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Discovering Roman Roads

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The roads : List of roads>Via Appia>Segment 1

Via Appia        Segment 1        from km 10,3 to km 13,3

Ring Road of Rome - Gallieno's sepulchre (Ad Nonum I)

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Our exploration through via Appia begins departing from the Ring Road, at the VII mile from Porta Capena (where via Appia originates).


The milestone indicating the distance has been relocated on the balustrade of the Capitol Square, S. Maria in Aracoeli's Church side, (whereas on the opposite side you can see the I mile).


The road, that goes straight for 24 km to Genzano, is flanked on both sides by stone walls delimiting gorgeous private estates. This piece of work, started in the 17th century together with other ones and meant to reestablish the glamour of the ancient "Regina viarum", were completed under Pope Pio IX in 1852.


Despite such works, the stretch of road that goes from the VII to IX miles appears today particularly deteriorated and has been therefore object of a conservation plan promoted by the Appia Park Authority. The original pavement and many monuments are however still visible.


At the intersection with the underpass of Ring Road, you can see a memorial cippus, placed in 2005 as a symbol of the three monotheist religions that flourished along via Appia. Past the intersection, our journey continues with the sight of a large number of graves and a semicircular building on the left. This interesting structure, with a damaged half-dome and adorned with marble and statues, might have been an exedra (*) burial, but others assumed that this imposing building was meant to symbolize the City's grandeur to the incoming visitors.


Further on the left a brick-built grave presents a high wall with two side niches for semi-columns and a central one for a statue.


A second grave on the left with columbarium (*) faces another grave on the right side of the road.


Past the intersection with via degli Armentieri, we can see a grave partly hidden by the vegetation an a large mausoleum (*) in concrete (*) opens on the right to a sacred area dedicated to Ercole.


The half columns visible there are the ruins of a four-porch built in the late republican age (*) to offer shelter to travelers.


A better preserved grave follows, similar to the previously mentioned one, with one of the semi columns still in perfect conditions.


Proceeding further down, a circular grave known as " Berretta del Prete " for its characteristic shape was transformed in a Church in the late Middle Ages but then abandoned.


After the crossing with via di Fioranello, at mile IX, a large mausoleum(*) and the sepulchre of Emperor Gallieno (AD 253-268), give the name statio Ad Nonum I . The building, a two storey circular room with a dome and surrounded by columns, is being restored.



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(*) See exedra, mausoleum, concrete, columbarium, republican age in glossary


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