History & sightsRoman period

Roman period

The most noteworthy of the Roman villas in the area is undoubtedly Els Ametllers, located at the Av. del Pelegrí, 5 – 13.
Els Ametllers (1st c. BC - 6th c. AD), discovered in 1914 by Dr Ignasi Melé, was one of the most important villas in the ancient Roman province of Tarraco. This is a classic example of a Roman Mediterranean farming establishment, where vineyards were tended and large quantities of wine were exported. Architecturally speaking, it has a two-tier structure of pars urbana and pars fructuaria.

The noble dwelling area (pars urbana), on the upper level of the site, reflects the overall magnificence of this villa, especially in the 2nd century AD. Its exceptional splendour can be seen in the fine thermal baths, the mosaics and stuccos, the unusual winter dining room, the fountain (nymphaeum) and the bathing pool with its impressive Carrara marble sculptures (now kept in Tossa Municipal Museum).

The functional area (pars fructuaria), on the lower level, had grain houses and other rooms used for processing the villa’s agricultural produce, e.g. wine, oil and salted goods.

Bone and ivory styluses, ceramics, coins and brooches (fibulae) on display in Tossa Municipal Museum bear witness to the daily life of the villa.