7. The Forum

The forum was the public complex at the centre of the political, administrative, religious, and economic life of the Roman city. Located in a central position and in proximity of the most important roads, it was a large, paved square flanked by colonnades. The main temple of the city, the civil basilica (seat of the judiciary and hub of commercial negotiation), the curia (seat of the municipal council) and other public buildings were located on or near the square.
In Vicenza, key discoveries made in the centre of the city between 1987 and 1990 allowed the Forum’s location and main features to be established.
As shown in the reconstruction drawing, the monumental complex was divided into two areas, sharply separated by the decumanus maximus (the route largely followed by today’s corso Palladio).
To the South, a square with porticoes -located in what is now the Western part of piazza dei Signori and the adjacent area- was dedicated to civic activities.
To the North, the sacred area featured a temple on a raised platform, again surrounded by a portico.
The framework of the complex must have been constructed in the last decades of the first century BC.
A small part of the ancient square, paved with rectangular slabs of trachyte, is still visible in the basement of palazzo Trissino, at the intersection of contra’ Cavour and corso Palladio.
The depth is remarkable respect to the current ground level.

Paving slabs (Archive of the Veneto Regional Board for Archaeological Heritage)

Paving slabs (Archive of the Veneto Regional Board for Archaeological Heritage)

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

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