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Address: Strada Provinciale Per Porto Azzurro, Portoferraio, Elba Island, Italy
Phone Number:
+39 327 836 9680
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

The Villa delle Grotte is one of the archaeological remains of the Roman...

The Villa delle Grotte is one of the archaeological remains of the Roman era on the island.

The Roman Villa delle Grotte is located on the headland in front of Portoferraio. Both the decorative building material that show the origin of the villa to the Augustan age . The entrance of the villa was planned along the north side , so as to immediately put out the view of the arm of the sea between the Elba and the coast. The pool was surrounded on three sides by a large open space that was to be placed in the garden and surrounded by a columned porticus . All architectural and aesthetic solutions indicate that the Villa was destined to the nobility . The decoration of residential environments were very accurate, according to current tastes at that time in the capital: the rooms were frescoed or lined with colored marble , white marble above the Elba and chives . In addition to materials related to the construction and architectural decoration, during the excavations were found numerous fragments of pottery related to the daily life of the inhabitants of the villa : coarse pottery to store and cook food , others more refined for serving food and beverages. In particular, the jars (which were the main transport container ) we show how the villa was a participant in the network of trade flourishing in the Augustan age between Italy and the provinces , with supplies of wine from Italy , Spain and Greece islands , while still coming from Spain oil and fish sauce. It is possible that the Villa was originally the residence on characters who were in contract mining, so as to control their own economic interests without sacrificing the natural beauty of the island. The abandonment of the Villa delle Grotte was a consequence of an economic choice , and it is possible that the building has been systematically stripped of its most valuable furnishings and works of art that were to decorate the rooms and gardens at the time of the " removal " of its owners. Floors and structures were damaged over the centuries by the continuing farm work , during which they were found marble slabs , lead pipes , idols and coins. The operation was the most serious destructive use of the area for military purposes during the war between France and the Kingdom of Naples to the dominance of the island at the end of the eighteenth century.

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so beautiful and so abandonned

Shame on you, Elba! This place is a gem! It should be conserved and accessible but it is completly abandoned. We entered anyway, with all the respect to archeological site. And I... read more

2 of 5 bubblesReviewed October 9, 2015
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43 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 4: English reviews
Level Contributor
227 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 266 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2015

Shame on you, Elba! This place is a gem! It should be conserved and accessible but it is completly abandoned. We entered anyway, with all the respect to archeological site. And I can confirm that the location, the view, the villa's ruins and the terrace garden are beautiful. Hopefully Italian government will find some money to preserve this heritage site!

1 Thank b_architect
Roskilde, Denmark
Level Contributor
91 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2015 via mobile

We went to Villa Romana delle Grotte excited to see the ruins. We went on a saturday at 12:00, but the whole area was closed off by a heavy iron gate without explanation. We looked for signs with opening hours without luck. The gate and tiny book shop looked very shabby, and we wondered if the place were closed for... More 

Thank Jane H
Siena, Italy
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2015 via mobile

Skip the bad museum and save your money. If it's open when you go, only go for the free view. Museum has lots of the same vase with only Italian explanations, which don't even explain much. Outside, things are very run down and there is a hard to read English and Italian sign for the small portion of roman ruins.

Thank chiaramangia
Trento, Italy
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2014 via mobile

A wonderful Roman villa of the 1st century After Christ close to the town of Portoferraio. I though about the beauty of this villa in the Augustus era with its chorister (peristilium) , its pools (implivium), its wellness portion (calidarium and frigidarium). Nowadays, Romans may teach to many people the beauty of the western culture and the importance of the... More 

2 Thank Enrico S

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