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Dining Among Roman Crockery

In Rome, we dined in Flávio al Velavevodetto set into the mountain of pottery refuse from which the area of Testaccio draws its name. Shipments of wine and oil to Imperial Rome were in pottery jars which, due to the impregnation of fluid into the crockery, could not be reused. So, the Romans carefully cracked the pottery in layers and stacked them in what we would consider an ancient landfill. Hundreds of years later, modern Romans discovered that the temperature inside the base of the mound was perfect year round for storage of wine. Today these wine cellars may be a restaurant such as the one in which we dined.

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