A few hundred metres to the north of the Cathedral stands what is known as the “San Mauro Monastery”. In reality, this church was in existence at Equilo from as early as the 9th century and was converted several times over the Middle Ages. Its remains, as demonstrated by historic sixteenth-century maps, had already been partially brought to light in 1954. After this initial exploration however the site was abandoned and became covered with vegetation and debris. Due to recent archaeological excavations commencing, it has finally been possible to bring back to light these remains but there is more: the archaeologists expect to reconstruct the vicissitudes experienced by the compound and the surrounding environment over a long period, from Late Antiquity until the end of the Middle Ages.
The 2018-2019 excavations led to the discovery of exceptionally well preserved testimonies, including:
- the traces of a smaller, older church, probably dating back to the 9th century.
- a three-aisled church with raised presbytery area dating back to the 11th century.
- the wood and stone foundations of a mighty bell tower beside the 11th century church.
- numerous graves in the burial ground presumably located next to both the oldest church and the more recent one, which represent the Medieval population of Equilo.
- a Venetian-style well surrounded by portico next to the church, probably in use until the 14th century.
- a wharf made of wooden and stone structures, not far from the church and along the San Mauro canal, one of Equilo’s most important communication routes in the Middle Ages.
- the remains of a dugout, in other words a boat made from the hollowed trunk of a single oak tree, found next to the wharf.
These discoveries are of fundamental importance and will not only enhance the cultural heritage and rewrite the history of the local area and its inhabitants, they will also create a new shared identity for the present-day citizens of the town of Jesolo, and those of tomorrow