Roman villa of Varignano

The Ville

The archaeological area of the Roman Villa of Varignano preserves the oldest oil mill in Liguria. The Roman Villa is located in a particularly happy position, at the bottom of a protected cove in Le Grazie di Portovenere, rich in water and surrounded by land planted with olive groves.

This settlement was part of a large system of landings built by the Romans in the wide gulf of La Spezia and related to the nearby basin of the portus Lunae . Archaeological investigations have brought to light a large complex with a private landing on the sea, which united the typical characteristics of the rustic villa and the maritime villa of otium and which had a long life, between the end of the 2nd century BC and the beginning of the 5th century A.D

In particular, the exceptional conservation of the production space with the oil presses, datable to the Sillan age, allows us to retrace all the stages of oil production as described in the ancient treatises, from the management of the olive grove to the storage of the oil. The villa was enriched in the 1st century AD with structures aimed at the comfort of the owner, such as a spa and a large cistern for collecting water. The villa preserves examples of precious polychrome mosaics as evidence of a high quality residential building. Around the year 1000 the Olivetan monks begin to cultivate those lands and the ruins of the villa are used for terracing: the olive grove is planted again, but also vineyards and vegetable gardens.


Timetable and tickets


Via Varignano Vecchio (Villa)
19025 Portovenere


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