Dating back to the I century BC, it was a luxurious villa that dominated the gulf of Portoferraio

Where it isPortoferraio - Loc. Le Grotte
How to get thereAbout 5 km from Portoferraio, to the left of the road for Porto Azzurro.
Opening times 2019from 20th April to 16th June and from 16th September to 3th November
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10.00-12.30 / 14.30-18.40
from 17th June to 15th September
10.00-12.30 / 17.00-20.00
During the time of the re-opening of the archaeological excavations in San Giovanni  you may take part in a guided visit to the Villa in Le Grotte in the areas that are in some way connected with the excavations, but  prior booking is compulsory. It is also possible to visit the site of the Roman Villa in Le Grotte  at other times in the year but only if you have booked beforehand, and on request, take part in guided tours,and educational and personal visits will also be organized.
Ticket pricesWhole 4,00 euros, reduced 3,00 euros (children from 6 to 18 years of age, students, the elderly over 70, associations with which an agreement has been stipulated), free of charge for children under the age of 6, the disabled, and for residents in the communes of the Tuscan Islands. Further reductions for couples, families and groups.
Cosmopoli Card  € 14,00 / reduced € 12,00 (children from 9 years old to 18, students and the over 70s) / Families € 10 (minimum 3 paying) / Groups € 10 (over 20 paying) / no charge (residents, children up to the age of 8, the disabled) / "Culture and Sport & Promotion" 5,00 euros (only for local sports associations) that are Resident in the Communes of the Island of Elba 5,00 euros (excluding those resident in the commune of Portoferraio) - valid for 7 days and allows you into the following places of culture in the Commune of Portoferraio: Fortresses, Forte Falcone, Vigilanti Theatre, Archaeology site in Linguella, Roman villa in Le Grotte, Foresiana Picture Gallery and Multimedia Exhibition "L'Esilio dell'Aquila".
Contact detailstel. 327 8369680 - / Cosimo de' Medici tel. 0565 944024 -

Dating back to the I century BC, the Roman Villa in Le Grotte is the only one of the three pleasure villas discovered on the Island of Elba not to have undergone building work "on top of it" over the centuries.

Left and forgotten at the end of the I century AD, while the extension work on the Linguella Roman villa was being carried out, between 1799 and 1801 it was considered of strategic importance for keeping the artillery battery during the war between France and the Reign of Naples.

Thanks to excavations between 1960 and 1972, the structure of the villa is very clear: built entirely in opus reticulatum it opens out across a central axis consisting of a large rectangular tank surrounded by a peristilium; it had three large gardens, one of which ran along the wall facing the coast, with a scenic view of the gulf of Portoferraio, a hortus conclususwith frescos on the walls, a part for the dominus and for the domina, another part for the thermal baths with calidarium and frigidarium.

The wash areas, that is the cryptoporticus, the water tanks and the store rooms went well over where the road is today, with a small jetty built in granite in the area below for those who arrived at the villa by sea.

In 2014 several archaeological remains were found both in San Giovanni and in the Roman Villa itself, and this leads us to believe that the the Villa probably belonged to Marco Valerio Messalla of the ancient Valeri family.

The seals on some amphoras and doliums (large, round terracotta containers used for transporting wine) were also found, with inscriptions on them made by a slave, and they bear the name of both the owner of the doliums and of the wine inside them.

This theory is also backed up by some historical details like the writings of Ovid, in which he declares that this ancient villa on the Island of Elba belonged to the Valeri family.

Request a free quote

Villa romana delle Grotte