Uomini e cose a Vignale
People and Things at Vignale

Coordinated by

Prof. Enrico Zanini (University of Siena)
Dr Elisabetta Giorgi (University of Siena)

Starting year


The archaeological site

Vignale is a medieval toponym meaning ‘related to the vineyard’, currently indicating an 18th-century farm and its surroundings. It is situated in the Municipality of Piombino (Livorno, Tuscany), at the south-eastern edge of Val di Cornia, a valley in Maremma reclaimed in the 19th century. The project ‘Uomini e Cose a Vignale’ has been investigating an archaeological site since 2004.

The occupation of the site ranges from the third century BC to the sixth century AD, and even later. In this timespan, different types of structures were built the most notable of which are a Roman mansio (posting station) and villa. The archaeological site is divided in two parts by a main road, SP39 Aurelia and it is situated near the village of Riotorto. Excavation seasons of four to five weeks are conducted in September and October as field schools for university students.

Community archaeology

From 2004 to nowadays, the archaeological research in Vignale has involved local associations, schools, companies, touristic facilities, and individual persons in the management and development of the project. Many events, activities and calls to action made archaeologists part of the local community, shaping a public, community and sustainable project. A recent research has focused on defining the kind of encounters and values fostered by the project, identifying the stakeholders involved and evaluating the dynamics of public participation.

A snapshot from the event ‘Quando nacque Riotorto’, held in 2019

Vignale and LOGGIA

Running a community archaeology programme, being located in a Mediterranean setting, and having a solid network in the territory, Vignale is an ideal case study for LOGGIA, which can benefit from all these characteristics. On the way around, LOGGIA can broaden the groups of stakeholders involved in Vignale by working with vulnerable groups.

Thanks to the support of the following partners, LOGGIA will design and perform a series of activities based on the historic landscape in the area of Vignale.

  • Azienda USL Toscana nord ovest
  • Pubblica Assistenza Riotorto
  • Culture and Dance Riolab Association
  • M(u)ovimenti APS

More on ‘People and Things at Vignale’

On the archaeological research

  • Zanini, E., & Giorgi, E. 2019. Vignale (Piombino). Le terme di una villa/mansio nel tempo, tra antichità e alto medioevo (?). In M. Medri & A. Pizzo (eds) Le terme pubbliche nell’Italia romana (II secolo a.C. – fine IV secolo d.C.). Architettura, tecnologia e società, 492–509. Roma: Roma Tre Press.
  • Zanini, E., & Giorgi, E. 2016. Un nuovo e problematico mosaico tardoantico dal sito di Vignale (Piombino). In C. Angelelli (ed) Atti del XXI Convegno dell’associazione italiana per lo studio e la conservazione del mosaico (Reggio Emilia, 18-21 Marzo 2015), 191–213. Tivoli: Scripta Manent.
  • Giorgi, E., & Zanini, E. 2014. Dieci anni di ricerche archeologiche sulla mansio romana e tardoantica di Vignale. Valutazioni, questioni aperte, prospettive. Rassegna di Archeologia 24b: pp. 23–42.

On community archaeology

  • Ripanti, F. 2019. Toward an Intermediate Level: Making the Most of Evaluation in Italian Community Archaeology. Public Archaeology 18(2): pp. 65–86.
  • Zanini, E., Giorgi, E., Mariotti, S., Marotta, N., & Ripanti, F. 2019. Uomini e cose a Vignale: bilancio di un decennio di archeologia pubblica, condivisa e (forse) sostenibile. Il Capitale culturale Supplemento 9: pp. 473–525.
  • Ripanti, F., & Mariotti, S. 2018. “The God of Time is Heritage of Mine”: An Emotional Approach to Public Outreach in Vignale (Italy). Advances in Archaeological Practice 6(3): pp. 199–211.