Excavations of the amphitheater and thermal baths of the Roman Empire in Montegrotto Terme. Estimated date of construction: the first to the second century.
The remains of the Roman amphitheater and thermal baths are not an attraction of the town of Abano Terme but of its neighbor, Montegrotto Terme. However, we have included it in this list because it is very close, easy to get to, and interesting to look at.
As the name says, this archaeological site was dedicated to rest and body care. Here you can see a small theater, a spa complex, and nymphs.
The History of the Archaeological Complex
These archaeological remains of the Roman era were discovered in 1780 by Jiovan Antonio Dondi Orologio, who began the first excavations. However, the site wasn’t fully exposed until the 1960s. The site begins between Via delle Terme and Via degli Scavi and includes several stages. The most significant are the excavations of on Via Neroniana and the spa complex at Hotel Terme Neroniane.
Excavations on Via delle Terme
In this area, you can see the remains of a spa structure dating back to the Augustan era (the first and second centuries). It consists of three pools connected by a sewage system for the inflow and outflow of thermal water. There is also a building for guests of the resort, where you can see a porch, changing rooms, recreation areas, nymphs, and even a small theater for entertainment in this large spa complex. The structures were reconstructed graphically and illustrated with great clarity on the exposed panels that complement the route.
Excavations on Via Neroniana
Just a few hundred meters from the first point, past the train station and on Via Neronian, you can see the remains of a Roman villa built at the beginning of the first century AD and used until the fourth century. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the thermal area was abandoned, along with the luxurious residence. On its remains was built a settlement of the huts and, later, a solid mansion, which existed until the late Middle Ages. Some of its parts are still visible to this day.
During recent excavations, evidence was discovered suggesting that this site had been visited since the third and second millennia BC.
The site is located in the state-owned area, and a covering was built to protect and improve important finds, which reproduces the original size of the imperial villa from the volumetric point of view.
Excavations at Hotel Terme Neroniana
Near Via Neroniana is Hotel Terme Neronian, where the remains of another unusual resort complex dating from the end of the first and early second century AD were discovered after some repair work. The structure consisted of a large hall, swimming and diving pools equipped with a complex system of thermal water circulation, and various other buildings. The archaeological site is visible through a glass floor located in the hotel’s restaurant. But thanks to the creation of a passage outside, it is possible to enter the building’s basement to admire the excavations.
How to Get There
The distance from Abano Terme city center to the archaeological sites of Montegrotto Terme is 5 km. You can get there by bus or bike. If your hotel does not provide bikes, then click here find out where to rent them.
Tours are organized by the cultural association by appointment only for groups of 10 people or more. It costs €5 for one site or €10 for three sites
To make an appointment, call Sabina Magro at +393479941448 or Cinzia Tagliaferro at +393454646227, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.