Le Colonne Romane
|NAME||Le Colonne Romane|
|LOCATION||The Monument rises at the top of the famous Virgil Staircase, placed opposite its great and ancient natural port.|
The marble column is 18.74 metres high.
The column is surmounted by a Corinthian capital decorated with acanthus leaves and twelve half-length mythological figures: the four main figures represent the alternate male and female marine deities such as Neptune and Jupiter, and perhaps the figures of Juno and Intride (or maybe Mars and Minerva or still Amphitrite and Teti).
The other eight figures on the corners are Tritons who play instruments made of marine shells.
The second column collapsed to the ground in 1528 and the column fragments, long remained unattended, were donated to the city of Lecce in 1657, for the construction of a monument in honour of St. Orontius, who had saved the Salentine Peninsula from a plague epidemic.
On the right side of the square, looking towards the sea, there are the remains of the house, where the great Latin poet Virgil stayed and died in 19 B.C.
The column was dismantled during the Second World War to avoid collapses or damage caused by the furious bombings suffered by the city; between 1996 and 2002 the column was again dismantled into its component parts and this time completely restored, while archaeological surveys were carried out in the surrounding square; after reassembly, the original capital is now displayed in the main hall in Granafei-Nervegna Palace; in its place a copy has been placed.
What to find in the area
Balcone dell’abitazione dove morì Virgilio, situato in cima alla scalinata virgilio;
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele: dov’è collocata la famosa statua di Virgilio.
Where to take photos
The balcony of the house of the poet Virgil, on the top of the Virgilian staircase;
Piazza Vittorio Emanuele.