Roman port on Biferno’s mouth

Archeology · Campomarino

Recent reconnaissances along Molisan coastline discovered a new archaeological area near the mouth of Biferno river: a vast surface with ancient materials, 200-meters long, near the Adriatic railway in the hamlet of Marinelle Vecchie.

The artificial slope where the tracks lie, 8-meters higher than the ground, and the filling created after the construction of the highway, are an impassable hurdle to define the extension of the archaeological site. Anyway it’s clear that it continues under the railway bed.

The Roman port is located not far from the Renaissance Coast Tower of Campomarino, today disappeared, where once there was probably the ancient mouth of Biferno. The ruins date back from the 3rd century B. C. E. until the 7th century C. E. In the area, a first archaeological test was carried on by the Archaeological Supervisor of Molise and the University of Molise during Summer 2007. Works continued in 2008, discovering a necropolis slightly damaged by agriculture. Prospectings made in 2007 and 2008 located a wide area with rests of structures on the riverside, which could remind an ancient port. Successive tests carried in 2008 showed a necropolis and rests of a settlement. The excavations mostly discovered materials from the Roman period coming from a nearby site and Byzantine graves and coins. This area has been covered again.

While the classic sources referring to this part of the coast don’t offer consistent information, early medieval documents show the presence of a port at Biferno’s mouth, connected with Larino. This presence, however, doesn’t exclude another port near the promontory where the old town of Termoli lies. Al-Idrisi, famous Arab geographer who lived in the Norman age, writes that both Termoli and Campomarino are harbours: the mention of Campomarino much probably hides the ancient port on the Biferno. This distinction is evident in a document from the late 13th century of the Angevin Chancellery: Pro notario Ansaldo de Termulis. Item eodem die et in simili forma scriptum est notario Ansaldo de Termulis, de exercendo eodem officio in Termulis et in portubus Biferni, Saxionis [Saccione], Fortorii et Trini, sub expensis IIII unciarum.


Campomarino - Contrada Marinelle Vecchie – Vicino Foce Biferno

Site is visitable and accessible
Phone number

0874 427313


Opening time

Always open.

Useful links

Website Samnitium