Via Appia Antica Roman Road

Last Friday I wrote about my recent visit to the incredible 2000-year-old Roman Arena in Pula, Croatia. Today I’m returning to Ancient Rome, to a structure that’s even older.

Everyone knows of the Romans’ love of roads, the military super-highways of their day. One of the earliest examples was the Via Appia Antica, the Appian Way. The first section of the road, which began at the Forum in Rome, was built in the year 312 BC by Appius Claudius Caecus, after whom it was named. In 190 BC, it was extended all the way to Brundisium (modern day Brindisi) in southern Italy, 350 miles from the Empire’s capital.

The Forum in Rome marked the start of the Via Appia Antica

The Forum in Rome marked the start of the Via Appia Antica

The fact that original sections of the Via Appia Antica still survive is a testament to the skill with which it was constructed. In 2010, I visited a stretch on the outskirts of Rome itself, still lined by mausoleums where the Roman elite were buried.

A section of the Via Appia Antica, on the outskirts of Rome

A section of the Via Appia Antica, on the outskirts of Rome

The mausoleum of Roman noblewoman, Cecilia Metella

The mausoleum of Roman noblewoman, Cecilia Metella

In 1302-3, Cecilia Metella's tomb (just visible on the extreme left) was incorporated as a defensive tower into a Castrum (basically, a castle)

In 1302-3, Cecilia Metella’s tomb (just visible on the extreme left) was incorporated as a defensive tower into a Castrum (basically, a castle)

It was an amazing experience to walk on the very stones laid there over 2300 years ago by Roman craftsmen and slaves. In places, the surface of the road is scoured by long, deep ruts made by centuries of pedestrian and wooden-wheeled traffic.

Sue on the Via Appia Antica

Sue on the Via Appia Antica

Even during the day, it was easy to imagine a midnight Roman funeral procession heading down to one of the mausoleums. Or a Legion marching smartly out on a routine patrol, or perhaps to war. Or the 6000 men from Spartacus’s slave army, crucified along a 120 mile stretch of the Via Appia Antica in 71 BC.

The remnants of a mausoleum along the Via Appia Antica

The remnants of a mausoleum along the Via Appia Antica

This post was inspired by the theme Roads, from Cee of Cee’s Photography.

If the Via Appia Antica makes your imagination run riot like mine, why not sign up and follow my continuing Journeys here at Jaspa’s Journal, or through my brand new websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram?

And if that’s not enough for you, there are now three Jaspa’s Journey novels to enjoy as ebooks! Perfect for Kids 8 – 80!

Jaspa's Journey Logo (Bigger Bucket)

Advertisements

About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: www.jaspasjourney.com And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
This entry was posted in Europe, History, Jaspa's Journey, Photography, Travel and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Via Appia Antica Roman Road

  1. Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing this historical information about Roman road. It’s amazing what they did 2300 years ago…

    • Jaspa says:

      You’re welcome, Amy. Those Romans certainly knew a thing or two. Although what’s perhaps even more amazing is how much of it was forgotten when their Empire collapsed.

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    I’m with Amy it seems incredible what was accomplished those many years ago. I really like the perspective and angle of the pathway photo.

    • Jaspa says:

      Thanks, Sue. I’m amazed that we don’t have more photos of the monuments, or even inside Cecelia Metella’s tomb. Rich must have been having an off day!

  3. David Snape says:

    You can probable explore Rome for about four weeks and you still find new, ancient areas you haven’t seen. Just an incredible place.

  4. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge-Roads | WoollyMuses

  5. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Roads | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

I'd love to hear what you've got to say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s