Early Christian Basilica Found Under New Lavazza Headquarters

Sun, 01/12/2014 - 04:00

An early Christian basilica came to light during the construction for the new Lavazza headquarters in Turin.

“It is an exceptional find for Turin, and at just 800 meters from the center of the city," Superintendent Egle Micheletto said.

The oldest part is a necropolis dating back to the third century AD, while in the fourth century, in the same area, small mausoleums dedicated to early Christian figures were built. The basilica was erected on one of these and was intended to accommodate the most important burials. “There is little documentation of the time, and few discoveries of early Christian remains,” Micheletto continued. “This is the third center from that period we found in Turin: we also have the complex of three churches in the area of the Cathedral and the churches dedicated to three saints in the area of the Citadel.”

The discovery has threatened to block the construction of the coffee company’s new headquarters. An agreement was reached between Lavazza and the City Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage to both build the site and make it possible to visit the archeological site. The excavations will become accessible to the public once the Lavazza site is finished. The end of construction is scheduled for 2016.