Ancient RomansMarches Region

Potentia

archaeological park of Potentia

There are many things to see in Porto Recanati: you can also go back to Roman Age, thanks to the remains of the ancient colony of Potentia, with its colonnades, frescos and mosaics.

History of Potentia

Potentia was a roman colony which, as some other cities on the Adriatic coast, was founded between 189 and 184 B.C. in order to give to the veterans of Punic Wars some lands to cultivate.

It was chosen an advantaging position near the sea and the end of river Potenza, that was useful both to defense and to increase the trade with inner population. As the matter of facts, there are testimonies of the commercial exchanges of Potentia with Etruscan, Samintes and Romans.

In particular Potentia exported terracotta, and this trades lead to the growth and embellished of the city between II and I century. With the civil wars and an earthquake in 56 B.C. the development of the city had an interruption, but then it was reconstructed in Augustan age, and kept its relevance during the empire, until III century when it was affected by the crisis that involved the whole Roman Empire.

The city survived the damaged related to the Gothic War, reduced its dimensions but became a bishop center in V century A.D. The last testimonies of the roman city belong to VII century, and then it was abandoned maybe because of the invasion of Franks and Lombards.

The archaeological park of Potentia

The urban planning of the city can be intuited thanks to the fact that it is a new foundation colony, so it had a regular perpendicular structure of the streets. It is also known that the city was surrounded by walls, but they are not preserved. You can see some remains of the streets, the portico of the forum and the perimeter of the tabernae that were positioned around it.

It is interesting a domus, built in I century B.C. that is decorated with frescos on the walls and mosaics on the floors. It is possible to recognize some rooms like the tablinium with a black and white mosaic, some stockrooms and a peristylium with a central pit and a drain.

In addition there is a temple, with an high podium and a portico that was open on the decumanus. The temple was used during time also for other reasons, and it is possible to detect that the court with the portico and a central pit was also used as a market, and next to the temple there were some shops. Inside the temple there were found some terracotta, symbol of the craftsman production in Potentia.

In the end there are also the remains of some burials monuments that belonged to citizens of different social status. It has been noticed thanks to the structure of the tombs and their content, that some of them can be related to men who worked in the country side, and this confirm the original vocation of the colony, and others belonged to rich merchants, and this proves the following commercial development of the city.

Imagine copyright: By Emigiorg - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

You might also be interested in the archaeological sites of Marche or the Roman Time sites reviewed on the platform.

Opening Hours

The site opens on request, for reservation phone +39 071 7599767

Tickets

Free entrance.

Contacts

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:

FOUNDATION:  II century B.C.

DECLINE: VII century A.D.

CIVILISATION: Romans

REGION: Marche

PROVINCE: Macerata

ADMINISTRATION: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Marche

DISCOVERY: XX century

How to get to Potentia

By car: From northern and southern cities on the Adriatic side, follow motorway A14 until exit Loreto-Porto Recanati, and then proceed on SS16 for around 4 km until destination. From the Tyrrhenian side, both from north and south you can use motorway A1 to connect to A14 and follow the same directions.

By train: it is possible to  get to the site by train, thanks to the railway station in Porto Recanati that is around half an hour away from the site on foot. You can also take a local bus “Porto Recanati- Potenza Picena” for three stops and get off in via Salvo D’Acquisto that is around 15 minutes away from the site on foot.