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Grotta della Vipera (Vipera Cave)


About Grotta della Vipera

Basic Information:


The Grotta della Vipera in Cagliari was built by the roman Lucius Cassius Philip in honor of his wife, the matron Atilia Pomptilla, in the second century. The tomb is decorated on the outside by two columns (it is surviving a capital) and pediment, is composed of a portico and two burial chambers. According to the Greek and Latin inscriptions metrics engraved on the walls (CIL X 7563-7578, today hardly legible or destroyed), one can reconstruct the story of the two spouses, exiled to Sardinia: Atilia would die after she offered her life in exchange for that of her beloved.

In the decoration of the pediment, next to the spirals that symbolizes the flowering of young Atilia, you can see two snakes, a symbol of genius Cassio Filippo: here it is coming the popular name of Grotta della Vipera (Viper's Cave) from. This monument was saved by the scholar Alberto Della Marmora, that during the construction of the Royal Route Cagliari and Porto Torres in 1822 prevented its destruction (still are visible in the rock holes for mines, which remained unused). Access to the Grotta della Vipera is permitted to the public, which can be seen from the courtyard outside the tomb.


Opening Hours

Every day of the week:
From: 9.00 to 13.00.
From: 15.00 to 19.00.



Cagliari, Italy

The main entrance is from Viale Sant'Avendrace, 87.


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Map of Grotta della Vipera


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