Appian Way , An Infamous Ancient Roman Road III

Like many great pieces to the ancient history puzzle, leaders of the future remember the past and are interested in restoration. In this article, you will learn who led the preservation of the old Appian Way, as well as the construction of a new one. Additionally, significant attractions found along the road are also highlighted, such as ancient Roman bridges and a mausoleum paying homage to a former emperor.

Restoration of Appian Way

Following the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the Appian Way was no longer looked upon as a major road. However, Pope Pius VI ordered for the restoration of this ancient attraction. In 1784, a fresh Appian Way was construction and positioned parallel to the old one. It reached into the Alban Hills region and was given the name ‘via Appia nuova.’ The old section became a tourist attraction referred to as ‘via Appia antica.’ There are wide pieces of the original road that has survived with great efforts of preservation. In Velletri, parts of the old road are actually used by automobiles.

If you pay a visit to the part of the road situated close to Rome, a collection of tombs and catacombs belonging to Romans and early Christians reside. The first mile of the road is also home to the Church of Domine Quo Vadis. Even today, the Via Appia contains the longest piece of straight road located in Europe.

Appian Way Monuments and Other Great Finds

A nice trip to the Appian Way will bring you closer to an assortment of ancient monuments. Head for the IVth mile to reach Porta Appia , the gate of the Aurelian Walls. The Vth mile reveals the Mausoleum of the Orazi and Curiazi; Villa dei Quintili (offering a ninpheum, theatre, and baths); and the Mausoleum of Casal Rotondo. Head for the VIth and beyond to explore the beauty of the Temple of Hercules, Torre Selce, Minucia tomb, and the Berrettia di Prete (which served as a tomb and then later as a church).

The Mausoleum of Gallienus is also found here, which pays homage to Publius Licinius Egnatius Gallienus (218 , 268) , a co-emperor during the Roman Empire. He ruled from 253 to 260 with his father Valerian and then took over as a Roman Emperor on his own from 260 to 268. When he assumed control, the empire was undergoing times plagued with hard times and crisis.

The remains of various ancient Roman bridges are also found along the Appian Way, which includes the Ponte di Vigna Capoccio, Viadotta di Valle Ariccia, Ponte di Tre Ponti, Ponte Alto, and Ponte Antico.


Sadly, according to a recent New York Times article , the majestic Appian Way road that serves as a reminder of a glorious past is plagued by vandalism and congested traffic jams. It seems that illegal development is also a practice that threatens this ancient gem.