Live from Aquileia (Italy)

Aquileia Archeofest and Aquileia Film Festival are happy to join and contribute to the “Day of Archaeology”! 

Aquileia Archeofest/Aquileia Film Festival is a 3-day cultural event promoted by Fondazione Aquileia, VeneziePost and Archeologia Viva aimed at promoting the exceptional archaeological heritage of the city of Aquileia and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, de facto Northern Italy’s largest archaeological area. From July 29 to July 31, Aquileia Archeofest and Aquileia Film Festival will thus gather some of the most renowned Italian archaeologists, intellectuals and scholars who will attend talks, guided tours and film screenings. The full schedule of events is available online at

You may wonder: why Aquileia?

Aquileia is one of the most important archaeological areas in Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site: the monumental complexes that are open to the public in addition to the many excavation campaigns in progress provide evidence of how the city of Aquileia made an economic and political fortune out of its strategic position between the Adriatic Sea and continental-Balkan Europe.

il foro romano ad aquileia

Aquileia’s Forum (Photo by G. Baronchelli)

The image above displays AQUILEIA’S FORUM as it appears today. In the background is the Basilica’s bell tower. In the Republican Age (II-I BC) the square hosted a variety of activities among which the elections following the assembles (comitia) in the nearby assembly building (comitium).


RIVER PORT (photo by G. Baronchelli). The ruins of Aquileia’s great river port. The docks, provided with mooring rings, and the wharehouses stood along the right bank of the Natiso cum Turro River. Its monumentalization dates to the I c. AD. The original river bed (48 m wide) was filled in the IV c. thus transforming the river into a waterway called Natissa. Today, along the ancient river bed lies an embankment (left) offering an archaeological walk (the so-called Via Sacra).


THE DOMUS OF THE “WOUNDED BEASTS”. A detail of the house “of the wounded beasts”, a wealthy domus in Aquileia’s northern residential area. The building was first brought to light, though only in part, in the 1960’s when an emergency survey took place. At first a well-known mosaic floor was uncovered featuring images of hunting and wounded animals. Then the area as a whole was interred. Recent investigations have lead to a first reconstruction of the domus. The house “of the wounded beasts” in all of its uses over the four centuries still shows its wealth.


PATRIARCHAL AQUILEIA. After having been a capital city in the Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, the city on the banks of the Natissa River became a powerful Episcopal seat with one of the most beautiful basilica complexes of the Christianity. The mosaic floor inside the Basilica commissioned by Theodore in what originally was the South Hall (early IV c.) and the Gothic arches commissioned by Marquard of Randeck (XIV c.). The morning sunlight shines on a sector with images of animals and Gordian knots interwoven with two or three cords (photo by Gianluca Baronchelli).

The images above offer just a few glimpses of the extraordinary beauty and preciousness of the city. In our next post, we will present you the results of a long and complex project where archaeologists collaborated with experts in the field of virtual image reconstruction.

For further information, check out “Aquileia, a border city” (edited by Fondazione Aquileia, Archeologia Viva and Giunti) and the website “Aquileia World Heritage” by (also available as app on iTunes).

Stay tuned!