Aquileia: a journey through time!
Right now we are all locked in the house because of Coronavirus and the only thing that allows us to travel is our imagination!
So I thought of taking you to discover a very ancient city that is located in Friuli Venezia Giulia: Aquileia which is also a UNESCO heritage site.
The photos you see in this article were taken before the emergency!
If I tell you Roman remains what are the first cities that come to your mind? I bet Rome and Pompeii! Quite right? Well see there are other cities in Italy that you can visit…. Ready?
The history of Aquileia
Aquileia was founded in 181 BC by three people: Lucio Manlio Acidino, Publio Scipione Nasica and Gaio Flaminio.
The latter had the task of blocking the way for barbarians who threatened the borders of eastern Italy.
At the beginning Aquileia was born as a military base where only 3500 people lived with their respective families, then it developed more and more until it became a real city. According to a 3D reconstruction made by the Aquileia Foundation, the city must have been very beautiful!
I guess you would like to see it!
How is Aquileia today?
Aquileia is very fascinating and in every corner of the city there are pieces of history. Given the vastness of the topic, I propose an itinerary that is very easy to follow !!! (Some photos were taken from the Aquileia foundation website, which I thank for giving me some excellent ideas to write this article).
I will follow the path with numbers !!
1) The Via Sacra and the Port
This is the main street leading to the port. It is easy to recognize because it is a street full of cypresses. It is called via Sacra. On the sides are the remains of buildings and tombstones. Surely, the gaze is captured by a large piece of March, it was probably above a porch.
If you continue further you will find the river port in front of you.
Compared to how it was during the Roman period, today, it is very different.
In fact, at that time the Natissa river (today it is a success) was very deep and wide, so much so that it allowed ships to transport goods. In some places you can still see the rings that used to moor boats.
A lot has changed, don’t you think?
Today, in fact, the remains we see are those of the warehouses that contained the goods.
During the visit, stop and look on the left side where there is a stream and you will find a cute little animal that looks like a beaver. Do you know what it’s called? It’s nutria!
Continue your walk and you will find yourself in front of the patriarchal church
2) The Patriarchal church
This is the Church! It is truly impressive! During the course of the centuries it underwent transformations up to the present day.
But the most beautiful part is certainly the interior because everything is done in mosaic. It extends over 760 square meters.
In the floor are represented the allegorical scenes that lead the believer on a path of eternal salvation. Surely, the most famous story is that of Jonah.
Do you want to know the hystory? Click here
The entrance of the church is paid but worth a visit, in fact with the same ticket you can see the Crypt of the frescoes which is located under the high altar and the Crypt of the Excavations where you can find the foundations of the bell tower and other mosaics of the early 4th century.
A sweet break in Aquileia
If you start to get tired of the visit, you can rest at the “Mosaico” pastry shop located right in front of the basilica.
Here I recommend you try the typical dessert of Aquileia that is made with the original recipe from the times of Rome! Was the dessert good?
Well, now you can continue the visit… ..
3) Fondo Pasqualis, the remains of the market
Near the church, continuing on street of the patriarchs you will find the remains of the market, where goods were once bought. Here too, through a 3D reconstruction we can see how they were supposed to be in that period.
4) The Archaeological museum
If you are passionate about museums, I recommend that you also go to see the Archaeological museum. At this very particular moment, we can also visit it from home comfortably on the sofa, thanks to a virtual journey!
Do you want to visit it? Click here!
5) The Cal fund: the villas of the nobles
Near of the Archaeological museum you can also see the remains of the villas of the nobles. In particular, the mosaic of the Good Shepherd which is located inside a modern structure is very well preserved.
6) The burial ground
Another thing I recommend you to see is the burial ground, which is located slightly away from the city, because in Roman times the dead had to be buried outside the city to avoid epidemics.
This place, compared to other places in Aquileia, is the one that has been best preserved.
7) Fondo Cossar: the Tito Macro house
According to the studies, what we see today must have been a large house and probably the owner was Tito Macro, because a plate was found right next to the excavations.
8) The Roman Forum
This was the center of civil and religious life, in fact ceremonies, electoral rallies and trials took place here. It was certainly very different from what we see today.
If you are an archeology enthusiast, I recommend you read this tourist guide. The route is well explained, even the history of the various monuments is simple and easy to understand!
Furthermore, when this emergency is over if you want to see Aquileia, I recommend booking the guided tour. In addition to Aquileia you can also visit Grado, which is another very fascinating location!
If you are looking for a hotel near Aquileia, you can find many offers on booking!
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