Just 20 minutes away from Caorle, you come to this Veneto town with an incredibly rich history.
Originally the Roman settlement of Iulia Concordia, the present Concordia Sagittaria retains traces of the past dating back to the 1st century B.C.
There are various archaeological trails presenting aspects of the old Roman town. Inside the walls are the forum, theatre, houses and baths; while outside are the traders’ storerooms and the necropolis or “city of the dead” – who by Roman tradition were interred along the main thoroughfares.
Following excavation work begun in the last century, some important archaeological remains have been discovered, including a burial site beside the River Lemene, containing about 260 sarcophagi dating from late antiquity. The inscriptions from these tombs are now kept in the National Museum of Concordia in Portogruaro. The most important remains are clustered around the Piazza della Cattedrale di Santo Stefano, and lie both below and alongside the Cathedral building.
Major excavation work was started here in the 1990s, revealing some religious buildings from the early Christian period which are among the most interesting of their kind in Italy. In 1168, the Baptistery was erected over these remains, on the wishes of Bishop Reginpoto. The Basilica, which also originally occupied the site, was replaced in the 10th century by the present Cathedral. Inside the town, you can see the Roman forum, the main hub and symbol of the city, and the nearby theatre and amphitheatre, the centres of social life and entertainment for the Roman community.
Iulia Concordia also includes the remains of two Roman baths, one public and one private, dating from the late 2nd century A.D. The calidarium and the tepidariums are still very visible.
A trip to Concordia Sagittaria is like a journey back in time, and an experience not to be missed.