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The Roman villa of Sant’Imbenia


This archaeological area is located along the road which leads to Capo Caccia, just after the junction on the county road 55 Bis, which goes to Sassari. This area is located in the heart of the roadstead of Porto Conte, in the so-called “Bay of Nymphs” or “Nymphaeus Portus” of Tolomeo. The complex is located right next to the sea, and archaeologists have discovered 49 rooms divided up between an estimated 140 metres in length. Some mosaics are still clearly visible, but many of them have been removed and are now safely exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum “Sanna” in Sassari (at 64, via Roma; Phone nr. 0039.079.272203 – www.museosannasassari.it).
According to archaeologists, the villa was the retreat of a wealthy figure of that period, who dedicated himself to the so-called “otium”, which means the care of the spirit and the pleasures of the body. The extent of the complex and the structures found, however, leads to the presumption that this was a place dedicated also to crop production; benefitting from a privileged position in terms of boarding and maritime trades.
Over the centuries, the villa has undergone various renovations; the different building techniques used are still clearly visible, like the opus caementicium (Roman concrete) and the opus africanum (a sort of African masonry), including masonry in dry stones dating back to the Medieval period.
The part of the villa located furthest to the north, was probably on two floors and in the lowest part a wellness and bathing room, decorated with marbles and sumptuous polychrome decorations, was created. Among these decorations, a stucco representing a Nereid riding a sea animal is of special archaeological and artistic interest. One of the legendary figures is Nereus’ daughter, the marine divinity of Greek mythology, who lived in a cave in the depths of the sea. It is right in the area of Capo Caccia that we find the “Grotta di Nereo” (Cave of Nereus), one of the most important and stunning underwater ravines of the Mediterranean sea, and one of the routes proposed by the tourist centre ArchiMete.

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comunicazione e contenuti a cura di:

Kontagio

www.kontagio.eu
ideazione e progettazione grafica di:

Alessio Tavoletti

email: alessio.grafico@alice.it
sviluppo tecnico e ingegnerizzazione:

Simone Volpini

www.simonevolpini.info