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 A VERY IMPORTANT ROMAN CITY
It is now hard to imagine, but sometime during the heydays of the Roman Empire, this small village was the fourth most important Roman city in Italy and the ninth in the whole Empire!
THE AMBER CITY
It is hard to believe that in this nowadays small village lived 100.000 people coming from different countries around the Adriatic Sea. Such as Africa, Egypt and Greece. Aquileia had at a very important river port where several goods were traded (think of olive oil, wine, fruit, marble but also a lot of amber). Aquileia was connected with its river to Grado and all these goods eventually found their way to the coastal areas of the Mediterranean Sea.
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 different Emperors like Julius Caesar and Augustus stayed here.
BEAUTIFUL BASILICA WITH 750 M2 OF MOSAIC FLOOR
In Aquileia you can see nowadays many excavations of Roman structures such as the Forum, the river port with its warehouses and docks, the cemetery, the remains of villas and above all the fantastic and beautiful 11th century Basilica. This Basilica was built on top of the foundations of the first Patriarchal Christian Church in North Italy! Its mosaic floor is with its 750 m2 the biggest mosaic floor of Europe.
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 images, mosaic floors, utensils, urns, blown glassware, coins and jewelry that are found all in and around Aquileia.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST
The important role in Christianity of the patriarchal church along with all the beautiful things found and excavated have ensured that Aquileia was given a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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 be guided through all this beauty. I can tell you much more!
The highlights of Aquileia:
The old river port
The Basilica and baptistery
750 m2 of floor mosaic in Basilica
The North and South Aula of the Basilica
The crypt of the Basilica
The Roman cemetery
The National Archaeological Museum
Military cemetery from World War I