Cavellas Archaeological Site

Domestic life in Roman times: the Roman village that was found intact under a supermarket

Beneath the frozen food aisle, a few metres down from the detergents, there’s a time machine which takes us back to the Roman era. At underground level beneath a supermarket in Casazza one can step back a fascinating fourteen centuries to an age when bringing a ready meal home for supper by means of a shopping cart simply wasn’t an option.


Cavellas is not only the ancient Roman name from which comes that of the Val Cavallina, but also of a Roman village discovered in the Eighties in Casazza during digging for a new building. This brought to light an area of 1,500 square metres that had remained intact due to alluvial deposits from the river Drione, which preserved them from the ravages of time.

Thus, underneath around four metres of detritus, archaeological discoveries were made that bore witness to periods of domestic life centred around the cultivation of cereals, farming, agriculture and the weaving of the wool cloth that would have been needed in sub-zero temperatures for those Roman jumpers.

The discovery of some tombs in the 19th century had already revealed the existence of this Roman nucleus, which then went on to receive recognition for its archaeological importance in 1992. Today one views the site of Cavellas from a specially built walkway which passes just above the excavations and guided by an inter-active display explaining its history and distinguishing features.

The Roman hearths, walls and extremely ancient flooring of this archaeological site are now open to the public, so that one can learn what life was like when there were no shopping centres, only the village market.

One can view the cooking pots, lids, hand-mills and other objects that were discovered during the excavations at Cavellas at the local museum, which is located not far from the Roman village and the shopping aisles of the supermarket a few metres above it.