Albintimilium do not hide the marks of its past in the center of Ventimiglia: as soon as you get in the city, you can easily found the part that belongs to the ancient romans. As the matter of facts, one of the most important streets in the modern city is the roman Via Aurelia, and this is because you should not be surprise to found there some remains from the roman age. But it is fascinating to found a theatre well preserved and that has its original shape completely definite.
Albintimilium was at first the capital of the Ligurian Intemeli and for this reason it was known as Albium Intemelium
The city was near to the Greek colonies in the southern part of France, and in particular the city of Marseille wanted to conquest the area of the Ligurs, but they never succeed in the conquest, because of the ability of the Ligurs in war matters.
Then Albium Intemelium gets in contact with Rome, at first as enemy, and then after II century B.C. became part of the Roman hegemony. In 89 B.C. the city became a municipium and in 49 B.C. the inhabitants were given the roman citizenship, and then they were directly involved in a riot related to the civil war between Cesar (who was the one that the city supported) and Pompeo.
The monuments prove the wealth that the city had: it was because of being near to the Via Aurelia that the trade was facilitated. In Augustan Age the city changed its name in Albintimilium, and then in 69 A.D. was sacked, but there was a sudden economic recovery, and the center continued to be important until IV-V century, when there were the barbaric invasions, and the city become depopulated.
The archaeological area of Albintimilium
The remains of the ancient Albintimilium are kept inside the archaeological area in Nervia. The site is divided in different areas of interest. There is the proto historic area with bases of huts of the Ligures, but most of the remains are Romans. One area is the one of the walls, but there are just some remains, in particular of Porta of Provenza, the door set in the western part of the city, that was built in I century A.D. and had three arches and two rounded towers. Then there are the most important monuments: the bath, and most of all the theatre.
In the middle of the site there is also the Antiquarium that is an archaeological museum that contains the evidences found in the excavations and some reconstructions of the monuments that are visible just partially in the site.
The bath were composed by different rooms: two of them were warmed up, thanks to a system that let warm air go up from the floors, a changing room, the furnace room, a pool and a gym. Originally there was also a fine garden and mosaic decoration.
The most important part of the archaeological area is the theatre, that preserves the original semicircular structure, and the covering made of a calcareous stone named stone of Turbie, because it was found in the location of Turbie (near Monaco). There is the cavea and it is visible the orchestra and one of the two parodos, that preserves its monumental entrance.
The theatre was set in the western part of the city, near to one of the most important street, via Julia Augusta, that in the urban part was the decumanus maximus, and then continues becoming consular streets that leads from Piacenza to Arles. North of the theatre you can see a part of this street, with its two pavements and the covering in stone of Turbie, and part of the drain system under the street.
Imagine Copyright: wikipedia.it
You may also be interested in seeing other archaeological sites in Liguria or the Roman archaeological sites reviewed on the platform.
Tuesday- Friday: from 9 am to 2 pm
Saturday- Sunday: from 2 pm to 7 pm
Closing day: Monday
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: IV Century B.C.
DECLINE: I century A.D.
ADMINISTRATION: Soprintendenza archeologica della Liguria
DISCOVERY: XIX Century
How to get to Albintimilium
By car: from Genova, take motorway A10 until the exit Ventimiglia, then go on SS20 until the crossway with SS1 “Aurelia” and go straight on for 500 meters to the destination.
By train: you can get to Ventimiglia by train, and the archaeological site is only 6 minutes away from the railway station by foot.