Bocca di Magra Roman Villa
When the coast line moves for the retreat or advance of the sea, the buildings constructed near the coast apparently change their position. That’s what happened to the Roman villa of Bocca di Magra, made from the middle of the first century BC, when the bay of the Gulf was much deeper and the river mouth was located a few miles upstream.
The building was born in fact as a panoramic villa, with a complex architecture and rooms arranged in terraces down to the sea, which adapt to the rocky nature of the slope and the cliffs below, today buried. From the documents it is possible that at that time there were several similar villas, located in suggestive and sought after positions, ideal for leisurely of Roman aristocrats, but Bocca di Magra and Varignano, not far from Portovenere, are the only villas survived.
One can imagine the pleasure of staying in this rich house, equipped with a thermal plant that can still be admired in the archaeological excavations, through the remains of the caldarium and its heating system, obtained by a wood stove and a conduit for hot air movement. The luxury and refinement of the interior are also testified by fragments of painted plaster and marble slabs, found with two marble Corinthian capitals.
Overlooking the sea and away from the clamor of the city of Luni, this comfortable villa became also ideal for Latin poets, as Statius and Persio, who perhaps stayed here and to which they sang their love and their regret: “…Ligurian beach and the sea and the large bay with huge rocks…”
Along the promenade that leads from the village to the little harbor, you can look through the gate, the remains of a distant past, with which, however, still share a love for the scenery, the serenity of a pleasant place and the mild climate even in the winter months, features that make Bocca di Magra a pleasant meeting place for contemporary poets.
Source: Trame di Lunigiana