A perfectly preserved ancient Roman mosaic floor has been discovered near the northern Italian city of Verona.
Archaeologists were astonished by the find as it came almost a century after the remains of a villa, believed to date to the 3rd century AD, were unearthed in a hilly area above the town of Negrar di Valpolicella.
After the discovery in 1922, the site was mostly left abandoned until a team from the Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Verona resumed digging last summer. The team returned to the site in October and again in February before the excavation was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The mosaic was found a few metres beneath a row of vines a week after work got going again.
Paving stones dating back 2,000 years were also discovered after a sinkhole opened in front of the Pantheon in Rome during the coronavirus lockdown.
The seven travertine slabs were found 2.5 metres beneath Piazza della Rotonda. Although sinkholes are a common problem in Rome, fortunately the usually packed square was empty at the time the pavement collapsed in April.
Italy’s cultural sites are slowly coming back to life, with the archaeological park of Pompeii reopening on Tuesday. The park reopened with security measures in place, including temperature checks, while the entrance price has been reduced to €5.
The Colosseum will reopen on 1 June, with visitors obliged to buy tickets online, wear face masks and have their temperature checked before entering.