A few miles north, inland of Grado is Aquileia, a small town famous in Roman times for its wealth and military expertise. Remains of the Roman Empire, including a Roman Forum, can be seen all over town and in the National Archeological Museum. Aside from all the Roman ruins, a true gem of Aquileia is the church, the Basilica of S. Maria Assunta. Construction of the building began in the 4th century. Though extreme makeovers have been done to the Basilica since then, some of the original is still apparent, like the intricate mosaics from the time that are still intact. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the crypt and the apse were frescoed, adding to the incredible beauty within the church.
For more information on the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, a great site to visit is the http://www.regione.fvg.it/inglese/default.htm.