Antiquities and Archaeology Conservation Italy

A Herculean effort

After nearly 20 years, and €16m spent on restoration, an archaeological site dedicated to Hercules is set to open to the public

Aerial view of Sanctuary of Hercules Victor

TIVOLI/ROME. On 23 June, the Sanctuary of Hercules in Tivoli, Italy will open to the public for the first time following years of restoration work and significant investment.

Built at the end of the second century AD as a place of worship in honour of Hercules the Victor, the vast complex has had a tumultuous history. After a period of abandonment, from the 18th century onward it became the site of various industrial ventures including a gunpowder factory, a paper-mill and Italy’s first hydroelectric power plant.

Since 1983, around €11 million has been spent on excavating and renovating the site and in 2008 a further €5 million was allocated to the Department of Archaeological Heritage, Lazio for the regeneration project which is now nearing its completion.

A museum has been constructed to house important archaeological finds from the site, and the restored 700-seat open air theatre will present a calendar of events throughout the summer. In addition to its rich Roman heritage, the new centre will also embrace its role in the history of Italian civil engineering. Proposals have been invited on how to best redevelop the paper mill and the winning submission will be announced during the opening.

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