• Villa di Tito or Terme di Tito
  • Paterno
  • Cutilia (Lacus Cutiliae)
  • Italy
  • Lazio
  • Province of Rieti
  • Castel SantAngelo


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  • No period data has been added yet


  • 50 BC - 200 AD


    • The so-called Villa di Tito/Terme di Tito is a monumental site situated above Lago di Paterno (ancient lacus Cutiliae) in the territory of Castel Sant’Angelo (RI). The 2018 field season (May and June), was a year of reconnaissance at the site in preparation for several subsequent years of archaeological research. Based on the results of Alvino’s excavations in 2010/2011, we wanted to test the hypothesis that the so-called Villa of Titus is indeed a villa. We also wanted to get a handle on the stratigraphy, extent, phasing, and dating of the site. To accomplish this, we extended Alvino’s trenches to the west along a massive concrete terrace structure, conserved by the Villa Giulia in the 1980s and 1990s and described by Persichetti in the 19th century. Our results are consistent with Alvino’s hypothesis and there is no indication that the structure was a bath complex. The rooms unearthed in Alvino’s excavation and those we discovered in 2018 are arranged on either side of a long east-west running corridor, and include rooms with black and white mosaics and painted wall plaster, both badly damaged during the site’s final occupation phase and post-abandonment. The stratigraphic and artefactual data, including a tile stamped “CERDO VOLUM · L · S· F”, suggest that the building was originally constructed in the mid to late first century BC, with renovations in the mid to late first century AD, and a major reworking of the structure at some point after that, likely in the fourth through sixth century AD. This final phase saw the insertion of new dry masonry walls within the structure and the construction of at least one wooden hut as well, indicating a significant change in function. Construction activity associated with this final phase did significant damage to earlier structures within the building. Of particular note, our excavations revealed the presence of a large, monumental reception space inserted into the structure as part of the first century AD renovation. The northern end of this room contains a large apsidal niche in _opus_ _latericium_ that may have functioned as a nymphaeum (more excavation is necessary here). Massive pieces of masonry collapse within the room indicate a vaulted ceiling, and the northern wall, which also serves as the northern limit of the building, is preserved to a height of almost 3 metres. The room, which sits roughly in the middle of the terrace structure, may have been a central reception or display space within the property. Cursory surface survey, in anticipation of a future intensive survey of the site, corroborates gpr data from 2011, which indicate the presence substantial subsurface remains to the immediate east of the concrete terrace structure, evidence that the settlement comprised multiple large structures. We found large pieces of Roman period concrete masonry on the surface, roof tiles, and semi-reticulate facing stones almost identical to those used in the concrete terrace structure.
    • The 2019 archaeological investigations at the so-called Villa di Tito include excavation, 3D imaging reconstruction of standing architectural remains, artefact analysis, and conservation. Our excavations this year have improved our understanding of the structure’s overall layout and the arrangement of rooms within the terraced structure. We can now definitively date Period 1, Phase 2 renovations to the structure to the middle of the first century CE, as well as the Period 2, Lombard-era reoccupation of the site, datable to the 7th/8th century CE (Carbon 14 Dating). This reoccupation appears to have been temporary and was possibly associated with pastoral or agricultural activity in the site’s environs. Turning to the early imperial period remains, while we do not know the function of any interior space with certainty, Room 3, excavated by Alvino and containing the black and white mosaic, was likely a reception area of some sort, and Room 10, which contained a vaulted apse with inset semi-circular niche, was clearly a large and significant interior space used for display and possibly associated with reception or cultic activity. Our limited investigation of areas previously excavated by Alvino’s team indicate that they had not, in fact, reached virgin soil throughout their excavations, and our continued excavations in this room have provided excellent dating evidence for Period 1, Phase 2 renovations (Claudian period/Mid-first century CE). We have also collected point cloud data for the standing architectural remains and for the terrain between the villa and Lago di Paterno, and this data set will be expanded in future seasons. Finally, thanks to the efforts of Stefania Zucconi, walls exposed during 2018 and 2019 excavations, including the aforementioned niche, have been cleaned, consolidated, and in places restored to increase their structural integrity.
    • The most recent excavations by Saint Mary’s and McMaster universities at the so-called Villa di Tito (RI) began in 2018 and continued in 2019. After a two-year pause due to COVID, research began at the site again in 2022. The goal of excavations in 2022 was to continue the exploration of the terraced area of the villa, in part to determine definitively if the structure was indeed a Roman-period villa and to better understand the structures plan. We also wanted to dig a small test-trench in the structure’s lower-level of cryptoporticus to determine the degree of disturbance and archaeological preservation after restoration to the structure carried out in the 1980s. Excavation of the terraced part of the structure revealed the use of earthen architecture (pisé or cob) alongside the use of wooden framing elements in what appears to be a food preparation and storage area (Rooms 8a and b). We also found further evidence for the substantial restructuring of the villa in the early to middle part of the first century CE, which included the infilling and abandonment of a well, built over by Room 8b. Within the well, we appear to have recovered some elements of a votive deposit likely associated with its decommissioning. We also arrived at the first century CE floor level in Rooms 9 and 10 and found good evidence that Room 10 was renovated at some point in the first or early second century CE, which included blocking doorways connecting Room 10 to Room 9 and the yet-unexcavated Room to the west or Room 10. Within the concrete floor of Room 10 we also discovered evidence for what appears to be the post-destruction salvaging of materials from the site; the outline of two holes dug into the floor were defined and await excavation next year. Within the cryptoporticus, we found a relatively intact collapse layer or the area’s ceiling and the story that once sat above it, as well as what may be the top of a small staircase descending to a lower level within this part of the villa. Artefactual evidence from the cryptoporticus suggests that the structure suffered a terminal collapse event sometime in the late first to mid-second century CE. The absence of any African Red Slip pottery points more strongly to a first century CE date for this event.


