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    Associazione Appia Antica ETS

    Via di San Sebastiano





    Villa Barbara is located in the Archaeological Park of the Appian Way and on The Appian Way that was once the world’s most important road. It was the widest and largest road of its time and the most famous of all the roads that radiated from Rome towards the far ends of the Roman Empire. It was called the “Regina Viarum”, or “queen of roads” and was the reason for the famous saying “all roads lead to Rome”. The road today is remarkably well preserved, flanked on both sides by fields punctuated with monumental ruins and other vestiges of Roman and Christian history. Below the road there are miles of tunnels – known as Catacombs, where the early Christians and Jews buried their dead

    The Road is named after Appius Claudius, the Roman censor who began and completed the first section as a military road to the south in 312 BC and was constructed in order to make a fast and reliable communication between Rome and Capua. Via Appia began at the Circus Maximus, passing along the Baths of Caracalla, and later, the Aurelian Wall. The whole distance of the original road was 132 miles and it took 5-6 days to make the trip. The first stretch was a straight 30 mile line between Rome and Terracina, with the last 10 miles being flanked by an artificial canal that allowed the weight to be put on small boats. The road was lengthened several times until arriving to Brindisi on the Adriatic coast, where boats left for Egypt, Greece, and North Africa. It took about 13 days to complete the 365 miles journey. The Appian Way was revolutionary for the time. It was paved with large “Basoli”, basalt rock in polygonal shape and was the first Roman road to feature the use of lime cement. The surface was said to have been so smooth that you could not distinguish the joints. The roads Width was 14 roman feet (4.15 meters), wide enough to allow two chariots to pass in an opposite direction. The road was crested in the middle for water runoff, and had ditches on either side of the road, protected by retaining walls.