Loquis: Villa di Nerone

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Villa di Nerone


Published on:  2018-03-14 11:16:00


The history of the present-day town of Anzio, once known as Antium, dates back to the beginning of the first millennium B.C. and the period when the town was founded by the Latin population. Its favourable position meant that Antium experienced extraordinary expansion, thanks above all to the port which became the source of its power. Therefore, in just a short space of time, the town became a thriving centre of trade and point of departure for pirate raids throughout the Mediterranean. During the Volsci occupation at the start of the 5th century B.C., it became the proud adversary of Rome and this was the start of a long period of hostility which, however, came to an end in 338 B.C. with the surrender of Antium which, from then on, became a Roman colony. During the late Republican era the city experienced a period of glory when it became a holiday resort for Roman patricians. Temples and palaces were built to adorn the town while the villas of the most illustrious figures of the era were built along the coast. Without a doubt, the most important villa is that of the Emperor Nero who, given that he was a native of the town, wanted a grandiose residence, the remains of which can still be seen today and occupy a large area overhanging the sea that forms part of a beautiful Archaeological Park. In ancient times, at the peak of its development, the villa was quite enormous and stretched out towards the hinterland on one side, and beyond the beach on the other, entering into the sea water itself with interesting and evocative architectural solutions. Various sculptures were found inside the villa, but the most valuable of these, now housed in the National Museum of Rome, is the beautiful sculpture entitled Fanciulla di Anzio. It was unearthed in 1878 after a wall inside the villa collapsed as a result of a violent sea storm. The villa stands on the stretch of coast running from the tip of Capo d'Anzio, for more than 800 m. westwards as far as Capo dell'Arco Muto.

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