Discover the Roman heritage
It was 2nd century BC, and the Romans started to move to Istria. Remnants of this have also been found in Izola, in San Simon. There, some Romans have built a sea-side villa with a port – the largest one in Northern Istria. Even today, you can see the remains of the villa at the archaeological park right by the San Simon beach.
The most beautiful Roman villa on our coast
The sea-side villa, erected by a Roman aristocrat, represents an area which holds the largest areas of Roman mosaics in Slovenia. Villa Maritima included around 3,000 square metres of living areas and around 600 square meters of floor mosaics. It was a truly luxurious villa – one of the most beautiful villas in all of Istria.
Today, you can view the uncovered mosaics in the archaeological park – at the very spot, where they had been created, two thousand years ago. In the park, you can also visit two pavilions in the visitor’s centre, and you can get to know the Roman customs and life in the villa at the time.
Romans (also) liked to enjoy good food and drinks
Still today, Romans are renowned for their hedonistic life-style and enjoying good food. Their feasts included a lot of various and unusual foods. But, these were eaten only by members of the higher class, while the diet of the regular people was much more ordinary. It is worth noting that also the members of the Roman upper class, and even Emperors, ate very little food during the day, as their main meal was dinner.
Have you heard of triclinium? It was a special room, a formal dining room, which featured three “klinai”, sort of dining couches or chaise lounges, set in the shape of the letter “U” around one table, as the Romans were eating while lying down. Hosts and guests were half-lying down during evening feasts and were enjoying food, drink, fun activities and good company.
You can find out more about Roman culinary indulgences and certain other things in the park’s visitor’s centre.
Roman tastes under the stars – a new gourmet experience in the archaeological park
This year, you can taste the Roman cuisine. And to top it all, you can even take a trip through history. Before sunset, the owner of a luxurious Antique holiday residence will invite you to a genuine Roman triclinium (a room for feasts). You will be treated to tasty culinary delights, priceless stories of Roman times and unique surprises. All will be, as at that point in history.
Underwater port remains
You can also see the underwater remains from Antiquity right by the archaeological park. Even today, we can still observe the sunken parts of the impressive and, for a private villa, unusually large port. It was surrounded by a 55-metre long and more than 5-metre wide pier and a 110 meters long sea wall, consisting of large stone blocks. It could offer a safe haven to ships even 30 meters longs.
Today, the gradual sinking of the coastline of the entire Gulf of Trieste and the sea-level rise have caused it to be under water, and you can see it as part of a guided tour or even by freediving.
Summertime activities at the archaeological park
Each year, the archaeological park is home to various events and workshops for children and adults. For example, you can read books in the shade of the Mediterranean trees, as the park is also home to the Library on the Beach. This year, the park will host gastronomical events, where you will be able to try typical Roman cuisine.