mercoledì 19 giugno 2024

From 1st February daily visits

The Domus di Tito Macro, jewel of Roman Aquileia, opens to the public

Francesca Grego - 31/01/2023
Splendid mosaics, a fascinating historical stratification and a museum project that allows you to imagine it as it was characterize the Domus di Tito Macro, one of the largest Roman-era residences found in Northern Italy. From tomorrow, Wednesday 1 February, we will be able to admire it every day in the rich archaeological area of Aquileia. From 10am to 4pm during the week and until 5pm on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the domus will reveal its secrets in visits available every 30 minutes. With the summer, the opening hours will become even more inviting: from March to October the monument will be accessible from 10 to 18, while in the summer the visiting hours will be further extended until 19.

Domus of Tito Macro, Aquileia

Discovered in the 1950s, this treasure of Roman Aquileia has only recently been brought to light in its entirety: between 2009 and 2015, excavations conducted by archaeologists from the University of Padua in collaboration with the Aquileia Foundation unveiled, a short from Piazza Capitolo and therefore in the city centre, a residence of no less than 1,700 square meters, complete with decorations. The inscription found on a stone weight left no doubts: the house must have belonged to Tito Macro, a wealthy citizen of Aquileia judging by the size and wealth of the building.

Domus of Tito Macro © Fondazione Aquileia / Nikon / Nudesign

Four centuries of history are told within the walls of the domus, which underwent numerous transformations over time: originally, in the 1st century AD, we can imagine a small house, later incorporated into the sumptuous residence of Tito Macro, who, to carry out his project he probably had to acquire an adjoining house. Thus was born the rich complex that we admire today: the elegant entrance hall supported by columns, with the well and the tank for collecting water; the tablinum - luxurious reception room - adorned with mosaics; the garden surrounded by a corridor also decorated with a mosaic and a fountain, around which the rooms develop, from the cubiculum (bedroom) to the triclinium (living room), up to the kitchen which still has the masonry counter.

Mosaic of the "Good shepherd with a singular dress", domus of Tito Macro of the Cossar funds (© Gianluca Baronchelli)

Over the years, the territory of Aquileia has returned about 800 mosaic floors, but it had never happened to find so many in the same house: in the Domus of Tito Macro we can retrace the evolution of the renowned mosaics of Aquileia with geometric motifs in black and white up to elaborate hunting and fishing scenes popular in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Since 2020, an enhancement project with few equals in Europe has allowed visitors to get to know and appreciate these extraordinary testimonies in an immediate and effective way: the roof necessary to preserve the mosaics simulates the volumes of the ancient residence, following its plan, reconstructing the articulation of the rooms and enhancing the beauty of the great Roman house.

Cleaning operations of the Cervo mosaic dated II - III century. AD - Domus of Titus Macro, Aquileia


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