Monday, 7 July 2014

The Via Appia Antica

This is the old Roman road that runs from Rome all the way south to Terracina in an almost straight line as most good ancient Roman roads do. It then continues further to the south to Brindisi. It passes very near our farming village and we regularly use it to go to Terracina or even up to Rome on an alternative route to the bigger road - the Pontina.

It's easy to take it for granted - it's just a road. But occasionally you are reminded of its great past when you pass the scattered Roman ruins and mausoleums. This greatness is at it's best near Rome, where there are old Roman buildings on either side of the Appian Way. The large ancient Roman slab stones are still in place on the road making driving very bumpy! Some of the ancient Roman slabs still have grooves dug into them from centuries of carts passing over them. Casual archaeological evidence of life thousands of years ago is evident throughout the region: an aqueduct here, an ancient bridge here. Part of the charm is in the casual nature with which they are treated. Unfortunately, this casual treatment also threatens the preservation of some ancient monuments as well as the lack of funds for their upkeep.

The two lines of the umbrella pines are an easy way to identify this road.



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