The Cerrato cellars, also known as Roman cellars, are located in the heart of Bovino, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy and are to be considered the most important underground monument of this Apulian town and of all Puglia region (Bovino was a Roman colony and with the name Vibinum). They are privately owned and can be visited by appointment (for more information you can visit the Cantine Cerrato Facebook page)
The cellars date back more than 2000 years and are an authentic hidden treasure unique in Puglia. They occupy a large area between the Cathedral in Piazza Duomo, Via Roma and Via Torino, about 3 meters underground. The cellars are easily reachable via comfortable stairs from the main entrance located in via Torino 1.
They are the remains of ancient Roman cisterns used for the water supply of the city or as tanks for the water reserves of the thermal baths. The cellars were most likely connected to the Roman aqueduct, the remains of which can be seen in the nearby countryside and along the road that leads from Bovino to Panni.
The cellars consist of two perpendicular rooms (A and B) connected by a small tunnel through which the water passed from one cistern to the other; partially excavated in the rock and built with brick walls, with waterproofed walls entirely covered in cocciopesto (opus signinum – waterproofing material used by the Romans for this type of construction). Room B, the larger of the two, is almost 20 meters long and separated into two rooms by six arch pillars up to 5 meters high.
In the cellars, there are connections to various wells and other cisterns as well as various holes in the ceilings used to bring water into the cellars.
For further information and reservations, you can visit the Cantine Cerrato Facebook page