There are many interesting and varied remains of the roman city of Suasa, and in the middle of them sick out one of the most significant domus in Italy, the domus Coiedii, that is typical example of the structure of this type of building and it is rich of fine and technically accurate mosaics and frescos. And it also is notable the biggest amphitheater in Marche.
History of Suasa Senonum
The ancient city of Suasa was founded at the same time of other roman centers in this area like Sentium, Forum Sempronii and Sena Gallica, after the Battle of Sentino in 295 B.C.
The romans elaborated a project in order to populate and organize in urban centers the area of ager gallicus that has been previously inhabited by Senones, from who the city of Suasa Senonum was named after. In 232 B.C. the project becomes concrete thanks to the Lex flaminia de agro gallico et piceno viritim dividundo, Flaminia law about the Gallic and Picante’ territory and its individual redistribution. Suasa became an administrative center discretely important, a praefectura that could grow in wealth thanks to two main streets that crossed this center via Flaminia and via salaria gallica that connected the city with the commercial routes.
In I century B.C. the city became a municipium, and obtain more independence from the central power in Rome, and also the inhabitants of Suasa became roman citizens after the social war in 90 B.C. This phase is the golden age of the city that reached its maximum development in commercial business and obtained prestige that was reflected in the monumentality of public and private buildings that were constructed and testified the wealth and the importance of Suasa.
During the imperial age Suasa maintained a good position in the roman system and kept its relevance until the III century A.D. when it was affected by the crisis that involved all the empire, and started its decadency, that leads to the complete abandon of the inhabited center after the Greek gothic war in VI century A.D.
The archaeological park of Suasa Senonum
The site thanks to accurate excavations progressively enriched itself with more and more discoveries of archaeological evidences, from the more simple, to the most relevant remains. Even the smallest evidence is precious for the information that gives about the roman past, and you can found them everywhere in the site.
If you just look at the floor you can see the remains of the ancient pavements of the streets, in particular one of the two main one, the cardus maximus that is still has a relevant position in the settlement of the site, because around it there are some of the most important evidences. The cardus leads to the forum, the majestic square (105 x 34 meters) that was originally surrounded by a U-shaped colonnade. It is possible to recognize the perimeter of the square and the area in which were collocated the ancient shops and artisan laboratories, and part of the pavement.
The cardus also leads to one of the most relevant elements of the archaeological park: Domus Coiedii. It is one of the most significant examples of domus structured houses, and is it is possible to observe the typical disposition of the internal environments.
It is particularly important in the region Marche, but also has a national relevance because of the discoveries of many artistic decorations, frescos, mosaic and opus sectile styled with different subject and techniques according to the different historical period during the roman age. Some of them are visible in the site, others are preserved in the archaeological museum of Suasa territory, in Castelleone di Suasa, and we recommend you a visit there, in order to complete the scenario of what you have seen in the archaeological site.
The domus occupied an area of 3500 square meters, and now it is visible the perimeter, the foundation, part of the pavements (in some points with mosaic decorations) and the walls. It belonged to a family of senators, the gens Cloiedia, as it is confirmed by the discovery of some epigraphs. The villa has been inhabited for a long period of time, and we can distinguish three phases: the first one in the I century B.C. (the golden age of Suasa) refers to the construction of the original nucleus of the habitation, the second in II century A.D. is related to the maximum development of the structure of the domus, the one that we can observe now, and the last one can be individuated by some modification made in III century A.D.
Today it is possible to recognize the different environments starting to the entrance corridor that leads to a semi covered atrium, in which the roof was open in order to permit the filling of the impluvium, a reservoir of rainwater. Others room were disposed around the atrium: there was a lararium, dedicated to the cult of the Lares, gods protectors of the home, and it was decorated with beautiful mosaics, there were also two bedrooms (cubicula) and the alae- utility rooms, in the lateral sides. After them there was a tablinium (a study) embellished with mosaic decoration, a private bath area ornated with pictures of mythological subject and in the back part of the domus an hortus, the inner garden, with some others utilities rooms.
Besides this, there is a smaller domus, called republican domus because of the age of construction, before Suasa became a municipium. It is divided in two areas, the main one in which we can found an atrium, a tablinium, some cubicula and an oecus (a spacious living rooms) and also in this domus there are decorated floors and walls. In the other smaller area we can recognize the utility rooms that had clay walls.
There is another element particularly relevant in the site, an amphitheater that is the biggest in the region Marche, and is used still today for spectacles. It is a construction of the I century B.C. that was the phase of the monumental transformation of the city after its recognition as a municipium.
The cardus crosses the site and leads to the forum to the amphitheater that is positioned at the other extremity of the site. It has a rounded structure that measure around 100 meters on the major axis and around 80 on the minor one. There have been periodical excavation from the ’30 to 2000 that individuated some part of the structure, in particular the lower part of the cavea, the arena and some vomitoria (the entrances to the stands).
Next to the amphitheater there is a theatre with the typical semicircular shape and that occupies a smaller area. The theater was discovered in 2003 thanks to an aerial photograph, on the contrary amphitheater has always been visible. Today we can see only the perimeter of the whole structure.
Imagine Copyright: Diego Baglieri / CC BY-SA
You may also interested into the other archaeological sites of Marches or the archaeological sites of the Romann Times.
From 1st April to 30 June
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 3.30 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.
From 1st July to the first weekend of September
From Thursday to Sunday 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.
From the second weekend of September to 1st November
Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 3.30 p.m. - 7.30 p.m.
Full ticket: 5 €
Reduced ticket: 3 € (under 18 years)
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE CARD:
FOUNDATION: III century B.C.
DECLINE: VI century D.C.
ADMINISTRATION: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Marche
DISCOVERY: XIX century
How to get to Suasa
By car: from the cities of northern and southern Italy it is possible to get by car through the Adriatic motorway A14 until the exit Senigallia, then continue to the Strada Provinciale Corinaldese in direction SP14 that takes to Castellone di Suasa.
Public transports: the nearest train stations are Marotta (long the Adriatic coast) and Pergola (if you come from the inner side). From both train stations in the respective directions it is possible to take the bus number 35 (litoranea 3) that takes to Castellone di Suasa. Get off to the stop Pian di Volpello Snodo that is 15 minutes away by foot from the archaeological site.