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Villa of Tiberius

What to see in Sperlonga, Latina, Lazio


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belonged in the I century A.D. to the Roman Emperor Tiberius, the villa is included in the visit of the National Archaeological Museum of Sperlonga. The villa was made up of various buildings arranged on terraces facing the sea. The first structures are related to a villa dating back to the late-republican, perhaps belonged to Aufidio Lurco, maternal grandfather of Livia. The villa real preserves a series of environments around a courtyard with arcades, among which are included service environments, repeatedly restructured, a furnace and an oven for baking bread.

At the beginning of the I century A.D. was added a long portico with two naves and the natural cave which stood near the villa was framed at the input by an architectural prospectus and was partially transformed with interventions in the masonry and the placement of sculptures.

Tiberius' Cave
The cave comprises a wide main cavity, preceded by a wide rectangular tank (peschiera) with sea water at the center of which was made an artificial island that hosted the caenatio (dining room summer). The tub informed with a circular swimming pool (diameter of 12 m), located inside the cave, where was located the group of Scilla.

On the main cavity opened two minor environments: left an environment of a horseshoe, with at the bottom a triclinium, and on the right a nymphaeum with waterfalls and water games, in bottom to which opened a niche that hosted the Group of the blinding of Polyphemus. Between the circular pool and the square tub were placed two sculptural groups smaller: the kidnapping of palladium and the group of Ulysses who dragged the body of Achilles (a copy of which, mutilates and fragmentary is the current statue of Pasquino in Rome). A sculpture with Ganimede kidnapped by the eagle of Zeus was instead placed high up above the opening of the cave.

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  • Via Flacca, km 1161, Sperlonga (Latina)
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