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A Roman “enoteca” with wine fountains emerges on the Appia Antica. But it was reserved only for the Emperor

The discovery in the ruins of Villa dei Quintili, which belonged to Commodus, completes with a real “imperial cellar” for Bacchic rituals

A Roman winery emerges from the ruins of Villa dei Quintili, the largest residential complex in the suburb of Rome, on the Appia Antica, which included a grape pressing area, two presses, a vat for decanting the must, and a system of channels to convey the wine to the cell where the jars were kept, which also suggest the possibility of tasting it in the richness of the sculptural decorations and in the refinement of the wall and floor coverings in colored marble slabs, still splendidly preserved.
The particular structure ended up creating a theatrical fountain effect, within which the freshly squeezed must be gushed. The discovery of the Roman “enoteca” ante litteram took place, thanks to the excavations carried out between 2017 and 2018 in the Appia Antica Park, the results of which have just been published in the academic journal “Antiquity”. The Villa of Consuls Quintili, a property that stood on 24 hectares along the Via Appia Antica, after their murder for hatching a conspiracy in the II century AD, passed into the hands of Emperor Commodus and his successors.
It is unclear whether the cellar was built at that time or at a later period. What is certain is that La Villa dei Quintili “was an incredible mini city - explains the archaeologist Emlyn Dodd, assistant director of the “British School at Rome” and expert on ancient wine production, in the article signed with Riccardo Frontoni and Giuliana Galli, who, under the guidance of the Appia Antica Archaeological Park, had started the excavations - completed by a cellar for the Emperor himself to satisfy his Bacchic tendencies”.

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