Spello's Villa of Mosaics, with 500 square meters of mosaic floors recovered, it's one of the most amazing archeological sites in Umbria and throughout Italy.
The Villa was discovered by chance, as it often does, in the 2005 when the dig for a parking space is starting in a sports field, just outside Spello's walls. After some mosaics came out, then they dug deeper and finally a whole Roman estate of monumental size was brought to light!
The roman Villa
The Villa shows two different construction stages: the first one dating from Augustan era (BC 27), according to remainings of cement flooring, and the second one dating from the Imperial age, between the II and the III centuries AD. Going across the inner rooms, walking through the amazing mosaics, is like to move across the Villa's past history as well as through the ancient Hispellum (the modern Spello), founded by Umbrians and then destroyed and rebuilt by Romans around the I century BC.
But who's Villa's owner? Actually, we don't know. Having such a majestic place, however, means that he must have been definetly someone wealthy and from upper class. We assume that he was a winegrower, according to the mosaic at the center of the main room, which depicts a scene from harvesting.
Archaeologists spotted twenty rooms that belonged likely to the central sector. There are ten with polychrome mosaic floors and multicoloured chunks of plaster on the walls with frame and geometric patterns. Rooms with no mosaics were most likely service rooms. The very well preserved mosaic floors are stunning and priceless. Geometric patterns, human figures, wild and fantastic animals are shown in. It's a work of high quality due to the chromatic effect and fluid draw lines, maybe made by Roman craftsmen.
All around peristyle, the pillared porch yard surrounding the inner garden, there's a series of rooms named after the mosaic decorations in each of them: the Bird Room, the Amphora Room,the Triclinium, the Radiant Sun Room, the Geometric Mosaic Room, the Peristyle, the Shield Room, the Heated Room. Among them, the large Triclinium room deserves special attention. This was the banquet hall, the one mentioned above, with the wine pouring scene in the center: other characters, simmetrically arranged, symbolize the four seasons and, depicted as satyrs of a Dionysian parade, the prosperity, to feel pleasure and the fine harvest.
Unfortunately, the villa entry is still not found. Indeed the mansion was destroyied and buried under 15 feet of debris in the V century.
In March 2018 the Museum was inaugurated, a true jewel of modernity and technology, with 3D reconstructions to relive the ancient splendor of the villa.
Immagine Copyright: touringclub.it
January and February: Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10.30-13 / 14.30-17
March and October: Tuesday to Sunday and holidays 10.30-13 / 14.30-17
April-September: Tuesday to Sunday and holidays 10.30-13 / 15-18.30
November: Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10.30-13 / 14.30-17
December until 6 January: Tuesday to Sunday 10.30-13 / 14.30-17
Extraordinary opening by reservation is always guaranteed
Ticket price: full € 6 - reduced € 4 (groups with more than 15 people) - reduced € 2 (children between 6 and 14 years and residents).
Free admission for children up to 6 years, users of educational activities, journalists with ID card, ICOM members
It is possible to buy a single ticket for the Pinacoteca Comunale circuit at a cost of € 11 for the whole ticket.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: BC 27
SUNSET: V century AD
MANAGEMENT: Soprintendenza Archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio dell'Umbria
REDISCOVERY: XXI century
How to get to Spello
From the North: Florence - Rome Line
From the South: Line Orte - Romadall'Adriatico and Linea Ancona - Foligno
Spello-Perugia line; Spello-Spoleto and Spello Assisi. Check timetables and routes on the transport company's website
FROM MILAN: take the A1, exit at Cesena Nord and continue on the E45 towards Perugia, continue towards Foligno and then follow the signs for Spello.
FROM FLORENCE: take the A1 motorway, exit at Valdichiana, take the SS.75 Bis del Trasimeno that runs along the homonymous lake. Continue until Perugia / Ponte San Giovanni towards Foligno. Exit at Spello.
FROM ROME: take the A1 motorway, exit at Orte and take the Terni / Spoleto direction, continue towards Foligno, then immediately exit at Spello.