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The roman villa of Castelletto


The villa of Roman époque was discovered in 2004. During the excavations for the enlargement of Castelletto’s cemetery, an exceptional complex of building structures came to light. For the will of the municipal administration, immediate surveys were done to define the entity and the conservation condition of rests. The research project started in 2005 and it was financed from the administration of Brenzone, the Veneto Region and the Office for the preservation of archaeological heritage of the Veneto Region. We can define the Roman villa of Castelletto as unique in its category, so far excavated on the eastern shore of Garda lake: for its extension and its structural importance, it is certainly comparable to the Roman villas on the western side of the lake (Sirmione, Toscolano, Desenzano Villas). The really well-maintained villa is moreover one of the best example of Roman residential structure on the Veneto region. The building, one of the so-called “lake houses”, was structured on several terraces scenically sloping to the lake and well integrated in the surrounding natural environment as well as the panoramic villas on the western shore of the lake. Until now, the excavated rooms are eight and they show floors on different levels, situated on two main terraces. The finding of a vaulting corridor suggests the presence of a superior, even if no more traceable, floor. From the building stratifications it is also possible to understand that the structure has been more recently used (probably between Late and high Middle Ages). Recent excavations (started in 2007) in the close, medieval San Zeno’s church prove actually the connection between the two buildings. The church was built covering part of the villa structure and some of its decorative elements were used to complete it: the two white marble capitals datable to the I century AD are almost certainly related to the Roman complex below.