Villa Romana

Desenzano del Garda

Before the Clooneys and Versaces, wealthy Roman senators and poets had holiday homes on Italy's northern lakes. One survivor is Desenzano’s now-ruined Roman villa, which once extended over a hectare of prime lakeside land. Today, wooden walkways snake through the villa above a well-preserved collage of black, red, olive and orange mosaics, many depicting hunting, fishing and chariot riding, garlanded by fruits and flowers.

Built more than 2000 years ago, the villa was remodelled in the 2nd century, but continual renovations meant the interiors weren’t completed until the 4th century. A short video explains the layout of the villa and is worth watching before exploring. The villa is a short walk from the Desenzano del Garda ferry landing stage.

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