Aquileia: a dive into the past

Aquileia, one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire

 The city of Aquileia has been founded in 181 B.C. from the Romans. It has a fundamental role as a commercial crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Balkan-continental Europe.
In addition to the merchant center, it is home to an imperial palace and a fervent Christian center.

The Roman Forum of Aquileia

Entering the city, coming from Venice, you meet the Roman forum, the subject of numerous excavation campaigns up to very recent years.
In the Republican period (II-I century BC), it hosted various activities, including voting operations.


Aquileia, foro romano

The area of the Basilica of Aquileia

The first impact with the religious complex of the city is the bell tower, isolated from the Basilica, built at the beginning of the year 1000. You can climb up to the belfry, and enjoy a beautiful view over the city and its countryside and numerous open excavations around.
In front of the bell tower, the Capitoline wolf of Rome, to remember the origins of Aquileia.

Aquileia, campanile

Aquileia, lupa di Roma

The Basilica was founded at the beginning of the fourth century and commissioned by the bishop Teodoro.
Destroyed and altered, the current form was given around the beginning of the eleventh century.
The mosaic flooring from Teodoro’s period, the largest mosaic of the Christian West, is exceptional.

Aquileia, la Basilica

Aquileia, mosaici della basilica

Dalla basilica si accede alla cripta degli scavi, dove si possono osservare i resti della fabbrica originaria e numerose abitazioni romane con pavimentazione musiva.

The National Archaeological Museum of Aquileia

From 1882 the best of what is brought to light, with the various excavations of Aquileia, is collected here. There are many artifacts of various kinds, including jewels with gems and cameos, artifacts in glass and amber, and many mosaics on the outside of the museum for which it is famous Aquileia.

Among the others we report here the photo of the detail of an extraordinary mosaic, which represents a vine trellis with bow.

Aquileia, mosaico, museo archeologico

The fluvial port of Aquileia

Walking towards the cypress avenue behind the Basilica area, you will come across the remains of the 1st century BC river port. that made Aquileia so powerful and rich thanks to commerce. Aquileia, porto fluviale

Informations to visit Aquileia

Aquileia is located in the province of Udine, in Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Coming from the main road (SR 352 leading to Grado) you will find the parking area and the information center.
We recommend to visit  the basilica complex and the national museum, as well as to climb up the bell tower to get an idea of the vastness of the excavations around.

Reaching Aquileia (or coming back), we recommend a visit to Portogruaro and Concordia.
In fact, Concordia and Aquileia were on the Via Annia that led to Rome.