Elba Island secret face: the mansions of the Ancient Rome

Secret Elba Island: the Ancient RomeThe patricians of the Ancient Rome loved Elba Island for its beaches, its mild weather conditions, for the healthy effects of its mineral springs. And for the beauty of the coast, obviously. Places that overlook the sea, where the Roman patricians built sumptuous mansions.

In particular, the Roman mansions of Elba Island are three:

  • Villa romana delle Grotte. The most famous if the three mansions, built in I Century B.C. approximately. Probably it was a very big mansion, with a stone staircase to the underlying inlet. The remains of the villa romana delle Grotte are near Portoferraio.
  • Villa romana della Linguella. Also this mansion is near Portoferraio, in the dock. Villa romana della Linguella was very big, and a very rich patrician lived in this mansion. The mansion had a dedicated aqueduct, and the floors were decorated with polychrome mosaic. Today, Villa romana della Linguella is a part of the Torre della Linguella (a tower).
  • Villa romana di Capo Castello. Near the locality of Cavo. The only remains of this mansion are parts of the external walls, built with the opus reticulatum brickwork (it consists of diamond-shaped bricks of tuff). The mansion part for the patricians was built on the promontory, overlooking the sea.

Elba Island subsoil is very rich in minerals. And Ancient Romans knew it very well: they used the precious granite from Elba to built, among the other buildings, Pantheon and Colosseum.


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/fpasqua