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A Roman House

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This Roman house was discovered in 1885 by the local archeologist Giuseppe Sordini, who worked on its restoration until he died in 1914.

The house is near the old Roman Forum that is now Piazza Mercato. It was obviously the home of an important person of the times; this has been deduced from the sophisticated decorations and the architecture of the house itself. During excavations, an inscription was found dedicated to Emperor Caligola and signed by Polla. This surname can only lead one to suppose that the house belonged to Vespasiana Polla, mother of the emperor Vespasiano who was originally from the area between Norcia and Spoleto.

Despite the multiple restorations carried out over time, the type of masonry and the style of the frescoes and mosaics date this Roman house to the 1st century AD. The layout of its rooms also follows the architectural plan used in the Roman patrician houses built between the end of the republican age and the beginning of the imperial age. The rooms still have the beautiful almost intact mosaic floors. Down a short corridor you enter the central hall, the atrium, in the center of which you can admire the impluvium, a square-shaped basin in which rainwater was collected and then transferred to a 7-meter-deep cistern below. Immediately after the atrium, you enter the ablinum, the most elegant and elaborately decorated room of the house, where family, political and social activities took place. This room is flanked by two smaller rooms whose decorations probably date to a later period. Originally, the room on the left probably led to the peristiliumche, an inner garden enclosed by a portico. Around the entry hall there are two bedrooms (cubicola) and two open rooms (alae). The floor is paved with black and white mosaic tiles in geometric designs with traces of encaustic (hot wax painting) decorations.

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