Roman Villa with a breathtaking view of the sea in Rio Marina

The Roman Villa of Capo Castello in Rio Marina, near Cavo, sits in a splendid position with a breathtaking view of the sea and the coastline and gives its name to the promontory that divides Frugoso beach (also called Capo Castello) from Cala delle Alghe

It was probably built between the I century B.C. and the middle of the I century A.D., but it does have a lot in common with several other villas in the Tuscan Archipelago, including the Roman Villa delle Grotte and the page id="250"] Roman Villa della Linguella[/page] near Portoferraio.

The villa is in a scenic position that looks on to a unique, breathtaking view of both the sea and of the Tyrrhenian coastline.

Fom a structural point of view, the Villa has a rectangular shape, and was designed mainly using the "opus reticulatum"technique, (a reticulated building technique which gives the outside walls a sort of net aspect) which can be seen clearly in the buildings sitting on six terraces that slope gently downwards towards the sea and face the four directions north, south, east and west.

There are gardens with evergreen flowers, statues and fountains round three sides of the building, typical of a Roman villa, the marble floors have varied, elegant mosaics, and the walls are finely decorated.

The living quarters are in the highest terrace, but unfortunately only parts of the walls and of the water tank can still be seen today, while the two terraces further down were where the garden used to be, and here too only parts of the walls can still be seen.

The centre of the elegant house is on the lower terraces, and fortunately the rooms are still intact, to the point that you can still see the mosaic floors and part of what was once a staircase. Sadly, due to damage caused by modern buildings having been built so close, it is difficult to actually see most of this part of the Villa

There are also some other buildings around the villa that were part of it: one on Capo di Mattea, probably where the servants lived, and the other is the water tank in Colle del Lentisco, but you cant go and visit this either because it sits on private property and is now part of a new building.

Several archaelogical remains have been found inside the Villa, and they are now on show at the Museum of Archaeology in Portoferraio : a decorative slab in terracotta with horny coils, a small bronze statue with "kronos" inscribed on it, a capital fragment in marble decorated wth bear's breech leaves and contrasting flowers, pieces of oil lamps, brick seals and a vase.

On show at the [page id="544]Museum of Archaeology in the mining aea of Rio nell'Elba[/page] there is atank and all the pipes that were part of the water system used to fill the tank so that the inhabitants could have water inside the villa.

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Villa Romana di Capo Castello