The Museo Archeologico del Compito is located along the Via Emilia 17 km from Rimini and 14 km from Cesena. In the late Roman Republic and the beginning of the Imperial era, this area is believed to have contained a mansio , a small inn where travelers and horses could find refreshment while riding along the important roads that crossed the Empire. These mansiones were usually located at the crossroads of important thoroughfares: indeed the place name Compitum, still used today to refer to this area, means “crossroads”. We can suppose, then, that at this location the Via Emilia crossed another road that perhaps led into the Apennines. This Compitum , near Savignano, once contained shops, rustic villas, a religious temple and other public buildings. Archeological excavations carried out in this area in 1995, however, further revealed a small factory consisting of 12 vertical ceramic kilns dating to protohistoric times: this area was therefore already inhabited at the beginning of the 7th century BCE. The site saw its main development, though, at the end of the Roman Republic and the first two centuries of the Empire, as attested by archeological finds: construction materials; manubrial and stamped bricks; fragments of fine pottery, whether cut from a mold or worked on a wheel; pieces of various types of jars, and other household objects. Archeologists have also uncovered numerous pieces of pavements which decorated the villas, made up of either mosaics, mostly black and white, or small bricks in the shape of hexagons, shields or diamonds. Along the tract that connects the area of Compito with the Roman bridge which crossed the Rubicon, the Via Emilia must have been the site of a monument, with magnificent tombs of the kind found in Sarsina or Aquileia. At this location one can see the so-called “petrone” (“large stone”), the cement mass that made up the central portion of the funereal monument, while the two slabs of pink marble from Verona that formed part of distinguished burial tombs were later re-used by the parish church of San Giovanni in Compito. In addition to the sumptuous tombs, more modest types of graves have also been found, such as Capuchin tombs or simple funeral urns. This area certainly contained a religious temple: although its exact position is still unclear (it may be located on or near the site of the 10th-century parish church), the numerous column fragments found in the area attest to its existence. We are not able to say to which divinity the temple was dedicated. The collection also contains fragments of ashlars made of Istrian stone belonging to the Augustan bridge which still today spans the Rubicon River at Savignano; these can be seen in the garden next to the museum.
Of note is the Romanesque parish church of San Giovanni in Compito: the oldest church in Savignano sul Rubicone, it was built on a pre-existing structure which dates to the 7th century CE, according to documents. It possesses a linear structure and contains various Roman-era and medieval materials that were re-used in its construction: these are visible both on the façade in its aisleless interior. From the 1930’s, the clergy house of the Don Giorgio Franchini parish represented the first home of the museum, to which all artifacts found in the surrounding fields were brought. The historical archive where Don Giorgio worked for over twenty years is preserved in a room of the Museum. His notes give us indications relative to the locations where the objects were found. The archive also contains a catalogue of recovered artifacts as well as the priest’s prolific correspondence with the Soprintendenza Archeologica, the state agency that supervises archeological finds. After being robbed in 1978, the clergy house hosting the museum was closed. In 1998 the collection found a new home in the former elementary school of San Giovanni in Compito, close to the church; the archeological excavations carried out in the meantime added many objects to the display.
From September to May: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Saturday/Sunday and Holidays 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (with reservations every day from Tuesday to Friday 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.)
Closed Monday, from June to August, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Guided tours for groups, students and educational institutions are available with prior reservation.