Evénement > The agricultural subdivision and land management in Roman times

THE AGRICULTURAL SUBDIVISION AND LAND MANAGEMENT IN ROMAN TIMES The flat area to the  north-east of Padua was divided in Roman times to be cultivated and the axes of the land division are still distinguishable. The orientation of the grid conforms to the shape of the ground, to ensure water drainage and improve the crop yield The Museum of the Roman Land Division is the only museum that allows visitors to learn about the  organization of the territory in Roman times for agricultural purposes, from the design stage, through its implementation and finally concluding with the positive effects on agriculture and rural economy.
First of all the museum allows visitors to understand how the surveyors carried out the subdivision of the land and what tools they used.  It then shows how the land division was structured, with cardini and decumani (north-south and east-west axes), parallel and perpendicular lines, which formed a huge regular grid. The plots of land were allocated to settlers, often army veterans as a reward for their loyalty and long service, who built their houses and began to cultivate the land.
The land management was done in an environmentally friendly way, for example leaving the areas next to the water courses subject to frequent flooding uncultivated or providing areas free from crops which were reserved as pastures for the flocks. Fallow crop rotation helped to keep the fields fertile while additional fertilization was done with straw, vegetable waste, or by grazing animals directly on the fields. The Romans managed agriculture in an environmentally responsible way and obtained a good crop yield.
The museum also contains reconstructions of agricultural tools used in Roman times, not very different from those in use until a few decades ago. In conjunction with Expo 2015 workshops, themed tours and shows for adults and children (conducted by professionals in the field of museum education and theatre) confront contemporary environmental issues, such as the exploitation of water resources, the management of surface and ground water, agriculture and food with ancient times.
Each room is equipped with plastified cards which contain English translations of the panels.

Opening Hours
From Tuesday to Saturday: 9:00 to 12:30
Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 15:00 to 18:00
Sunday and Monday by appointment
Tickets prices
FULL € 2.00
REDUCED € 1.00 (school groups, children aged 7 to 14 and adults over 65 years old)
FREE (school group leaders, children up to 6 years, disabled people and carers)
Cost of workshops, guided tours, shows: € 5.00
It is possible to request guided tours and workshops for children for groups of a minimum 10 people
For information: museo@comune.borgoricco.pd.it; Tel. 049 9336321; Office. 049 9337931; www.museodellacenturiazione.it
  • viale Europa 12
    Borgoricco (PD)


The Museum displays Roman era archaeological finds from the area of the land division to the north-east of Padua, which is still clearly distinguishable on the ground. The Museum was opened in 2009, under the scientific direction of the Superintendence for the Archaeological Heritage of the Veneto, in its current location designed by Aldo Rossi. The materials date back mainly to Roman times, but there are also exhibits of prehistoric and proto-historic and there are post-antique objects.
Contacts des entreprises
viale Europa 12
35010 - Borgorico (PD)
+39 049 9336321 www.museodellacenturiazione.it
Informations supplémentaires
The museum exhibition is divided into four halls and two glass exhibition cases in the foyer on the first floor.  It follows a chronological, scientific and thematic path that begins with the first presence of man in prehistoric times, then continues by analyzing various topics related to land subdivision in Roman times, daily life in the rural setting, farming, agriculture, trade and productive activities and concludes with the evidence of settlement in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The exhibition was designed with a didactic perspective: the presentation of the artifacts is accompanied by coloured panels and enriched by reconstructions, such as the spinning loom, a furnace for firing bricks and a plough, which help to make the various issues addressed immediately accessible and understandable to a non-specialist audience. Each room is equipped with mobile cards containing the English translation of all of the panels.
The land subdivision was done in the second half of the first century. B.C. and now covers 13 different municipalities.  The Roman surveyors divided the territory into regular plots using modules with sides of 20 actus (= 710 m). The grid was defined by parallel and perpendicular lines: the cardines ran north-south, and the decumani ran east-west.  They were represented by roads and ditches that not only formed a network and infrastructure for movement but, more importantly, drained the water and allowed the land to be reclaimed. The plots were then assigned by drawing lots to the settlers, mostly army veterans as a reward for their loyalty and long service.
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