The day has started early, destination, Aquileia. This small town is located in Friuli Venezia Giulia region, my native land. This place in particular is one of the three most important archaeological sites (after Brescia and Ravenna) of the Northern Italy. If Cividale is famous and renowned for the Langobardic Tempietto, Aquileia is popular because of the Romans origins and for having been the entrance to Friuli. Indeed, during the Roman Empire, Aquileia flourished as a commercial city, thanks to its innovative fluvial dock and the openness to international economic and manufacturing exchanges, and for this reason, the population reached very high numbers in citizens and the interested of noble and aristocratic people towards the village raised too.
The first stop to take in consideration is the archaeological museum, where it is possible to find lots of evidence coming from the ships overseas to those rich trades with the Middle East's regions. Oil, gems, artefacts, plates, vases, crystal and so on are preserved here. Until October, the 30th, a specific exhibition on the commercial relationships between Aquileia and Persia is held in the premises.
The second stop must be at the magnificent basilica: here you can enjoy the wonderful real mosaics that have become the peculiarity of the region (just remember the copy of those mosaics duplicated at Scuola Moaicisti del Friuli). In those fragments of tiles many symbolic shapes are represented: from the fish (icon of Jesus) to the tortoise and the rooster (symbols for night and light), as well as characters of legends and parables.
Third stop: the walk along the ancient fluvial port. You will see the rocks ruins of the site once you get strolling under high cypresses; it will help to restore your soul.
Just remind that Aquileia was founded in 181 B.C. by the Romans and it became the Capital of the eastern region.
Last but not least, the fourth stop is the Forum, the Roman business and Social Square. Now the columns are the only visible relics, but just have in mind that all the area around is full of archaeological elements underneath.
Aquileia has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage's sites.