Skip to main content

ROMAN PEASANT LIFE IN TUSCANY: THE EVALUATION OF THE CINIGIANO DIGS

Roman ruins are all over the place in Italy and locals normally stifle a yawn when zealous archaeologists lecture about the discovery of yet another Roman villa or thermal bath. Science has managed to puzzle together every minute detail of the modus vivendi of the Roman upper class, but things are very different when it comes to the majority of the population, since surprisingly little is known about the living conditions of the Roman farmer. 
  
During the last years groups of Brits and Americans hailing from the universities of Cambridge and Pennsylvania have tried to fill this enormous gap in a joint venture called the Roman Peasant Project together with the universities of Siena and Grosseto (I've written about the strange sudden influx of young attractive foreigners the project brought to our Tuscan backwater before). The team under scientific director Kim Bowes has been digging through the fields around Cinigiano summer after summer with the aim to unearth living quarters and artifacts which supply clues in regard to the way of life of the Roman farmer. 


Archaeologists of the Roman Peasant Project in a dig near Cinigiano
What did they find?


This summer the collaborators of the Roman Peasant Project are shoveling for the last time through southern Tuscany's hills. Before the closing of the digs the archaeologists have organized a talk to inform the locals about what life would have looked like for the most of us had we been born 2000 years ago. 

ARCHEOLOGI IN PIAZZA - CINIGIANO, JUNE 26 2014, 9.30 pm
The project directors will give an account of the works carried out, artifacts found and knowledge gained of the Roman empire's working class. We'll meet in front of bar Sport, Cinigiano's Athenaeum and true center of any kind of Tuscan knowledge exchange. In case of bad weather the event will be moved to the local theater (but we'll make sure you'll still get a free glass of wine afterwards). The talk is in Italian, but a lot of archaeologists will be around if you'd like to ask question in English later on. 

VISITING THE CINIGIANO DIGS: JULY 2 2014, 7 PM
Join us for a guided tour of one of the Maremma digs near Cinigiano. The significance of the unearthed Roman and medieval artifacts and remains of Tombarelle will be explained and put in context by the experts from the Roman Peasant Project. We'll meet in front of the tourist office (called Pro Loco in Italian) next to bar sport at 7 pm and drive to the dig in our own cars. 

Find more in depth info about the Roman Peasant Project on the website of the University of Pennsylvania. You're just after a drink? Read on about Cinigiano and its surely ancient aperitivo culture.  


Popular posts from this blog

TUSCANY'S BEST HOT SPRINGS: A MAP OF SULFUROUS SOAKING AND WILDERNESS DIPS

A quick round up of my favorite wild hot springs and historic bath towns in Tuscany (more detailed information on spas and rock pool bathing can be found in the single articles the links will lead you to).  WILDERNESS POOLS   PETRIOLO  half an hour to the south of Siena. With its steaming hot water in the upper row of pools a favorite of mine on icy cold winter mornings. The Farma river passes right next to the hot springs. So be courageous and have a splash to try the benefits of kneipping.   SATURNIA  the biggest, most southern and also Italy's best known (and loved!) wilderness pools. The closest option for a soak if you arrive from Rome. To be avoided on weekends.  FOSSO BIANCO  in the Val d'Orcia is a spectacular sight hidden away in the woods below Bagni San Filippo. The shady surroundings make of these natural springs a nice location in the summer.  BAGNO VIGNONI  has a lovely pool below the small waterfall. However, the water arrives from the medieval t

FONTEMORSI: ORGANIC WINE TASTING ON THE ETRUSCAN COAST

In the wine world the Tuscan coast equals Bolgheri and Sassicaia. No other wine has done as much to turn the lay-back beach side paradise south of Livorno into a famous wine growing region as the prestigious Sassicaia from Tenuta San Guido. But whilst the rise of Supertuscans blended from French grape varieties may resemble a fairy tale story, it shouldn't keep you fro m drinking Sangiovese wines in the smaller and lesser known wineries along the Tuscan shore. 

TUSCAN HOT SPRINGS - FOSSO BIANCO in BAGNI SAN FILIPPO

The Fosso Bianco hot springs and natural pools in Bagni San Filippo If there's one thing I didn't expect when moving to Tuscany, it's the multitude of freely accessible natural hot springs. Day spas and thermal baths can be found all over the world. But when talking hot baths in the wilderness my first guess would always have been a geyser in Iceland.  The generous natural pools near Saturnia  and the hot springs in Petriolo taught me differently. Both places are well known in Italy, a fact that can make them packed on weekends and public holidays. If you like to take your bath a bit more privately, move on towards Val d'Orcia and explore the Fosso Bianco hot springs   near Bagni San Filippo. The waters are as hot as they should be for some comfortable soaking and high in sulfur and calcium (which explains the formation of the white rock and the name of the place).