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The History

Discover the origin of the ‘Aquae Patavinae’ and the history of the Euganean thermal area...


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Scheda sito

Archaeological site at “Lastra” place
Montegrotto Terme, 7th – 6th century B.C., 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D.

The area where nowadays the Hotels Vulcania and Bagno Romano stand, south-west of Colle San Pietro Montagnon or Montagnone, owes its name – “Lastra” – to the continuous emerging of ancient marble slabs during the 18th century. Two thermal pools with ducts and some Roman buildings with mosaic floor (approximately 1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D.) also emerged in the 19th century, as well as some votive objects datable around 7th – 6th century B.C. – similar to the finds discovered at the sacred place between Monte Castello and Colle San Pietro Montagnon.

Storia degli Studi

Information about the emerging of marble slabs and the presence of thermal water sources was reported by Salvatore Mandruzzato, author of the treatise “De’ bagni di Abano” (written between 1789 and 1804).
The buildings with mosaic floor were discovered by the “Commissione Austriaca per i monumenti antichi della zona termale” on 27th July 1827, within the Moisé Trieste ownership; the pools and the proto-historical finds were discovered in November 1863, within the Sette ownership. The 19th-century drawings concerning these structures are currently preserved at the Biblioteca Civica di Padova.


Preistoria e Protostoria

According to the rather confused archive material, the “Lastra” area seems to be the place of origin of at least a part of the votive objects donated to the Musei Civici di Padova by A. Sette, owner of the holding, in the 19th century. We are presumably talking about some votive bronze items and at least one “bowl” (undamaged at the moment of the finding) datable around 7th-6th century B.C., made of a “blackish polished paste” and equipped with handle with horns.
The finding of similar items and the presence of natural thermal springs associate this site to the sacred place located between Monte Castello and Colle San Pietro Montagnon; it is therefore supposed that similar rites also occurred at “Lastra” place.

Età romana

Three Roman buildings, perhaps pertaining to a private house (“domus”), were found in this site: the first and the second ones were adjoining but oriented in a different way (in the plan: F and next room), while the third one (G), a little far away, was only hypothetically associated to the other two. They were all discovered and accurately surveyed by Candeo in 1827, when floors and wall foundation were clearly visible; today, the structures seem to be lost. However, the 19th-century drawing shows that room F had a white mosaic floor, hemmed by black bands and with several different marble pieces in the middle – which formed an hexagonal shape. Room G was surfaced by a “terrace”, that is to say a white concrete floor, on which little fragments of black marble outlined a honeycomb of hexagons with a series of little black crosses in the background.
In 1863, two thermal pools also emerged: all we know about them comes from the drawing made on that occasion.
The biggest pool had a rectangular shape, an apse placed on one of its short sides, and a little stairway to reach the pool level on the opposite short side. Small apses or semicircular niches opened onto both its long sides. The walls were made of bricks, which stood on a foundation of trachyte blocks. The stairway was covered with marble slabs, the pool floor with trachyte slabs, the poolside with a sort of “freshly-painted hard cement”.
The smaller pool was also rectangular, equipped with a staircase and made with the same building technique of the first one.
Underground lead pipes got out from both pools, and flew into the same drainage channel; the bigger pool was linked to a natural source of thermal water by means of other pipes.



Oggetti protostorici: VII – VI secolo a.C.
Ambienti e vasche termali: fine del I secolo a.C. – inizio del I secolo d.C.


Contesto geografico ed urbanistico

The Roman buildings stood at the foot of the south-west slopes of Colle San Pietro Montagnon or Montagnone, in an area rich in thermal water sources and springs.



Carta Archeologica del Veneto, Vol. III , a cura di L. Capuis, G. Leonardi, S. Pesavento Mattioli, G. Rosada, Modena 1992, pp. 124 (F. 64, 204.8).
Delle antiche terme di Montegrotto. Sintesi archeologica di un territorio , a cura di S. Bonomi, Montegrotto Terme (PD) 1997, pp. 22-25 e 37, n. 8.
Montegrotto Terme – via Neroniana. Gli scavi 1989-1992 , in Antenor, Scavi 1, a cura di P. Zanovello, P. Basso, Padova 2004, pp. 21.
Basso P., Esercizi di rilettura. La documentazione archeologica sette e ottocentesca su Montegrotto Terme (con appendice di Federica Rinaldi), in Aquae patavinae. Montegrotto Terme e il termalismo in Italia. Aggiornamenti e nuove prospettive di valorizzazione, Atti del II Convegno nazionale, a cura di M. Bassani, M. Bressan, F. Ghedini, Padova 2012, pp. 143-150.
Busato L., Padova città romana dalle lapidi e dagli scavi, in Monumenti storici illustrati della R. Deputazione Veneta di Storia Patria, Serie IV, Miscellanea, Vol. X, II parte, Venezia 1887, pp. 88, nota 1.
Lazzaro L., Fons Aponi. Abano e Montegrotto nell’antichità, Abano (PD) 1981, pp. 99-100.
Mandruzzato S., De’ bagni di Abano, in III, Padova 1804, pp. 104.
Miglioraro G. , Montegrotto Terme. Notizie storiche, Abano 1981, tav. a p. 16, nn. 6-7.
Tosi G., Patavium e la zona termale euganea, in Il Veneto nell’età romana, II, a cura di G. Cavalieri Manasse, Verona 1987, pp. 183-184.
Zerbinati E., Edizione archeologica della Carta d’Italia al 100.000. Foglio 64. Rovigo, Firenze 1982, pp. 83, n. 14.


Accesso al sito
Site that can’t be visited.

Archivio Materiali

Provenienza: “Lastra” place
Cronologia: 1st century A.D. (early-imperial Roman age)

Fragment of a cylindrical lead water pipe (length 31,5 cm; diameter: 9,4 cm). A label is stamped on its external surface, and reports the inscription “C(aius) Lollius Gratus / Patavi facit” (“Caio Lollio Grato manufactures [this fistula] in Padova”, giving in this way information about the manufacturer and the provenance of the object. A palmette – which could be either a decorative element added to the inscription, or used to separate the words – is printed after the last word.

The pipe, originally subterranean, was part of an aqueduct; it brought the water, either fresh or thermal, from the source to its destination (pool or fountain), or canalized the draining of refluent water.

Luogo di Conservazione: Musei Civici agli Eremitani – Padova, storage area (inv. MCP XX – 100).
Provenienza: “Lastra” place
Cronologia: Roman age

Bronze aqueduct key-stone (max. 14 x 17,6 cm), made up by two perpendicular truncated-conic elements.

The key-stone interconnected two water pipes (“fistulae”); this kind of system was suitable for the regulation of the water flow in the aqueduct.

Luogo di Conservazione: Musei Civici agli Eremitani – Padova, storage area (inv. MCP XX – 93)