One of the most interesting attractions of the Roman period in Marbella is the Roman Villa of Río Verde. This Roman seat stands out for its excellent degree of preservation and for perfectly exemplifying what the Roman villas of wealthy families were like during this period of our history in the peninsula.

Where is the Roman Villa of Río Verde located?

The Roman Villa of Río Verde is located within the municipality of Marbella. Specifically, its location is about 5 kilometres away from the town in the direction of the Puerto Banús area. It takes its name from the Verde River, which is located to the right of the archaeological site and which marks the landscape of the area.

Discovery of the Roman Villa of Río Verde

The Roman Villa of Río Verde was discovered in the 1960s by the archaeologist and professor of Greek Carlos Posac Mon together with the lawyer Fernando Alcalá Marín, who at that time was the local Delegate of Archaeological Excavations and official chronicler of the town of Marbella.

Characteristics of the Roman Villa of Río Verde

The Roman Villa of Río Verde is a settlement that was inhabited from the middle of the 2nd century to the beginning of the 3rd century AD. Excavations have uncovered an inner courtyard bordered by 12 columns, which was known in Roman times as a peristylum. Six rooms were found around this inner courtyard, some of which have decorative mosaics.

This rustic villa, of which we only know a part because the adjoining area has been built on, is thought to have belonged to a well-to-do family. Unfortunately, we only have an incomplete version of it, although it is still a site worth visiting.

The villa is notable for its well-preserved mosaic collection with white and black tesserae, as well as a mosaic depicting the head of Medusa Gorgoneion in polychrome. But perhaps the most interesting mosaic is a long strip in the dwelling with depictions of culinary motifs, such as cooking utensils from Roman times and various animal and vegetable foods.

A curious fact about the Roman Villa of Río Verde is that in the middle of the 2nd century it suffered a great fire that partially destroyed it. However, it was rebuilt again, repairing part of the rooms that were destroyed and adding new pavements with marble pieces. It is thought that the villa must have been abandoned by the beginning of the Middle Ages, in the process of the disintegration of Roman culture.

Visiting the Roman Villa of Río Verde is a very interesting thing to do in Marbella to complement the rest of its tourist offer during a stay in the area. Entry to the Roman Villa is free and visiting hours are from Friday to Sunday and public holidays from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm.