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The archaeological site of Rusellae
The archaeological site of Rusellae
Roselle is located in Italy
Location of Roselle in Italy
Coordinates: 42°48′34″N 11°08′19″E / 42.80944°N 11.13861°E / 42.80944; 11.13861Coordinates: 42°48′34″N 11°08′19″E / 42.80944°N 11.13861°E / 42.80944; 11.13861
Country  Italy
Region  Tuscany
Province Grosseto (GR)
Comune Grosseto
Elevation 25 m (82 ft)
Population (2010)
 • Total 2,998
Demonym Rosellani
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 58100
Dialing code 0564
The central road of Roselle

Rusellae was an ancient town of Etruria (now Tuscany), which survived until the Middle Ages before being abandoned. The ruins lie in the modern frazione of Roselle in the comune of Grosseto.


The ruins are about 15 kilometres (9 mi) southeast of Vetulonia and 8 kilometres (5 mi) northeast of Grosseto. They are situated on a hill with two summits, the higher of which is 194 metres (636 ft) above sea level. One summit is occupied by a Roman amphitheatre, the other by a tower of uncertain date. The local travertine was extensively used as a building material, as it naturally splits into roughly rectangular blocks.


Rusellae was associated with, but not actually one of, the twelve cities of the Etruscan Confederation.[1] The Romans captured it in 294 BC. In 205 BC, it contributed grain and timber for the fleet of Scipio Africanus. A colony was founded here either by the Triumviri or by Augustus.

In 935 it is reported that the town was destroyed by Saracens. It was not rebuilt because of a malaria epidemic.[2]

The place was deserted in 1138, although still occasionally used. The episcopal see was transferred to Grosseto, which is now the provincial capital.


The area is now under cultivation, and the ruins themselves are now thickly overgrown, although the walls are in places well preserved. They are embanking walls, nearly 3 kilometres (2 mi) in circumference, with a low breastwork in places. The walls consist of somewhat irregular, unworked blocks of travertine often measuring as much as 2.75 by 1.2 metres (9.0 by 3.9 ft). Smaller pieces are inserted in the gaps between blocks. A Roman cistern is visible. Roman remains have also been found 3 kilometres (2 mi) to the south, at hot springs used for public bathing to this day.

The House of the Impluvium, excavated by L. Donati, is an important early example of Italic house-cum-atrium.


The village is served by the State Highway SS1 Via Aurelia (Rome-Pisa-Genoa) at the exit "Grosseto Centro".[3] It is also served by the SS253 Grosseto-Siena at the exit "Roselle".

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ See Etruscan cities for sources
  2. ^ Morris Weiss, The Mystery of the Tuscan Hills: A Travel Guide in Search of the Ancient ..., 2007. [1]
  3. ^ Also named "Grosseto Centro-Roselle"

See also[edit]

External links[edit]