20 August 2009

Via Antica


Roman Roads

"All roads lead to Rome". When you spend much time in Italy, not just around Rome, it does seem that all roads do eventually lead to Rome and that is for good reason. Many of the roads used today in Italy and other parts of Europe were built by the Romans as ways to access their Empire from the capital city. You may not be able to see the original road but that asphalt highway, country road or even many modern city streets are built over roads laid down by the Romans over 2000 years ago.

Rome, Grumentum, Venosa

The first major road the Romans built to their expanding empire was the Appia Antica (Appian Way) constructed in the third century BC by Appius Claudius Caecus. Outside of Rome you can still walk on parts of this ancient highway…now that is a well built road. These engineering marvels have survived in part due to their excellent base and a surface of crystalline basalt block, using materials readily available in and around Rome.

We have been able to walk on these roads outside the Colosseo in Rome and in various cities around Italy. As you walk along these routes it is hard not to imagine the history that has passed over their surfaces during the past 2000 years.

Roman road outside Anzio

8 comments:

Jane said...

Brian, this would be a good entry for Italian Postcards.

Nocturnal Queen said...

Love that first picture with its stone floor/road and the archway.

Bryan said...

Jane - I'm not sure what Italian Postcards would be.

NQ - That photo is from Terracino, the Roman road was uncovered after bombing during WWII.

Jane said...

Bryan,isn't Italian Postcards the name of the little blurbs that are delivered via e-mail each day (but currently on vacation.) Valerie has contributed to it as have I. Maybe I'm not remembering the name correctly.

Tuscan Way said...

Tuscany is a majestic, enchanting place. Where else can you drink wine relaxing in the vineyard it was grown, sleep in historic villas, and learn to cook from master chefs. Take a look at some of my photos at http://www.tuscanway.com/tuscany/photos/. Enjoy!

Bryan said...

Jane - I think you mean Italian Notebook. http://www.italiannotebook.com/

They do have some great stories but we now put these kind of stories on Italy Panorama.

carol in dc said...

Hi Bryan, I agree that Roman roads are totally fascinating. I too love to ponder their construction, and the history they've weathered. Last month, I finally got to the archeological site at Ostia Antica. Great roads too, real ankle turners :)

Bryan said...

Carol - Ostia Antica does have some very uneven roads. That is a great place for a day trip from Roma, or to stretch you legs after a long trans-Atlantic flight.