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The first port for ships on the Natissa (Natisone) en route to Aquileia, the most renowned commercial center in N Italy during the Roman period. Although the city was not autonomous its commercial importance is attested by frequent finds of tablets, sarcophagi, sculpture, as well as the bronzes that adorned its villas. The remains of one of these villas has come to light on the islet of Gorgo.

At the beginning of the 4th c. A.D. a castrum was erected at Grado with four or five gates protected by polygonal towers, one of which is still visible above ground.

In 452 Niceta, Bishop of Aquileia, took refuge briefly at Grado and also in the 5th c. began the construction of Grado's first Cathedral, the first church of S. Maria delle Grazie, and the Baptistery.


C. Costantini, Aquileia e Grado (1916); G. B. Brusin, Aquileia e Grado (1947); V. Degrassi, “Esplorazioni arch. nel territorio della laguna di Grado,” Aquileia nostra 21 (1950) coll. 5-24; 23 (1952) coll. 27-36; M. M. Roberti, Grado (1971); CIL V, 84.


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