• Davide Ferraris

Archaeological Area of Libarna

One of Piedmont's archaeological treasures is located between Serravalle Scrivia and Arquata.

Visible from the train and, only partially, from the adjacent road, the archaeological site of Libarna allows the visitor to discover an ancient Roman city that, thanks to its strategic position, became, in the imperial age, a very rich and densely populated inhabited center .

The gradual loss of importance of the Via Postumia (ie the arterial road that passed next to Libarna) led to the beginning of a long process of city decadence that eventually disappeared completely.

The rediscovery of the Roman settlement, object of interest also by some American universities, occurred during the excavation works for the construction of the Strada Regia dei Giovi (1820-1823) and for the Turin-Genoa railway line (1846-1854) .

The archaeological site, as it appears today, actually constitutes a small part of the ancient city that originally occupied a much larger area.

What can be admired allows, however, to have a suggestive and effective idea of ​​the greatness and importance of the Roman city: it is possible, in fact, to admire the baths, the forum, some mosaic decorations and the remains of two blocks of houses.

The visit is completed by the theater, which dates back to the 1st century AD, and the scenic elliptical amphitheater at the edge of the town.

The archaeological finds from Libarna, partly merged into private collections, are kept at the Museum of Antiquities in Turin, the Ligurian Archeological Museum of Genoa-Pegli and the Museum Area located on the ground floor of the municipal building of Serravalle Scrivia (via Berthoud 49).

In the Genoese museum, in particular, the famous and mysterious Libarna disk is preserved, which has long been considered as a burden but which today is interpreted as an astronomical clock.


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