Colony of Alba Fucens was founded by Romans in the 304 BC within Equi's territory next to the area occupied by the people of Marsi. It was in a strategic location to the north of Fucino river deeped in a stunning countryside. The city of Alba stays buried for years under the chain of Monte Velino and it's rediscovered in the 1949 due to a 30-years-long campaign of archaeological digs leaded by a group of Belgian experts.
History of Alba Fucens
The colony was founded by Romans in the 304 BC by occupying territories inhabited by Equi who tried many times to take them back but without success.
In the First Punic War Alba takes the Roman side, but later the city stops to provide military aid and so it was punished. The town was sorrounded by titanic walls and that's why for a long time the most popular prisoners of Rome were locked up here. Alba was involved in the Roman conflicts between Silla and Mario and between Caesar and Pompeo.
It's a flourishing urban center through the Empire age. It was occupied by Byzantines in the year 537, according to Procopio from Cesarea and these are the latest informations we have about the city.
What you can see
Alba Fucens is popular thanks to the splendid amphitheater embedded in the mountains. But the whole area is interesting as well.
Indeed excavations brought back to light a section of the town which were sorrounded by walls in a poligonal shape and organized in many regular blocks feauturing public and private buildings.
On the slopes of San Pietro hill there was the temple of Apollo right where the amphitheater was built later, at the beginning of the I century AD, and now it's still standing. "Cavea" as well is still laying against Pettorino hill (on top there was a temple before).
Itinerary runs through the monumental center of the colony. The main streets are called "Via del Miliario", "Via dei Pilastri" and "Via dell'Elefante". Urban core is surrounded by these streets and it was here that the main public buildings took place.
Walking from north heading to the south, visitors meet the forum of 142 mt in lenght and 43,5 mt wide. Then there's the basilica, a place aimed to business activity and justice where "tribunal" is still standing. Finally, between basilica and thermal baths there's the macellum or marketplace. A little further many houses are still standing: they were owned by local aristocracy and there's one in particular which is called "DOMUS".
On top of S. Pietro hill is possible to visit ruins of the temple annexed to the Christian church.
From the main access road of the hill there's a footpath breaking off the street, which gets you to the amphitheatre.
Among the several religious buildings are worth mentioning temple of Apollo, temple of Isis and temple of Hercules at last. The first one was turned into a Christian church and that's why it's also known as the church of "San Pietro".
Another important attraction is the stunning landscape with splendid views over "Piana del Fucino" and "Monte Velino".
Alba Fucens Museum is under construction. Some of the main pieces as the gigantic Hercules Epitrapezios are displayed in the National Archaeological Museum of Abruzzo of Villa Frigeri in Chieti at the moment.
Download the map of the ancient city.
The site is open 7 days a week from dawn to dusk.
Closing days: 1 Jan, 1 May, 25 Dec.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: IV century BC
SUNSET: VI century
MANAGEMENT: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Abruzzo
REDISCOVERY: XX century
How to get to Alba Fucens
From Pescara airport: take motorway A25 heading to Avezzano, then take the exit gate at Avezzano Nord/Antrosano and finally take the street Via Massa d'Alba in the direction of SS24 heading to Alba Fucens.
The nearest railway station is Avezzano at about 13 Km to the archaeological site.
Coming from Rome or L'Aquila you can get Alba Fucens driving through motorway A24-A25 heading to Pescara.
Coming from Pescara you take motorway A25 heading to Rome. Exit gates at Avezzano and Magliano dei Marsi.
As soon as you get out the motorway it's easy to take a look at the isolated hill of Alba. Keep driving through Strada Panormica until "Massa d'Alba-Forme-Avezzano-AlbaFucens" right next to the location called Arci where the ruins of an ancient Roman aqueduct are still standing. At the crossroad follow the street that goes up the hill: if you arrive from Avezzano, keep left. If you arrive from Magliano dei Marsi, keep right. Go through the ancient gate "Porta di Massa" to access the town.