Workers digging a new sewage system for a coastal resort near Rome found the remains of a second-century villa belonging to two Roman senators.
Archaeologists say the villa in Torvaianica is important and imposing enough to become a tourist attraction once excavation is complete.
"We're uncovering a vast complex, in which we've found all sorts of vessels and ceramics which have been taken away to be catalogued," Filippo Avilia, the archaeologist in charge of the dig, told the Italian news agency ANSA.
The senators, Titus Flavius Claudius and Titus Flavius Sallustius, were from an imperial family and lived well. Their villa had a gymnasium, several swimming pools and hot and cold baths.
The villa was known from written records but its precise location was a mystery until the local council decided to install new sewers.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International
Explore further: Archaeologists open the mysterious lead coffin found buried just feet from the former grave of King Richard III