A Vineyard as a Vault for an Ancient Treasure

In Negrar di Valpolicella, north of Verona, a vineyard has reserved an extraordinary discovery under the rows of vines: a splendid mosaic of the pavement floor of a Roman villa. This has been dated back to the third century AD.

The vineyard has been a vault and protected this rare gem for centuries. In fact, the mosaic, still well preserved, has kept interlocking motifs in bright blue and vermilion colors and is a further piece that adds to the discoveries made so far on this suggestive archaeological site.

This is the Roman Villa of Negrar, identified by scholars at the end of the nineteenth century, in the countryside around the town, in the district called “Villa”.

After the excavations carried out in the 1920s and 1975, the site fell into oblivion for decades.

In the summer of 2019, the Archaeological Superintendence resumed excavations in different areas of the private land where the presence of the Roman villa emerged, finding walls, paving with stone slabs with a few steps, and then discovering a portion of the mosaic pavement with geometric patterns which, according to the archaeologist who directs the works, Gianni Zuccato, could be the southern side of a large colonnaded portico which probably overlooked an internal garden.

The grapes of the Negrar vineyard, the Olympus of the Amarone wine symbol of Made in Italy, grew and fed on the soil-born on a mosaic of the third century after Christ.

Fragments of past history jealously guarded like an ancient treasure, in the last hundred years, have finally been able to come to light in all their expression and beauty.

Those colorful plots, preserved under the earth and the vine, reveal themselves to the world with the stunning elegance of lost art.

And btw … that wine is great! 😉