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Late antiquity necropolis and religious buildings at the “Centro Turistico Culturale San Basilio” – Ariano nel Polesine

Via San Basilio 12 – 45012 Ariano nel Polesine (RO)
– Fax 0426 372095

The archaeological area attached to the Centre “Centro Turistico Culturale San Basilio” conserves some remains of the ancient settlement in the area, and particularly the evidences of a big architectural compound of early Christian times. The compound included a church, an octagon baptistery and a small necropolis with “cappuccina” tombs.

History of research

The first discoveries in the Forzello estate at the locality “San Basilio” near Ariano Polesine date back to 1980, whereas the excavations have been carried out at various times since 1983. With the objective of arranging the archaeological area which can be visited today, further excavations have been undertaken by the General Direction for Archaeological Heritage in the Veneto region between 2005 and 2007.

Urban and geographical context

The village of “Ariano nel Polesine” is located about 40 km from Rovigo on the island of Ariano, a territory of the Po Delta included between the Po river branches “Po di Goro” and “Po di Venezia”.


In the last decades the area at “San Basilio” has allowed to recover a relevant amount of archaeological artefacts from the early settlements in this territory. The artefacts date back to the archaic times (VI-V century B.C.), when this territory was frequented by Etruscans, Greeks and people of the Veneto culture and when it was a flourishing trades centre in the whole east-central Mediterranean and in Etruria. In Roman times (II century B.C.) the construction of an important consular road, the “via Popillia”, which started in Rimini and headed up to Adria, brought a new vitality in this territory. The so-called “mansio Hadriani” was built here, a staging post that has been largely documented through the excavations in the Eighties and whose remains are exhibited today at the Centre “Centro Turistico Culturale San Basilio”. At the end of the Roman Empire this place became one of the most ancient centres for Christian religion in the province of Rovigo, as it has been discovered through the most recent excavations. The remains which are conserved today in the archaeological area of San Basilio belong to this religious centre, and particularly include a necropolis with “cappuccina” tombs (or “tile tent” tombs, covered with overlapping tiles forming a tent-like structure) and the early Christian compound with octagonal baptistery.


Admission: Negli orari di apertura

Visitability: Esterno e Interno

Ticket: No

School access

Disabled access

Opening Times

Opening Days
Tipology When Specs
Daylight saving time Friday 9.00-12.30
Daylight saving time Saturday 10.00-12.00, 15.30-19.30
Daylight saving time Sunday 10.00-12.00, 15.30-19.30
Daylight saving time Thursday 9.00-12.30
Normal time Saturday 10.00-12.00, 15.00-17.30
Normal time Sunday 10.00-12.00, 15.00-17.30

Open all festivities except S. Stephen (26 December). 15 August: 15.30-19.30.

Recommended tour time (minutes): 40

Services for visitors




Rest points

Educational Services

Guide a stampa
The guide-book is under re-printing

Information boards

Multilingual ads: Inglese
Brochure and panels in Slovenian

Guided Tours

Educational activities

Library and documentation centre

Other activities
Projections room (30 people) and conference room (100 people)


De Min M. 1986, L’abitato arcaico di San Basilio di Ariano Polesine, in L’Antico Polesine, pp. 171-184.
Salzani L., Vitali D. 1988, L’abitato arcaico di San Basilio di Ariano Polesine, in Quaderni di Archeologia del Veneto, IV, pp. 37-40.
Bonetto J. 2009, Veneto (Archeologia delle Regioni d’Italia), Roma, pp. 389.

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