Loquis: Horace's Villa in Licenza

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Horace's Villa in Licenza


Published on:  2018-03-13 18:10:00


the remains of a grand Roman villa were discovered in the first decade of the twentieth century, on a site dating back to the 1st century BC. The resulting archaeological dig confirmed that the villa belonged to the illustrious Latin poet Horace, who was gifted it by Maecenus, advisor and friend to the emperor Augustus. Excavation of the residential complex was simplified by the decision taken by the archaeologists to follow Horace's own description of the villa. The building is divided into various rooms and spaces, and features a grand four-sided portico and a suite of baths, which at a later stage were extended by the construction of further rooms placed outside the main building. Annexed to the villa was an extensive garden, lined by porticoes, as well as an extensive agricultural estate of 40 hectares; but this was essentially a place of rest, the famous Latin otium, or leisure. The villa is located near the town of Licenza, which was already an important place in the Middle Ages, as indicated by the Orsini Castle and the Baronial Palace in the town's historic centre.Licenza is also home to the small Antiquarium museum, containing the most valuable finds from the Horace's Villa archaeological site - mostly mosaics and frescoes. This is an extremely fascinating place, well worth a visit to gain an understanding of the ancient Romans' ability to fully enjoy the pleasures of life, by choosing the most exquisite natural surroundings to build their villas dedicated to rest and enjoyment.

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