Tiberius’ Villa is in the Latina province, 150 kn from Rome and 2 km from Sperlonga, one of the most beautiful towns in Italy, situated towards the end of the public beach. Together with other Roman dwellings along the coast, the Villa is one of the most amazing testimonies of the past to have come down to us – from the 1st century AD.
It is an archaeological site of extraordinary significance on account of the abundance of discoveries made there as well as its enchanting setting: a Roman villa nestled in a verdant hill overlooking the sea.
The villa is situated under a rock spur and it is said that the emperor, during a banquet, was struck by a piece of rock that had broken off from the overhanging outcrop. Miraculously, he was unharmed but decoded to move to another residence anyway.
The overlapping of various building stages and the archaeological remains would suggest a very long period of use, from the Republican era up to the 6th century AD.
It was subsequently inhabited by monks and abandoned due to the constant Saracen threat. Numerous statues, sculptures and marble busts, many in fragments, were found there. And so for the purposes of housing these precious artefacts, it was decided to found the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Sperlonga, run by the Polo Museale del Lazio.
The grotto is quite stunning. There is a large rectangular pool in front of the cave, which contains meticulously constructed baths (the circular one is clearly visible) and lots of channels and outlets to allow the water to exit. It was decorated with mosaics and amphorae, showing us how refined and elegant the emperor’s villa was.
A real gem in the Riviera of Ulysses, a highly-regarded archeological area surrounded by crystal sea and breathtaking scenery!