We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“History On The Lake”

Villa Romana ed Antiquarium di Desenzano del Garda
Book In Advance
More Info
$120.08*
and up
Sirmione, Lake Garda and Desenzano del Garda Tour by Train from Milan
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed January 3, 2013

This is one of Desenzano's greatest attractions, often overlooked by tourists and locals alike. The entrance fee is super modest (2 Euro) and the value is great, even for the casual visitor who isn't a history addict.

There is plenty of parking (rare in Italy) in the nearby city parking structure. (Look for the blue sign with a big "P" on it.) Most visits are conducted as a self guided tour and maps are available. Basically, this site is a partially escavated Roman villa with much of it still unearthed and even under adjacent apartment buildings.

There are many restored mosiacs along with individual rooms to explore (kitchen, olive pressing, etc). Central to this villa is the underground heating system which is explained in detail. This once proud villa originally sat on the lake's very edge; it is now located about a hundred meters from the shore in Desenzano's old town district. Allow one to two hours for the visit. Most of the site is uncovered, so dry days are the best bet.

Thank FondoTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (291)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

98 - 102 of 291 reviews

Reviewed December 11, 2012

a small place which preserve pretty well.
you can see the ancient historical here.
if you are a history fan, this place you can not miss.

Thank HUANG1974
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

This is a fascinating place to visit and the entrance fee is 2 Euro only. The remains of the mosaics, walls and foundations can all be admired (even if you’ve seen Pompeii). Placed at the foot of a hill slope and with a beach just a few metres away, it must have been a lovely place. (According to archaeological data, the villa was destroyed by fire).

Before you go to the mosaics and remains, you can watch a ten minute video (including in English) about the place and its history. It is quite informative and definitely worth seeing. There is a small museum attached to the site which contains some beautiful artefact recovered from the excavations. These include remains of sculptures and statues which are very interesting.

The site is considered the most important example of grand villa in Northern Italy from the Late Roman era (the first centuries AD). It is said that the villa belonged to a rich merchant, and that the name of the merchant ("Decentius") is where the town's name came from.

It was interesting to learn that when the villa was discovered (during building works in the early 1920s) it had been covered by a landslide, which preserved some of the mosaics.

The mosaics are splendid. They show some beautiful scenes in vibrant colours (which still retain their original richness) such as wild beasts, cupid grape-pickers and Orpheus with a dog and a
sheep.

There were no signs for directions to the site and I had to ask some locals. The villa is located behind the Duomo (really easy to find).

I myself found Desenzano an impressive place to visit and it seemed a lively and colourful lakeside town. Lots of people, beautifully dressed, strolling along the streets, wandering around the shops or sitting in the restaurants and cafes that seemed to be everywhere.

3  Thank niki101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

Moderately interesting, but being Italy ther are better thing to see when your time is limited. The Castle is more worthy of a visit

Thank Kate L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

Desenzano was one of the town we visited whilst staying in Garda. The town wasn't as clean and prim as the others were, maybe older than the others, certainly not as pretty. We went to visit the harbour and gave some food, we walked round the harbour which was nice, lots of noisy teenagers who were smoking and drinking and felt a bit intimidated to be honest. I didn't feel as safe in this town, can't really explain why. We had initially booked our hotel here, I am so glad we changed it to a quieter town, it did have a tourist feel with lots of eateries and snack bars, not many attractions and old historic buildings. Nice to pass through and see, but no more than that for me.

Thank KarenHaston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Villa Romana ed Antiquarium di Desenzano del Garda also viewed

Desenzano Del Garda, Province of Brescia
San Martino della Battaglia, Desenzano Del Garda
 
Desenzano Del Garda, Province of Brescia
Desenzano Del Garda, Province of Brescia
 

Been to Villa Romana ed Antiquarium di Desenzano del Garda? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing