Location: Piazza Caduti della Libertà

We are in Largo del Santuario della Madonna delle Grazie, just outside Porta Reale (Royal Gate) on the layout of the medieval old town city walls. It is precisely in this extreme stretch of promontory, south-east towards the point in which the Tordino river and the Vezzola stream flow together, that the Iron Age village but also the proto-urban settlement of the Pretuzi, a paleo-Sabellic ethnic group, and the Roman city of Interamnia, or perhaps Interamna, Praetut(t)iorum, begin to take shape.


The area was investigated in the early nineties of the last century and returned to the city in 2000 with the inauguration of the small urban park known as "the domus of Largo Madonna delle Grazie". The complex is made accessible through equipped paths and footbridges that allow to look closely at part of the structures brought to light. The most important rooms, with decorated floors and painted plasters, are protected by a high freestanding steel roof, built in the late nineties of the last century, just after the excavations of the former Archaeological Superintendency of Abruzzo. Thanks to a new enhancement project currently being implemented, it will soon be possible to revisit this extraordinary complex thanks to new fruition systems and knowledge instruments which will allow visitors to understand the ancient configuration of our city.


The structures of the most ancient domus, from the late Republican period (second half of the 2nd - first quarter of the 1st century BC), are set up on the levelled remains of the proto-urban habitation with walls made of terracruda and river pebbles, wrought floors with rich geometric decorations that revolve around a large central peristyle. A large U-shaped concrete basin which cuts through the previous rooms, on the north-west side of the peristyle testifies of the restructuring carried out during the imperial era. The excavations have documented phases of life and attendance until the end of the Roman world, then the destruction and levelling of the ancient city with the subsequent displacement of the walls on the current outline.


The basic geometric motif is that of lozenges enclosed in a large continuous meander frame. Two of these floors are characterized by the central lozenge motif inscribed in a large double-edged full circle, enclosed in a swastika meander frame, alternated with and modulated by connecting squares. The substantial difference between the two floor decorations resides in the presence of two different angular decorative motifs that balance and symmetrically close the composition, embellishing and connoting the rooms: four opposing caduceus in the largest floor, four dolphins in the other. Recent restoration work has allowed to relocate in situ, on recomposed terracruda walls of the so-called caduceus environment, a large portion of painted plaster enriched with imitation marble incrustations of the first Pompeian style.


Comparable cultural elements are to be found in Rome, Ostia, Pompeii, Anzio, Syracuse, Solunto, S. Maria Capua Vetere, Los Ruices di Requena in Spain, Carthage. The site of Madonna delle Grazie is undoubtedly the place to meet for a pleasant walk to rediscover the ancient Interamnia, which can conclude itself with a visit to the great public monuments: the theatre and the amphitheatre, to the north-west near the cathedral, on the opposite side of the promontory where the new city will be planned in the 15th century.


Teramo in one day

Use the Discover Teramo app as if it were a tourist guide: start the app, activate the location, the bluetooth and make sure you have an active data connection.
Walk around the city and when you arrive approximately 30m from a place of interest, a notification will tell you the information of the place.

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