The new life of the ancient town of Carsulae

Carsulae chiesa

Carsulae was an ancient Roman city built along the route of the Via Flaminia, it became economically important because of its strategic location

A wide plateau along the ancient Flaminia, an archaeological park, a place where you can find the contact with nature, and be free to relax, play and learn.

This is the second life of the city of Carsulae. Built along the route of the Via Flaminia, it became economically important because of its strategic location. The Roman Town has come to us without superstructure of later ages, having been abandoned, the only later construction is the Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian, of the eleventh century, built with recycled materials on site.

Despite the continuing dispossession suffered (even just because of the abandonment of the site) and the excavations carried out after the World War II by Ciotti, in Carsulae the structure of the area for public buildings (the Forum) is still visible. We recognize the route of the Via Flaminia, which was the Cardo of the city, and the ruts of the wagons that crossed it; the bases of two twin temples, the Basilica, the amphitheater and the theater, as well as the arch of San Damiano (with three arches of which only the central stands up), that was the entrance to the city from the north side. Beyond it monumental tombs are visible.

Carsulae was a rather rich city, regional center of commerce, and had public baths which are currently under excavation .

But why Carsulae was abandoned? Perhaps for earthquakes or a sinkhole that jeopardized the stability of the buildings. You can see that the paving stones of the decumano are vertical instead of horizontal, and the same trend of the decumano, not perpendicular to the Cardo, supports the idea that the area was plagued by geological problems which probably caused the abandonment of the site.

And how much the inhabitants of Carsulae where? There are very many obscure points in the history of this site, in part because of the excavations conducted using methods far from the present ones. Now the diaries of Ciotti are being studied; we hope that many things unknown can be explained, and many findings, that arrived to us out of context, could find a location.

Here, as in all the places I have visited, what excites me like is the beauty of the area and the enthusiasm of the people. Monia takes me for a walk to the site telling me with passion with its peculiarities and Giorgio reveals to me the secrets in the open warehouse, where you can see the artifacts found during excavations: stone materials such as capitals, architraves, and the famous “cippi carsulani”: travertine blocks originally placed in the ground to indicate the underlying presence of a tomb; typical decorations are: the door, symbolizing the passage into the afterlife and the architectural shape of a temple.

In the warehouse is visible an ammonite, curious testimony of collecting the era of ancient Rome, there are also a number of oil lamps, terracotta objects of fine sealed , bright red tableware.

Carsulae is alive, thanks to the numerous events organized , the ” Buecherbaum ” the tree of books at the entrance of the site, where anyone can pick up and bring books.

Breathe the scents of the countryside, enjoy the scenery, take advantage of the beach chairs scattered around the site to read a book, listen to the silence, breathe peace, cross grazing sheep, living history , nature and art. This is Carsulae .

Are you thinking about a journey? click HERE!

by Benedetta Tintillini

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