The city used to be a thriving Roman City until it was sacked multiple times because of its exposed location. The remains of Altinum have been buried in some fields north of the Venice airport.
The foundations of the city have recently been rediscovered near Marco Polo Airport, seven miles north of Venice. They have been examined with a combination of visible and near-infrared photos of the area taken during a drought in 2007, when cropmarks in maize and soybean fields revealed the presence of brickwork and foundations beneath the plow zone. The traditional Roman grid plan, here with a canal that cut through the city, and the recognizable outlines of theaters and other public structures enabled Andrea Ninfo and colleagues from Padua University to make a detailed reconstruction of the city's topography and the network of canals and sluices that drained the marshy environment.