Thanks to some archaeological sites in the town and surronding areas, Acqualagna provides the chance to experience an ancient past whose history lives in the artefacts and documents of authentic beauty which are a source of inspiration to new generations. Tourists may visit several museums in which they can learn about the history of the Truffle Capital.
Republican and Imperial Eras (Historic Palace)
A Cloistered courtyard
B Foodstuffs warehouse
C Area for grape and olive pressing
D Deposit for agricultural implements
E Weaving area
The building of Republican origin, constructed in the 2nd century B.C., was destroyed by a fire in the following century. It had a broad cloistered court yard (a peristyle) around which lay the structure, probably on two floors, containing housing, the working and stockpiling of agricultural products, and the deposit for agricultural implements (the structures concerning the production activity of the farm were identified as being on the east side).
THE IMPERIAL ERA
Already in the first part of the empirial era, a new farm had been built on the site partially overlapping previous structures, recovering some of the roof slates and stones. Two ambients on the west side have come to light: one used as a pressing room and the other adjacent structure containing a settling basin. The room used for grape and presumably olive pressing, has impermeable “coccio pesto” flooring going up to the walls which have also been covered using the same technique through a pad with quarter circle sections (pulvinus). In addition the lapis pedicinus (cm 1, 29 X 54) remain, that is the stone with holes or gaps to fit the mandrils of the press and the grooves for the flow of liquid from the press.
In the second room a settling basin has been constructed and is also covered in “coccio pesto”. The remains of grooves and leaden channels or fistula lead us to suppose the existence of other basins in the adjacent rooms which have not been dug up. Inside the large cloistered court yard the remains of two brick kilns have been uncovered with a circular base and diametre of about 3 metres, positioned on the collapsed layer of the Republican villa. The structures of the rustic villa dating back to the Imperial era were immediately identified in the west part of the excavation site, underneath the modern adjacent house, as indicated by the emerging material of the surrounding terrain, including small bricks attributable to the floor in “opus spicatum” (“spiked work”).
Not more than two kilomentres west from the Gola del Furlo,(Furlo Gorge) in Colombara, Acqualagna, a rustic villa has been identified and excavated. It had been built at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. and used until the end of the 1st century B.C.. A small part was rebuilt in the Imperial age.
The archeaological site, identified thanks to a trench built to contain the drainage system of the house, is located about 400 metres north of the via Flaminia, in correspondence to a slightly raised site where a perennial stream is still present. The site overlooks the small valley of Candigliano and appears to be located on the banks of the floodplain, probably along a pre-Roman path.
The three excavation campaigns carried out by the University of Urbino between 1995 and 1997, in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendency of the Marches and the support of Acqualagna council and the Province of Pesaro and Urbino, have highlighted two distinct phases of life, going back respectively to the last two centuries of the Republican and Imperial ages.
The building was constructed using small blocks of local limestone (pink limestone of the Furlo) worked quite painstakingly, whereas the columns of the colonnade had been made from travertine originating from Monte Nerone. The roofing, sustained by trabeation in wood, consisted of roof tiles. The flooring alternated solid small brick surfacing with herringbone tiling or Opus Signinum.
Close to Acqualagna there are some archaeological ruins belonging to the ancient via Flaminia, the main arterial road in the area dating back to Roman times and opened by in 220 B.C. by Gaio Flaminio to connect Rome to Ariminum (Rimini). The road went back up the Tevere valley up to the Apennines where, through the favourable Scheggia Pass (m 632), it then went down towards the Adriatic side along the Metauro valley up to Fanum Fortunae (Fano) from where it continued to Pisaurum (Pesaro) to reach as far as Rimini with a long stretch along the coastline.
In ancient times it represented the most important travel and trade hub essential as a link between Rome and northern Italy, as in Ariminum (Rimini) it linked up with the other consular roads built several decades later, including the via Aemilia (187 a.C.), which crossed the Padana Plain up to Placentia (Piacenza) and the via Popilia (132 a.C.) which followed the Adriatic coastline up to Hatria (Adria).
Museo Antiquarium Pitinum Mergens
The town Antiquarium Pitinum Mergens, inaugurated in 2002, is housed in the former site of the townhall, in a building probably dating back to the 16th century. It takes its name from the ancient Roman town of which the modern town is the successor. It was located in Pian di Valeria, Pole, about 4 kms from the current town in an area already densely settled in the prehistoric and protohistorical ages.
The Antiquarium contains descriptions of the town during the Roman period, showing the sites of the main archaeological findings such as the theatre, parts of the aqueduct, the remains of a Roman bath building and floor mosaics. Furthermore, material demonstrates the fundamental role the via Flaminia played in the military conquest and Romanisation of the area.
The special feature of this museum is that it offers visitors the opportunity to learn in detail about the structure, functions and typical materials of a Roman farm dating to between the Roman and Republican eras and the first century of the Imperial era. As a matter of fact artefacts from the excavation of a Roman country house unearthed in Colombara di Acqualagna are kept here. These were the result of excavation work carried out between 1995 and 1997 by the University of Urbino in collaboration with the Archeaological Superintendency of the Marches.