It is in the Roman villa today called San Vincenzino, formerly “Villa Albini”, built in 30 BC. and located at the mouth of the Cecina river, which from the notes of ancient musical instruments echo fascinating stories belonging to the roots of our origins.
The villa, built by a famous Etruscan family from Volterra, was equipped with a large underground cistern for collecting water and a perfectly functioning water network. It was inhabited by Decio Albino Cecina, descendant of the virtuous Etruscan dynasty Caecina and prefect of Rome in 414 AD, who would have hosted his friend Rutilio Namaziano during his heroic, how fascinating journey by sea from Rome to Gaul, his country of origin .
Since the consular roads were now in ruins and unsafe, the transalpine poet therefore chose the sea route, assigning the fate of his destiny to sails and oars.
During the unusual winter journey, Rutilio wrote a small but generous poem entitled “De Reditu Suo”, later translated by Alessandro Fo, in which he skillfully described us, and with clear references, the natural beauty that surrounded him, reconstructing the morphology of the areas surrounding the coast between Vada and Cecina.
“… I enter the stretch of Volterra which is rightly named Vada, I follow a certain path through the shallows. The sailor leans over and steers the obedient rudder looking into the water and shouting his instructions aft. ”
… until a violent mistral forces him to find shelter at the villa of Albini going up the river …
“There he forced me to stop a sudden (mistral) choir … hardly a roof offers shelter to the downpours; the villa of my friend Albino opened nearby … young to the flower by age, but old in wisdom. ”
While waiting for a favorable wind, Rutilio also hints at a curious insight into local life: the presence of a salt plant, wealth of the economy in the ancient world.
“… I am deceiving time to observe the salt pans at the foot of the villa where the sea descends by land channels, and a small ditch irrigates mirrors divided into basins.”
We like to think of Albino and Rutilio who paddle together across the Cecina river, up to the sea, making this route a journey into the legends and myths of the past….
Good Etruscan to all…. we are waiting for you .. even by sea!