|1998||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|Ian Cade (England):
I wasn’t expecting it, but the Basilica of Aquileia was astounding, one of the finest churches I have been in during all my World Heritage Site hunting.
As the other reviewers have noted the highlights are the mosaics on the floor which cover the entire surface of the Basilica. However I think I had an even stronger fondness for the incredible 12th century frescos in the crypt below the apse. The wonderful pastel colours and expressive paintings really left a mark on me, not too dissimilar to the feeling I had when leaving the Scorvegni Chapel. All in all a truly magnificent site. The fact that there are the scattered remains of a prominent Roman town strewn around this magnificent building only serves to amplify its impressiveness. I rather enjoyed walking amongst the ruins and partially restored columns whilst eating an ice cream, in fact there are very few things I could imagine that are as pleasing as this.
Even in a region which is almost drowning in cultural treasures, the Basilica at Aquileia stands out as a highlight, and it is hard to think of a bigger compliment than that.
[Site 8: Experience 6]
Date posted: August 2012 john booth (New Zealand):
The excavation of the foundations of the Roman town are still a work in progress, but the forum with its marble columns is the most obvious remnant. Of greater importance are the 4th century floor and walls of the Basilica, contained within a building only 1000 years old. The ancient mosaics and frescoes are in pristine condition and well displayed.
I reached Aquileia from Venice by travelling by train to Cervignano, and taking the Grado bus from there to the Archaeological Museum in Aquileia.
Date posted: September 2011 Hubert Scharnagl (Austria):
The main sight in Aquileia is the basilica. The oldest remains dated from the 4th century, but the basilica was destroyed, reconstructed and extended during the ages. The church, which can be seen today dated from the 11th century. The basilica is huge compared to the small town and one can image that Aquileia was a large and important city during the Roman Empire. My first impression from the outside was, that it looks similar to many other churches I had visited in northern Italy. However, I completely changed my mind when I entered the interior. Usually when visiting a church, one looks first to the ceiling. In Aquileia, the main attraction is the mosaic pavement from the 4th century. The mosaic covers the entire floor of the nave and shows animals, fishermen, marine animals, and Christian scenes. It lies below the current floor level, you can walk around on footbridges. The mosaic is magnificent, just like the well preserved frescoes in the crypt and the apsis. I also enjoyed my stroll to the remains of the Roman harbour, the Forum and the Via Sacra. All in all a worthwhile daytrip from Venice or, if you come from the northeast, a perfect start for a trip to the Veneto.
Date posted: July 2011 Klaus Freisinger (Austria):
It's hard to believe that this is the first review for Aquileia. There were many other visitors when I was there, and the site is very close to Venice and the tourist resorts on the Upper Adriatic. Anyway, Aquileia is a famous and familiar name for anyone who has ever read something about ancient history. Before the rise of Venice, it was by far the most important town in this region and a commercial as well as a religious centre, which it remained long into the Middle Ages. Much of it was destroyed during the Late Empire, most famously by the Huns, but there are still many relics to see. The Patriarchal Basilica is a much later building - from the 11th century -, but sits on the ruins of ancient churches and is really very impressive (especially the mosaics). Aquileia today is no big metropolis anymore, but it is still a pleasant little town, and since it is only about 90 minutes by train from Venice, this is definitely a recommended excursion.
Date posted: July 2008
Have you been to Archaeological Area and the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia? Share your experiences!