Have a plumbing problem? You might want to reconsider procrastinating taking care of your toilet, because it might be hiding a secret labyrinth underneath, teeming with treasure. When one man in Lecce, Italy bought a fixer-upper property with dreams of building a trattoria, his life was turned upside down as he became an overnight archaeologist.
An obsession begins
When Luciano Faggio began digging underneath his toilet to investigate sewage problems, he soon uncovered something incredible. There was a subterranean world akin to Super Mario Bros., filled with multiple rooms and levels, dating back to the time before the birth of Christ.
Other men choose to obsess over sports or food, but Luciano was excited to spend countless hours exploring the numerous hidden spaces under the toilet. He enlisted the help of his sons to recover pottery, jewelry, and other relics. Luciano’s wife soon became suspicious when her husband and children were constantly showing up with dirty laundry.
Neverending secret chambers
Since ancient people didn’t care about labeling certain architecture as historical landmarks, it was possible for centuries of history to be preserved under a modern building in Lecce, Italy. Thanks to sewage problems and leaky pipes, a Messapian tomb, a Franciscan chapel, a Roman granary, and artwork from the Knights Templar were all discovered.
Neighbors became suspicious that Luciano and his family were conducting an illegal dig and alerted authorities. After waiting a year for permission to continue their work, the Faggiano family was able to keep digging, provided that government and authoritative experts were over their shoulder. Most of the exquisite relics were whisked away, including a ring with 33 diamonds that belonged to a high ranking church member.
Trading in trattoria dreams for a museum
When Luciano Faggiano purchased his property, he knew it needed some renovations, but he didn’t anticipate a career change. Because of the Faggiano family’s hard work and efforts to uncover ancient artifacts, instead of opening up a restaurant, Luciano now runs a museum.
The Museo Archeologico Faggiano is an independently-run, and government approved institution containing an array of precious items dating back 2000 years.