The Forum


The excavations carried out in 2005, at the crossroads of Corso Cavour and Via Garibaldi, led to the identification of the remains of the Forum located in the ancient Aquae Statiellae. Not far from this area, important Roman finds had already been brought to light in the past, such as those of the monumental structures of Via Galeazzo (that can be referred to a temple, perhaps directly linked to the same Forum) and of some sections of paving in piazza Addolorata, for sure related to public facilities. The archaeological survey in this area has revealed a large portion of the pavement belonging to the Forum square (made up of large limestone slabs, rectangular in shape), whose full extension is still impossible to specify, but it probably developed up to the present piazza Addolorata. In the south-eastern corner of the excavation area a square-shaped foundation was also identified, made up of pebbles and mortar and oriented according to the same pavement, which can be considered as a monumental basement for a statue. Such interpretation seems to be confirmed by the discovery, in the immediate surroundings, of a bronze finger belonging to a male statue, by far of larger dimensions if compared to the human size.

The big monumental complex was built on a free space which had never been used previously, in a quite suburban area of the ancient city. The abundant remains of architectural decoration found here (fragments of decorative frames and pilaster strips in addition to a large number of wall cladding panels, made of white and coloured marble) allow us to place, most likely, the realization of the Forum within the urban development activities started in the Augustan era (between the end of the 1st century BC and the early 1st century AD), a period that also saw the construction of the theatre and of the aqueduct. The high presence of visitors in the square lasted until the second half of the 3rd century, when a phase of progressive degradation and neglect of all the western side of the city started, with only sporadic presence of people still in the early Middle Ages (5th – 7th century).