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Villa Marius

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This is the site of the largest Gallo-Roman farm and winery in Provence, located just southwest of the village of La roquebrussanne. The vestiges remaining are the lower parts of the walls, clearing outlining the position and scope of the buildings that stood here two thousand years ago.

The Villa Marius or Villa du Laou Sambuc is located in a vineyard and farming area of the fertile Issole river valley at a place called Le Grand Loou. The name Villa Marius was given in honor of the owner of the property, M. Marius Baudion, who allowed the excavation of the site between 1978 and 1983.

The location is 2.2 km south of La Roquebrussanne, 4 km WNW of Néoules [43.320046, 5.98245], at 30 Chemin du Loou

The site is on private property but remains open to visitors. It's an open site, unfenced and available for casual visits. An information panel at the site includes a brief description (in French), a plan view and a sketch of how the farm must have looked at one time.

The Villa was constructed in 46 BC by a Roman legionnaire who was given the land as a reward for his loyal service. The "Villa" site eventually grew to a group of buildings covering about 5000 m2 that were the heart of a farm dedicated mainly for growing grapes and making wine, but with a large olive and fruit and vegetable production as well.

The site was abandoned, apparently without violence, in the 4th century.

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