents of the Mediterranean Maquis and olive trees. During winter, it can be visited from 9am to 2pm upon reservation, and in summer from 1.30 pm to 7.30pm (call 0039790307) .
The first phase of construction of the villa dates back to the first century BC and is primarily made up of a residential complex and a rustic area for for olive oil processing and production.
The apartments – pars urban – and the productive zone – pars fructuaria – are separated by a courtyard that served as a olive work place torcularium (oil mill). The apartments were designed for the dominus on one floor, with patio mosaic flooring.
It is in latest period farmer’s rooms went through a significant architectural transformation, with the construction of a thermal plant with local private heated pools and cold baths. For this purpose was built a turned cistern, almost unique of its kind compared to similar Roman buildings in northern Italy.
The Roman residence was inhabited until the sixth century.
To attend the guided visit of the Villa, go to the gate in Varignano Vecchia, close to the cemetery (see map below) just off the road to Portovenere.