Aquileia was founded in 181 B.C. Its Archaeological area
is exceptionally important and is considered part of the Heritage of mankind by Unesco.
Excavations have brought to light the ruins of the Roman forum
and a basilica, the graveyard, mosaic floors foundations of houses, statues, the Sacred Road, markets, walls, the river port, a large mausoleum, etc.
Hundreds of Roman objects (statues, mosaics, coins, glasses, terracotta, urns, bronze statues, a boat, gravestones, etc.) are exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum
The splendid Basilica of S. Maria Assunta
was erected on a 4th century building which was enlarged several times over the centuries (and was partly destroyed during the Barbarian invasions.
In the church the famous Early Christian Mosaics
(4th century) can be admired - they are a milestone of the Italian history of art.
Special mention has to made of the 12th century Frescos
in the crypt and the 11th century ones on the vault of the apse.
Another interesting building is known as Santo Sepolcro (built in the 12th century as an imitation of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem).
The Excavation Crypt
contains beautiful mosaics of the church built in the 4th century by bishop Teodoro on the structure of an ancient Roman villa and is an important element of the history of early Christian Aquileia.
Behind the basilica there is the dead soldiers’ cemetery where, among others, ten unknown soldiers found on the battlefields of the First World War are buried (another dead soldier buried in Aquileia was chosen to be taken to the Altar of the Fatherland in Rome).