Italy is a veritable wonderland for history lovers, and every year millions of people flock to the country’s most popular sites, like the Roman Colosseum, or the Pompeii Ruins, to feel like they have transported themselves back in time. The ruins that can be found across the entire country are spectacular, although some are in better shape than others. Just when you think they’ve found every ruin the country could possibly have to offer, they find another. This happened recently when archaeologists discovered one of the most well-preserved Roman mosaic floors that the country has ever seen.
The Roman Mosaic Floor
The floor was discovered in the township of Negrar, just north of Verona. Photos that have been taken by officials reveal the floor’s intricate pattern and bright colors, which have been perfectly preserved through the centuries .
Found beneath a vineyard in a hilly region, the floor is part of an ancient villa that was first discovered nearly one hundred years ago, in 1922.
“After countless decades of failed attempts, part of the floor and foundations of the Roman villa located north of Verona, discovered by scholars a century ago, has finally been brought to light,” local authorities note in a statement .
Their main objective in the search was to identify the exact extension and location of the Roman Villa, something they had been attempting to do since its initial discovery.
Stalled by COVID-19
A team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts, and Landscape of Verona had begun digging last summer, but their work had to be paused when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy. The ancient mosaic floor was discovered just one week after excavations had resumed .
As the country begins to ease lockdown restrictions, ancient sites are slowly starting to open up to visitors again. The researchers who found the floor are hoping to make it accessible to tourists and visitors, but this will be a lengthy process requiring a significant amount of resources.
“We believe a cultural site of this value deserves attention and should be enhanced,” said Negrar di Valpolicella Mayor Roberto Grison. “For this reason, together with the superintendent and those in charge of agricultural funds, we will find a way to make this treasure enjoyable.” 
More Exciting Ancient Roman Treasures
This ancient mosaic floor is not the only exciting find in recent months. A sinkhole outside of the Pantheon revealed seven slabs of paving stones that researchers have dated to between 27 and 25 B.C., and just before the pandemic hit Italy, the famed “House of Lovers” in Pompeii was reopened after a very ambitious, forty-year restoration project [1,3].
As mentioned, many of Italy’s famous archaeological sites have begun opening up again, however safety measures like temperature checks and one-way walking paths have been put in place, and visitors must wear masks in order to gain entry .
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- ‘Perfectly preserved ancient Roman mosaic floor discovered in Italy’ CNN Rob Picheta. Published May 28, 2020
- ‘Ancient Roman Mosaic Floor Unearthed Beneath Italian Vineyard’ Smithsonian Nora McGreevy. Published May 27, 2020
- ‘Why the Pantheon Hasn’t Crumbled’ Smithsonian Colin Schultz. Published December 16, 2014