Roman Maritime Archeological Villa
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The glory and fame of the Amalfi Coast is as old as mankind, places like Minori, Tramonti and the whole Coast are one of those locations where man must have began wondering about the existence of God. Such incredible landscapes were interpreted as a divine gift to man, and later during Roman times Coast was so famous around the Mediterranean that many nobles would come here to enjoy some relax, and find restoration to their soul away from the frenzy of Rome. So really nothing has changed since then, as Minori continues to be a favourite venue for summer and all year round relaxation and general enjoyment of life.
Nowadays Minori becomes even more attractive as the important ruins of a Roman villa, make this town even more interesting to visit, being the perfect blend of sea, sun and history.
Such great asset to the local economy was only recently discovered, indeed although there are 1874 documents telling of some Roman spa in Minori, the excavation actually started in 1932. Until that moment the visible ruins of the villa were just considered part of the landscape and some of the Roman rooms were used as basements or for storage. Finally the archeological value of this venue was fully appreciated, and the modern buildings that laid on top of the Villa were demolished, and the site became an important archeological spot of the Amalfi Coast. Although the identity of the original owner has never been discovered, the structure and the decorations of the Villa show that not only must he have been a very wealthy man, but also he had quite a strong sense for aesthetic.
The Villa was most probably built in I century b.C on sea level.
Today the visible structures are the large courtyard at sea level, with a large porch open on three sides by large arcades, facing the sea. On the remaining side there is a nymphaeum decorated with frescos, mosaics and stucco.
One of the best preserved elements of the villa is the large hall with tunnel vaults, stucco and the remains of frescos, and at the centre there is a large pool, part of the greater spa structure that was probably the most used part of the Villa by all those who owned this piece of paradise on earth.
A partially preserved stair leads to the upper floor, here in the III century b.C there was a major refurbishment of the triclinium as well as of the original frescos and of the rest of the paintings. Here an antiquarium was built to store the paintings and decorations from other Villas that were eventually destroyed or totally abandoned: there is a lararium from Scafati, a gravestone from Angri and one from Nocera, as well as many amphoras and other archeological findings. After the 1954 severe flood that hit the Coast and the Salerno area, the villa had to be brought to light almost all over again, but since then locals and the municipality have worked to allow all tourists live the experience of stepping into an authentic Roman time experience while enjoying themselves on the Amalfi Coast.