his ancient route of Roman communication ran vertically across the Friuli Venezia Giulia region, departing from the sea and arriving at the mountains, running through notable places and cities of particular historical and artistic interest.
From Grado it one need only travel a few kilometres to the north (SS 352) to reach neighbouring Aquileia, one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire: it is of exceptional cultural value, declared by UNESCO as a site of historical and archaeological patrimony of humanity. Founded in 181 AD, Aquileia one can take a walking tour of the archaeological excavations, which have been brought back to the light of the old river port, the markets, the houses of the nobility, the forum and the Via Sacra; to these one can add also the Museo Archeologico Nazionale (National Archaeological Museum), the Museo Paleocristiano (the Paleo-Christian Museum) Grado Augustaand the Patriarchal Basilica, which contains the largest mosaics of the Western world.
Continuing along the SS 352 autoroute, some 30 km from Grado, one comes across the two castles of Strassoldo with their wonderful medieval villages, and also the unique, fortified city of Palmanova. It was constructed in 1593 by the Venetians to defend its borders in Friuli against the Turkish invasions. Conceived as a war machine, its nine-pointed star shape was determined to serve specific military orders. In 1960, it came to be declared as a National Monument.
Continuing further to the north along the same route, one comes across the city of Udine (45km from Grado), the historical and cultural center of the people of Friuli, with its elegant pedestrian zone which extends below the castle, is the ideal location to pass a calm afternoon of walking amidst its refined shops.