The archeological area in Vada, near San Gaetano, highlights the town’s Etruscan and Roman history. Historically, Vada was the port for Etruscan Volterra: its ancient name was Vada Volaterrana. The position made it a privileged landing point, considering this area, thanks to its many shallows, was perfect for disembarkations and unloading goods.
Over time, many artefacts have come to light related to trade, for which Vada was a crossroads, with products passing through here on its way to and from further inland. Some of the things found include amphorae for oil, wine and sauces, as well as containers for fruit, various crockery, lamps and coins.
Vada remained a centre for trade across the Mediterranean until the Middle Ages, beginning to decline around the 1200s just like nearby Pisa. As evidence of the vivacity that long characterized this district, there are also the ruins of a few thermal baths and the rooms of a market, a port business and warehouses. The buildings were magnificently decorated with statues and mosaics, though unfortunately only part of these have survived to today.
Excavations at the site continue to unearth many important artefacts, many of which are conserved in a dedicated section of the Archeological Museum in Rosignano Marittimo.