10. The archeological area of the roman road beneath the Cathedral

In the area beneath the vestries of the Cathedral it is possible to visit a stretch of a Roman road that was found in 1948 during the repair of the church after it was severely damage during the war. The road, which is 3.80 m wide, is oriented roughly east-west and is paved with trachyte stones and flanked by pavements (crepidines).
In the layout of the municipium of Vicetia, this stretch was part of the road that ran parallel to the primary east-west axis (decumanus maximus) 75 m further South. This main thoroughfare was the urban portion of the via Postumio, a route that corresponds almost exactly to today’s corso Palladio.
Next to this part of the Roman road is a milestone that was reused in the foundations of one of the pla-ces of worship that preceded the present Cathedral. It is dedicated to Emperor Graziano by the civitas – probably the citizens of Vicenza – and features the description “eight miles”.
Dating from between 375 and 378 AD., this milestone must have been part of the road that led from Milan to Aquileia, partly covering the route of the ancient via Postumia. The eight mile (slightly less than 12 km) distance indicated on the milestone shows that its original location must have been in a part of the route that was close to Vicenza.

The paved road (Archive of the Veneto Regional Board for Archaeological Heritage)

The paved road (Archive of the Veneto Regional Board for Archaeological Heritage)

Hypothetical reconstruction (Graphic representation by Lucrezia Cuniglio, Archive of the Veneto Regional Board for Archaeological Heritage)

Hypothetical reconstruction (Graphic representation by Lucrezia Cuniglio, Archive of the Veneto Regional Board for Archaeological Heritage)