    • Myles McCallum - Martin Beckmann - Matthew Munro - Simone Nardelli - Greg Baker. 2020. Excavations at the so-called Villa di Tito, Castel Sant’Angelo (RI), May to June, 2019 . FOLD&R Italy: 486.
    • Martin Beckmann - Myles McCallum - Matthew Munro - Rebecca Payne - Simone Nardelli . 2023. Excavations at the so-called Villa di Tito, Castel Sant’Angelo (RI), May to June, 2022 . FOLD&R Italy: 573.


    • G. Alvino 2014a, “Sabina e Cicolano: archeologia, storia e territorio. Castel Sant’Angelo – Terme di Tito”, in Lazio e Sabina. Scoperte, scavi e ricerche, vol. 9, Atti del Convegno del nono incontro di studi sul Lazio e la Sabina (Roma 27-29 marzo 2012), a cura di Ghini G. e Mari Z., Roma 2012: aL98-99.
    • Alvino G., 2014, “Documentazione sull'ultima campagna di scavo”, in Le Terme di Tito - Archeologie d'acqua in Sabina, Spoleto 2014: 55-59.
    • F. Lezzi,2009, “Rinvenimenti dai recenti scavi delle c.d. Terme di Cotilia: attestazioni doliari”, in Lazio e Sabina. Scoperte, scavi e ricerche, vol. 5, Atti del Convegno del quinto incontro di studi sul Lazio e la Sabina (Roma 3-5 dicembre 2007), a cura di Ghini G. e Mari Z., Roma: 111-117.
    • Nardelli S., (in corso di stampa), La villa dei Flavi a Cutilia. Nuove prospettive di ricerca.
    • S. Nisio, G. Ventura, 2010, “Le ricerche storiche nello studio dei fenomeni di sprofondamento: alcuni esempi”, in I sinkholes. Gli sprofondamenti catastrofici nell'ambiente naturale ed in quello antropizzato, Roma 2010: 117.
    • N. Persichetti, 1893, Viaggio archeologico sulla via Salaria nel circondario di Cittaducale con appendice sulle antichità dei dintorni e tavola topografica, Roma.
    • A.M. Reggiani, 1981, “I Flavi e l'attività edilizia romana in Sabina”, in Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi vespasianei (Rieti, settembre 1979): 277-294.
    • E. Santilli, 2016, Aquae Cutiliae. Tempus tantum nostrum est, Rieti 2016.
    • M. Steinby, 1978-1979, “Appendice a CIL XV”, 1, in Bull.Com. LXXXVI (1978-1979): 55-88.
    • S. Kay, E. Pomar, M. McCallum, & M. Beckmann, 2021, “Geophysical Survey Projects 2020–2021: Investigations in the Sabina”, Papers of the British School at Rome, 89, 350-352. doi:10.1017/S0068246221000106
    • M. McCallum, Martin Beckmann, et al., 2020, “Excavations at the so-called Villa di Tito, Castel Sant’Angelo (RI), May to June, 2019”, FOLD&R, The Journal of the Fasti Online, 486.