The Roman Villa at Sant’Imbenia

Area interesse: Archaeological Sites
Area interesse: Archaeological Sites

You will find the remains of the Roman Villa at Sant’Imbenia in the western part of the Porto Conte bay, named Portus Nympaeus (the Nymph bay) by the Romans.

It is a typical roman villa used as a big and sumptuous holiday country-house and as a retirement resort for a rich person of those times. The villa was certainly run by an estate manager who had many people in his command: gardeners, fishermen, peasants etc. As the villa is situated in a very fertile area, one of its purposes was to make a profit with rich crops and fishing.

The study of the remains, of which 49 rooms were excavated, has revealed that the villa is divided into three parts: a residential area, with finely decorated halls, an area where you can find the servants’ rooms and the rooms used for domestic activities and finally an area used as thermal baths.

Anyway the villa, probably dating back to the I century A.D. was inhabited up to the VIII century A.D., though submitted to many structural changes which have modified the original location plan.

The remains reveal that the villa has passed through several moments, at first of glory and wealth, evidenced by rich painted decorations on walls, pillars and columns and later on of bare essentials with walls made of clay bricks or local sandstone which split up the halls into smaller rooms. The different phases show different architectonic styles and different building techniques. One of these techniques was characterised by the building of shelters used at the same time as roofs and as reservoirs which received a great quantity of rainwater, necessary for the daily life in the villa.

You will find the excavated materials at the Sanna Museum in Sassari.

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