Since 2016, the National Archaeological Museum of Aquileia has been the subject of a major renovation and refurbishment. In 2019, a first part of the new exhibition itinerary was inaugurated, on the ground and first floors of Villa Cassis Faraone, the building that has housed the collection since 1882.
At the centre of the new story is the Roman city of Aquileia, the great Mediterranean port where different goods, people, languages, religions and cultures met and coexisted, helping to bring new ideas to an area that was of strategic importance for the fate of the Empire, a hinge and link between East and West, between the Mediterranean and the northern and eastern regions of Europe.
In addition to the most well-known materials, visitors will be able to admire artefacts that until now have been kept in storage and restored thanks to a careful crowdfunding policy. Among these are grave goods restored by the Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione e il Restauro in Rome and precious furnishings from the rich domus of Aquileia, already widely known for the variety and refinement of their floor mosaics. It is precisely the mosaics, one of the jewels in the crown of the archaeological site of Aquileia, that will be given new emphasis in the exhibition project. Some of the most important floors in the collection - previously kept in the porticos of the outer galleries and now restored - are presented in association with frescoes and furnishings made of ceramics, glass and precious metals, used during banquets, to offer a picture of the daily life of the wealthier classes.
Sculptures are also displayed in a completely new light: from the monumental imperial cycle from the Julio-Claudian period to the numerous portraits, which are one of the special features of the collection, whose evocative layout will allow visitors to be accompanied by the faces of the ancient inhabitants on an ideal journey of discovery through ancient Aquileia.