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  • San Bernardino alle Ossa - The Bone Church
  • San Bernardino alle Ossa - The Bone Church

Living in Italy means continually trample over it’s own history.

In the ’60s, when the sensitivity in relation to archaeological finds was not as well developeas today, when the construction companies encountered ancient ruins during excavations most of the time they rushed to cover them so that they were not visible to avoid the interference of the Cultural Heritage Office. Probably in those years of the economic boom we gambled off quite a number of archaeological sites bartering buildings with five or six stories that nowadays we probably would rather not see.

Today we can visit for free, a Roman site of 3000 square meters, which was a spa complex in the area between Via Dante and Viale Lecco in the center of Como.The complex dates back to the second half of the first century AD, rebuilt later on and then abandoned in the late third century AD. In the fifth and sixth centuries the site was used as a cemetery as witnessed by a dozen tombs found on location.

The site, came to light precisely during the excavations for the construction of a building, was abandoned and the Municipality of Como, not being able to bear the burden for the conservation of this important historical find, left the entire area open to degradation until a nearby religious institution, interested in the construction of a parking lot in the same area, took it upon itself the charge of the restoration of the whole area and the construction of the car park above.

With some surprise we came across this curious hybrid of antiquity and urban functionality that has found a way to combine two seemingly irreconcilable demands.
It should be emphasized, however, the chance to visit the archaeological area saved is guaranteed by the volunteers of the Italian Touring Club, which in taking turns offer without compensation there time and effort on this and many sites of great interest that would otherwise remain closed to public.

Roman baths of Como on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 14 and Saturday from 10 to 18.
www.touringclub.it

Photos:@CasaChiesi

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