I have been very grateful that my Dad has supported me in visiting old sites in Italy such as the Villa Jovis on the island of Capri and also Ostia Antica. When he came to visit us whilst we were living in Italy, we had the idea to take him to see Cosa. I do like to find sites that are not over run by tourists, where you can take your time to look at all the artifacts and not feel rushed. Cosa is most definitely a site that fits this description as you will see.
Cosa Archaeological Museum is set on the ancient Latin colony of Cosa, founded in 273BC. It was founded by the Italian Government and the American Academy of Rome in 1981, and has been developed since. It is open all year, but it is not all that easy to find. It is near the modern town of Orbetello in south-western Lazio.
The car has to be left outside “the complex” and the day we visited, there was one other car parked ahead of us.
The museum contains excellent models showing the relationship of Cosa to the coastal town as well as what the buildings probably looked like.
The museum contains a number of artifacts discovered in the immediate area and nearby.
There are not many signposts around the ruins, so the map provided at the Museum is vital to both identification of the buildings and finding a way back to the car!
It is very obvious why the site was chosen, as it commands views in all directions including along the coastline as a protection from invasion by sea.
In this last picture of the ruins, a roof has been provided to preserve the mosaic floors that have been revealed by the archeologists.
The gardener in me had cause to wonder about the occasional flowers on this otherwise fairly neglected site – birds maybe?
One could but smile at the contrasts of an ancient olive tree amid these ancient walls and a seemingly out-of-place 20th century antenna.