The Appian way
This is the most famous, the longest, the straightest of the old Roman roads, and also the best preserved. It starts, more or less, from the Baths of Caracalla and in an almost straight line, a good ninety kilometers, joins Terracina, Capua ( in Campania ), then goes through Benevento until it gets to Brindisi. It was the outlet of ancient Rome for traffic going East. It was called the “Regina viarum”, “queen of the roads”.
Begun in 312 BC by Appius Claudius, a censor who gave it his name, it was extended to Brindisi around 190 BC. It fell into disuse at the end of the Empire, was “rediscovered” during the Renaissance but was only restored in our century. It was built using extremely high standards of engineering ( it is only in this century that this technology was rediscovered ). The Appian Way consists of four different and paved strata four meters and ten centimeters wide, sidewalks on either side. and at the time of the ancient Romans was lined with trees. Many patrician tombs line it as it was customary then to bury the dead outside the city walls. To whoever travels along with it today the Appian Way gives rise to powerful pictures – of wagons, people, armies, traveling merchants – and because of the many ancient tombs, the sacredness of death.
The Roman Catacombs
The catacombs are underground burial places, dug by the first Christians between the 2nd and the 3rd century to bury their deads and among them some martyrs, too; their presence made the Catacombs real veneration places and this import has remained unaltered during the centuries till now.