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Italy’s latest archaeological discovery

At the beginning of November 2022, news broke out that a team of expert archaeologists unearthed 24 beautifully preserved bronze statues, coins and many other treasures dating back to ancient Roman and Etruscan times in the thermal village of San Casciano dei Bagni, in southern Tuscany. Experts defined the discovery “sensational”, adding that it “could rewrite history” and that it is “the most important finding since the Riace Bronzes”.

The archaeological site is located at the bottom of the hill where the village rises and it is surrounded by natural hot springs and opulent vegetation. The latest discoveries revealed that the place was home to a sanctuary (locally called Santuario Ritrovato) where people used to make offers by throwing votive items (golden and silver coins, bronze statues depicting deities, votive objects) inside a large basin. The statues and objects brought to light are believed to be around 2,300 years old. The archaeological site still has to reveal all of its wonders and the years ahead look promising.

Essenza’s local villas, Villa Le Terme, Casale nel Bosco and Villa San Casciano, are the place to be not to miss the evolution of this spectacular discovery. Visiting the archaeological site will be a unique experience adding up to the many choices the Tuscan thermal town already offers.

An association of local volunteers (Gruppo Archeologico Eutyche Avidiena) organizes visits to the local museum displaying the restored relics and field trips to the digging site, where visitors can see the archaeologists at work and have first-hand experience of how Italy’s latest archaeological discovery happened and evolved. The local “cicerone” Ludovico welcomes guests with warmth and passion. He feels the luckiest of visitors since he had the chance to witness the discoveries while they were happening. He leads visitors through the site telling his experience as if he was talking to a friend.

Claudia, instead, is part of the archaeologist team that has been digging the muddy ruins since 2019. She was born and raised in San Casciano dei Bagni and then she left town to attend university where she completed a master degree in archaeology. She would have never thought a small village like ours could hide such an incredible archaeological heritage. Now she is back digging treasures with students, experts and archaeologists from all over the world and she is spreading the news, since she is in charge of the sanctuary’s social media. She felt lucky to have a chance to work in such an exciting environment, full of important discoveries. At the Santuario Ritrovato, every day seems to bring a breakthrough with the many precious artefacts rising from its waters.

Locals and experts alike will have plenty of stories to tell about this amazing discovery!

Further Reading


Florence's "Wine Windows"

A Whimsical Tale of Tuscany's Vinous Legacy


Italian Culinary Symphony

Essenza's guide to gastronomic adventures and dining etiquette


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