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Once the fourth most important Roman city of Italy. It's a World Heritage Site because of the stunning remains of the 750 m2 mosaic floor in the Basilica from the 4th century.  
WHAT SHOULD YOU CERTAINLY VISIT IN AQUILEIA?

 

ONCE THE SECOND ROME
 

It's hard to imagine now, but sometime during the heydays of the Roman Empire, this small village of about 3.500 people was once the fourth most important and biggest Roman city in Italy with estimated 100.000 inhabitants. They call it the second Rome because many Roman Emperors have lived here for some time. 

 

THE AMBER CITY
 

During the heydays Aquileia was a very important river port city that traded over the seas with countries of the then known continents. Think of Africa, Egypt, Greece and Persia. From the Baltic sea area, the precious fossilized tree resin, better known as amber, was imported to Aquileia over the roman roads. In Aquileia it was transformed in beautiful jewelry and utensils.

Aquileia was connected with its river to the Adriatic sea and goods such as amber, lime stone, wine, olive oil, glas and more, eventually found their way to the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea. 

 
A MILITARY STRONGHOLD
 

Yet Aquileia was not always a busy trading town. It was founded in 181 b.C by the Romans as a military bulwark against the invasions of the barbarians of Northern and Eastern Europe. But also as a settlement for the Roman legions on their way to conquer Northern and Eastern Europe. Especially in wintertime, the Romans came to retreat here and we know that several Emperors stayed here for weeks or months. In Aquileia you can see many excavations of Roman structures such as the Forum, a roman street, the river port with its warehouses and docks, the cemetery and the remains of mosaic floors of houses and their foundations. 

 

BEAUTIFUL BASILICA WITH 750 M2 OF MOSAIC FLOOR

The fantastic and beautiful 11th century Basilica that hosts the largest early christian mosaic floor of Europa, alone by itself is worth a visit to Aquileia. The Basilica was built on top of the foundations of the first Early Christian Church in Northern Italy, going back to 320 A.D! The mosaic floor of 750 m2 is for 90% still in tact and beautifully decorated with colorful mosaic stones that show symbolic geometric figures, images of animals and persons. What exactly these images mean I will tell you during the guided tour. 

THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

 

Aquileia has a very interesting Archaeological Museum, which is among the most important ones in Italy. The National Archaeological Museum has a rich collection of monumental stone remains , mosaic floors, utensils, urns, blown glassware, coins and amber jewellery that were found during excavation in and around Aquileia.

LA DOMUS DI TITO MACRO 

The “Domus di Tito Macro”, one of the largest re-constructed villas of Roman era among those found in northern Italy, covers an area of 1,700 square metres and is unique in Europe. 
Excavations have made it possible to recognize the layout of the domus, which was built in the first century B.C. and continuously used up until the sixth century A.D. For sure one of its inhabitants was the wealthy Tito Macro. Why we know this and more you can discover during my guided tour. 

 

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST
 

The important role in Christianity of the Patriarchal Basilica along with the magnificent almost completely in tact 750 m2 mosaic floor and the important Roman remains, have ensured that Aquileia in 1998 was the first city becoming part of the nowadays three UNESCO World Heritage cities in Friuli.

 

BOOK A GUIDED TOUR IN AQUILEIA

 

A visit to Friuli Venezia Giulia is not complete without a visit to Aquileia!

Do not hesitate to contact me if you would like to book a guided tour. I will be happy to show you around and tell you much more about Aquileia. Clicking on the purple button more details appear of what you will see during the guided tour and the rates. 

The highlights of Aquileia:
  • The excavations of the forum
  • The Roman street
  • The excavations of the old river port
  • The excavations of Roman houses
  • The Basilica with 2 crypts
  • The 750 m2 of mosaic floor in the Basilica
  • The Baptistery and South Aula 
  • The Roman cemetery
  • The Domus of Tito Macro
  • The remains of the house of the bishop (palazzo episcopale)
  • The Archaeological Museum
  • The Museum of Early Christianity
  • WWI Military cemetery 
Good to combine with one of the following sights:
Palmanova Outlet

Palmanova Outlet

Palmanova

Palmanova

Grado

Grado

Strassoldo Castle

Strassoldo Castle

TEMPORA AQUILEIA

The fourth weekend of June - 23, 24, 25 of June, Aquileia changes for three days into a life-size stage during the "Tempora Aquileia".
During this event you can see the imitation of the battle between  the Roman soldiers and the Celts that actually happend here in  171 b.C .
Besides the battle you can enjoy music, markets and parades, all in ancient Roman style. 
tempora in aquileia.webp
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