A great discovery was made in the Valpolicella vineyards where the precious Amarone is produced: a magnificent Roman mosaic floor dating back to 1,700 years ago. A few meters deep, a part of the pavement and foundations of a Roman villa surfaced which, according to archaeologists, dates back to the third century after Christ. After decades of failed attempts, those colorful weaves are shown to the world in all their elegance.
It is no a coincidence that the area where this evidence was brought to light is known by the name of “Villa“, it is located 400 meters far our cellar and indicates precisely the presence of a historic building. The area, kept agricultural and non-building area, had been known for this peculiarity for over a century but nobody, before now, had ever been able to locate and dig in the exact spot.
The first discovery dates back to 1887 and happened by chance. Later, in 1922, partial excavations were carried out by the Superintendence of Antiquities of the Venezie and part of the mosaic then found was removed to bring it to the Archaeological Museum of Verona where it is still on display. The partial excavations were then re-interred. In 1975 a team of archaeologists had resumed their investigations in vain because they had not been able to identify the location of the villa buried under a vineyar
Last summer a team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Verona resumed the excavation. The merit of the discovery goes to the archaeologist Gianni De Zuccato: with a targeted coring of the soil, the remains of the artifact were discovered. The goal was to accurately identify the extent and exact location of the Roman villa in order to be able to quote it and then try to acquire it. The institution can exercise its right of first refusal but it seems that an internationally renowned winery has already made an offer: buy the entire vineyard leaving the archaeological site visitable.
Roman Villa Negrar
The Municipality of Negrar, for its part “will lend all the necessary collaboration and thanks now the professionals of the Superintendency and the owners of the area for the unity of purpose and the availability with which they are pursuing the project”. Roberto Grison, mayor of Negrar di Valpolicella, adds: «We believe that a cultural site of this value deserves attention and should be enhanced. For this reason, together with the superintendent and those responsible for agricultural funds, we will find a way to make this treasure pleasant “.
This discovery makes the Valpolicella area even more unique by combining art, culture, history and winemaking tradition.
Update of the 22 of february 2021: the work has started again to remove the groud to make visible to roman villa! In the picture below the area now:
Update of the 01 of March 2021: work inprogress to remove the layer of earth above the Villa Romana in Negrar, the excavation looks like the picture below.
Update of the 24 of March 2021:
Today, Wednesday, March 24, the Municipality of Negrar di Valpolicella and the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio of Verona, held a press conference to present the progress of the archaeological research activities in the “Villa Romana delle Cortesele“. Present were the mayor Roberto Grison, the ABAP superintendent for the provinces of Verona, Rovigo and Vicenza Vincenzo Tiné, the SABAP archaeologist in charge of the research Gianni De Zuccato and in zoom connection the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini. The conference was held in the Council Chamber of the City of Negrar di Valpolicelal illustrating irisultati of the archaeological excavations in progress and the project for the enhancement of the area. The Roman Villa of Negrar di Valpolicella can become a flywheel for the promotion of wine and food, tourism and culture of the whole Valpolicella territory. Here a picture of the Villa of the Mosaic in Negrar.
Here a picture of the work for the Valpolicella Roman Villa in Negrar taken the 18 of April: