Get ready for a canoe trip that will take you to the most beautiful and oldest stretch of the Ombrone River. This portion of the river is very resemblant to what it must have looked like during the Roman era, when the Aurelia road crossed the river at the location named "Lo Spolverino". The most interesting archaeological finds in Maremma in recent years were unearthed here...

Tangimus Omrone, non est ignobile flumen, quod tuto trepidas excipit ore rates: tam facilis pronis semper patet aveus undis, in pontum quotiens saeva procella ruit...

Rutilio, De Reditu suo, VV 337 - 341

In the footsteps of Rutilio

Archaeological excavations in the Park of Maremma have brought to light an ancient craft shop complex in Spolverino, in the last bend of the Ombrone River. The Romans built a large manufacturing district in this location, connected to a small landing place that served the territory of ancient Maremma and the nearby town of Rusellae.

Towards the end of the 5th century A.D., the great Roman writer Rutilio Namaziano landed here and described the surrounding landscape in his poem "De reditu suo". Struck by the wild beauty of ancient Maremma, its colours and smells, the Roman aristocrat described a wild land that seemingly cheered up his spirits troubled by the decadence of the Roman Empire.

Maremma offered nature sights of great impact. And it still does today, when the beauty of the landscape blends with important historical relics.

Canoe trip "In the footsteps of Rutilio"

This new tourist experience was devised in collaboration with the archaeologists of the Alberese Archaeological Project and the naturalist guides of the Silva Cooperative.

The canoe trip "In the footsteps of Rutilio" is a unique experience amidst archaeological sites and nature’s beauty, where visitors are immersed in a landscape that still very much resembles that described by the Roman poet.

The canoe will take you inside the Maremma Park reserve, in uncontaminated, wild nature. You will proceed along the river, along the route that connected the ancient port of Spolverino to the city of Rusellae, the administrative centre of the area. At the digs, you will see the archaeologists at work and experience the thrill of discovery guided by experts who will explain what life in Alberese was like in Roman times.

The river port of Rusellae

The staff of Alberese Archaeological Project has been involved in the excavation of the Spolverino site since the summer of 2010. The site is located at the last bend of the Ombrone River, a few kilometres from the sea and within the Maremma Regional Park. The artefacts found span over a period ranging from the first to seventh century A.D.

A major craftsmen quarter was unearthed here. it was connected to a small coasting trade landing, and has hosted glass and metalworking workshops.

Before it was abandoned, Spolverino was transformed into a burial place. Five tombs have been found so far. A three-metre layer of alluvial deposits have sealed the site, protecting its structures and artefacts from the damage of time.

As a result, Spolverino is famed for the incredible variety of ancient artefacts unearthed here, many of which were produced on site and almost unique as far as Roman relics go.

Additional information on the canoeing tours featured on this page

For more information on this visit: +39 0564 407098 www.progettoalberese.it www.silvacoop.com

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