Via Appia Antica
Via Appia Antica, Rome, Italy
Via Appia Antica Rome Reviews
Via Appia Antica Dec 28, 2011
312 BC Appius Claudius Caecus constructs the first 90 kilometers of the new road
Fact about Appius Claudius Caecus: “He promoted the founding of new Roman colonies throughout Latium and Campania to protect Rome against their Samnite enemy during the Second Samnite War. In 312 BC he was elected censor even though he at this time had not been a consul. It was during his time in office he started the construction of a road between Rome and Capua.”
So why do they claim all road leads to Rome? Well because it used to be the case. Before the Roman Empire expanded its territory outside the city of Rome there were no major roads connecting the different parts of Europe. If you would trade with other settlements you would have to use the ocean or the rivers - or just have plenty of time to go through the country side. When the power of Rome rose - they quickly realized they need better connections around the empire - especially since during the early days of the Roman Empire it was a landlocked empire with the Phoenicians dominating the seas outside Rome. Rome needed roads to facilitate trade and enable them to move their armies from one part of the empire to another - quickly.
The first of the roads the roman constructed was the Via Appia which connected Rome with the newly acquired southern provinces. When the road was finally finished in 190 BC all the way to Brindisi it shortened the trade route to Greece significantly.
Today most of the area around the ancient Via Appia Antica is a cultural park - there are lots of ancient monuments along the road. The most famous of the monuments is the ancient catacombs with the old Christian graves. The catacombs was built out here since it was not allowed to burry people within the walls of Rome - hence they had to go out along the Via Appia - it wasn’t just the Christians who buried their dead out along the road - lots of wealthy roman families also built memorials along the road.
In addition to the monuments next to the road - you can also just stroll along the road on the ancient rocks - some of which look like they might be original. You can walk the road - but it’s a pretty long walk - or you can rent a bike from somewhere and ride along the road instead. I walk a part of the road - but not all of it.
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