The small town Zuglio combines the scenario of the carnic alps with the evidences of its roman past, the well preserved forum of the ancient Iulium Carnicum.
History of Iulium Carnicum
Iulium Carnicum was founded by the Romans in I century B.C. At first it was a vicus- a center that didn’t have an administrative independence, but it was associated to Aquileia (that was previously founded in 181 B.C.). The name of the city is divisible in two parts: “Iulium” reminds to Julius Cesar, that was proconsul in this area when the city was founded, and “Carnicum” can be associated both with the name of the area Carnia, and the name of the indigenous population of Celtic origin, Carni, that have been settled in this place since VI century B.C.
The center was set in a strategic position between Italy and Noricum, and there was built via Iulia Augusta that connected Aquileia to Aguntum, and this street caused the development of this city, because it was involved in commercial exchanges. In Augustan age, the city was no longer a vicus, but improved its administrative status as first as a municipium and lately as a colonia. It also experimented an urbanistic transformation and enriched itself with monuments.
Transalpine trade involved in particular ceramics, and the remains prove the connection between this area and Noricum some type of ceramic were imported, others were exclusive production of this center and were founded only here.
Iulium Carnicum was quietly important until the late empire, and then become an episcopal center, between IV and VIII century, but the roman city declined around V century.
The archaeological area of Zuglio
The archaeological area is composed around the forum, the living center of the ancient city. We can see the rectangular structure with a calcareous pavement, that was surrounded by a columned portico, of which now are visible only the lower part of the columns, with no basis or capital.
The portico was three steps elevated on the platea of the forum. Some parts of public buildings are preserved: in the northern part of the forum a temple, maybe a capitolium, of which the podium still stands, and in the southern part, a civil basilica, with a crypto portico, that was divided in two naves by a series of eight columns. In this building have been found some inscriptions and bronzes. It is also important another public building, the baths, datable to I century A.D. and it is known for its decoration, in particular the frigidarium was decorated with Pompeian style and stucco.
Also some parts of private houses are visible, a triclinium in a domus is relevant for the mosaic pavement with a black and white geometric pattern.
In the museum are preserved some remains of the archaeological area, and also evidences of from the previous and following ages: from prehistory, remains of Carni and Veneti, and Medieval. The collection of bronzes, vases and ceramics, is relevant both for historical and artistic reasons, and there are also interesting reconstructions of what the ancient city looked like.
Imagine copyright: By Sebi1 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
The area is always visible from the outside. Visits on request, call 0433 92562
June-august: Wednesday-Thursday 9-12; Friday-Sunday 9-12 a.m.: 3-6 p.m.
September: Friday-Sunday 9-12 a.m.: 3-6 p.m.
October- February: Friday 9-12 a.m.- Sunday 9-12 a.m.: 3-6 p.m.
March- May: Friday- Saturday: 9-12; 15-18
Full ticket: 3,00
Reduced ticket: 2,00 (kids between 6 to 12; over 60)
Free entrance: possessors of FGV card; kids under 6
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: I century B.C.
DECLINE: V century A.D.
REGION: Friuli Venezia Giulia
ADMINISTRATION: soprintendenza per I beni archeologici del Friuli Venezia Giulia
DISCOVERY: XIX century
How to get to Zuglio
By car: you can reach Zuglio by car through motorway A23, until exit Carnia Tolmezzo and then continue to SP52 and SP21 until destination.