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1500 year old 'hotel' found on Venetian coast

Archaeologists from the Ca' Foscari University in Venice have discovered the first hotel in Jesolo (ancient Equilo), today the main seaside resort of the Venetian coast with millions of tourists in the summer season. The complex, built in the 4th/5th century AD, was located on an islet near the ancient estuary of the Piave Vecchia, in today's "Le Mure".

1500-year-old 'hotel' found on Venetian coast
Aerial view of the 'mansio' [Credit: Universit√† Ca’ Foscari Venezia]
After two years of reconnaissance, excavations and research, Sauro Gelichi, director of the archaeological project of Ca' Foscari in the area and professor of Medieval Archaeology at the Department of Humanistic Studies, describes the discovery: "This is a stationing place (mansio), perhaps also for imperial officials, which was along an intra-lagoon route. The presence of this alternative route, supplementary to the terrestrial one, had long been hypothesized, but today we have the archaeological evidence of it."

"A large section of the mansio has been explored so far. A substantial part of the building was used for hospitality, characterized by a series of rooms that were all the same, placed side by side to each other and divided into different areas that had to accommodate beds and kitchens (each of these rooms was equipped with a brick fireplace). This "hotel" structure was flanked by buildings with workshops for craft activities and probably a small chapel for religious services. But the complex must have been larger."

"Located at a distance from other settlements along the main road network, Via Annia, this complex dating from late antiquity and early medieval times on the insula Equilus was a place that welcomed those who moved by water, along the network of lagoon channels, and along the inland road network linking Ravenna, Altino and Aquileia."

Source: Universit√† Ca’ Foscari Venezia [January 12, 2018]


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