Villa dei Quintili - History and Facts | History Hit

Villa dei Quintili

Rome, Lazio, Italy

Villa dei Quintili is an extremely well-preserved second century AD villa in Rome’s suburbs.

Peta Stamper

29 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Villa dei Quintili

Villa dei Quintili, translated as the Villa of the Quintili, was one of the most lavish homes along the famous road that leads to Rome: the Via Appia. Incredibly well-preserved, today the Villa remains a tranquil escape from the city’s main tourist spots and provides a unique glimpse into the immense luxury and power of ancient Rome’s elite.

Villa dei Quintili history

In 151 AD, the main part of the Villa dei Quintili was owned by the senior officials, the Quintili brothers. Consuls under the rule of Marcus Aurelius, the Quintili brothers built their luxurious villa, complete with thermal baths, in the countryside of Rome.

However, when Emperor Commodus came to power the brothers fell from favour and Villa dei Quintili became his property. It is said that this infamous emperor actually executed the brothers in 182 AD specifically so he could get his hands on their villa.

The immense villa stretched along the Via Appia, built around a large square. The heart of the circular building was surrounded by two large thermal rooms that boasted tall windows 4 metres high made of marble. Overlooking the countryside, the grand terrace commanded the Castelli Romani district.

Villa dei Quintili today

Today, far from the intrigues and plots of ancient Rome, Villa dei Quintili stands as a slightly more serene place; indeed it has survived in an extremely good state of preservation. The original baths are still clearly discernible, as are several of its buildings, all available to view in what is now a house-museum.

Expect to spend up to three hours wandering the extensive grounds of Villa dei Quintili, guided by information boards in Italian and English. Open between 9am and 6.30pm from Tuesday to Sunday, this is a must-see site along the Appian Way on your journey back to ancient Rome.

Getting to Villa dei Quintili

Situated between the Via Appia and modern Via Appia Nuova, the Villa dei Quintili is easily reached on foot and provides a nice walk across the grounds. Otherwise, buses 765 and C11 stop by the Seplcro dei Festoni 10 mins down the Via Appia and the train station Capannelle is just 5 minutes away.

For drivers, head towards Rome’s ring-road – the E80 – and come off onto the SS7 (Via Appia Nuova) and the Villa is on your right.

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