Aquileia, an ancient Roman military colony, is a pretty little town 40 km south of Udine, near the border with Austria, in the Italian Dolomites. Its historic center and basilica are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Aquileia was founded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and remained one of the largest and richest cities in the Empire until the 5th century. Its prosperity ended after the invasion of the Huns in 452. From the 6th century Aquileia was the center of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, an autonomous church abolished in the 18th century.
Weather in Aquileia:
Aquileia Tourist Office:
- Via Jiulia Augusta
- 0431 91 94 91
The sights of Aquileia:
Aquileia has a lot of evidence that it was once a major city of the Roman Empire, but not all monuments are accessible to visitors.
- The Roman Forum (Foro Romano , 115 m by 57 m), which was opened after a reconstruction in 1936,
- the river Roman port (Porto Fluviale Romno),
- storage and commercial facilities in the port ( Magazzini del Porto Fluviale ),
- Roman cemetery (Sepolcreto Romano), Roman houses with mosaics and fragments of ancient roads.
Closed to the public:
- Market Basilica ( Basilica Fornese ),
- The Circo (circus),
- The Grandi Terme,
- Amphitheatre (Anfiteatro) and
- Grande Mercato Pubblico Romano).
Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta
Another historic site in Aquileia is the Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta which was built in the 4th century. The church was founded in the 4th century, the first significant reconstruction was undertaken in 1031, the next one – after the earthquake in 1348.
The mosaic floor, dating back to the 4th century and depicting scenes from the life of Christ, is considered the most precious treasure. Mosaics from the 4th century are also preserved in the Scavi Crypt (Cripta degli Scavi)
In the Cripta degli Affreschi you can see 12th century frescoes. The bell tower of the basilica (73 m) was built in 1030.
National Archaeological Museum
The Museo Archeologico Nazionale houses the most important archeological finds of the Aquileia area.
- The National Archaeological Museum
- Via Roma, 1
- Tue – Wed 08:30-19:30
National Museum of Early Christianity
The National Museum of Early Christianity (Museo Nazionale Paleocristiano) is located on the site of an early Christian basilica of the 4th century, the remains of the foundations of which can be seen on the first floor. Fragments of the mosaic covering the floor of the ancient temple are well preserved. The basis of the museum exposition is made up of religious art items of the 4th-9th centuries.
- National Museum of Early Christianity
- Piazza Pirano
- Tue – Wed 08:30-13:45
City Historical Museum
The Civico Museo Storico exhibits the history of Aquileia from the Venetian Republic to the Second World War.