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Historical Roads of Rome


Introduction

The reliefs of Trajan's Column portray in many scenes Roman soldiers in the act of constructing a road through the forests of Dacia. The ancient Romans may not have added too much to the design of temples, but their engineering skills marked a significant step forward in the control of the environment and in making everyday's life more comfortable: even in the most far-away province of the Empire they built roads, bridges, aqueducts, canals, harbours, baths, circuses.

Section of a Roman road
Section of a Roman road


Certainly travelling on a Roman road was not very comfortable: the large flat stones of basalt did not provide the continuity and smoothness of today's asphalts, but they are still where they were placed 2000 years ago: this because they were laid upon a multi-layer structure having a depth of 4 ft. which ensured their stability.
Stratum is the Latin word for layer and the Romans called their multi-layer roads via strata from which the words strada (Italian), street (English), strasse (German), straat (Dutch) have come.
The names of the historical roads departing from Rome can be grouped in three categories:
a) the most important roads were named after a consul (thus they are called consular roads): Cassia, Flaminia, Appia, Aurelia;
b) local roads were named after the town they reached: Nomentana, Tiburtina, Prenestina, Casilina, Tuscolana, Ardeatina, Ostiense, Portuense;
c) roads named after a particular use they were known for: Salaria, Trionfale.


Map

By hovering over the circles you can read the names of the roads and by clicking on them you can move to a short summary in this same page.

Map of the historical roads of Rome Ancient Rome 1) Via Cassia Ancient Rome 2) Via Flaminia Ancient Rome 3) Via Salaria Ancient Rome 4) Via Nomentana Ancient Rome 5) Via Tiburtina Ancient Rome 6) Via Prenestina Ancient Rome 7) Via Casilina Ancient Rome 8) Via Tuscolana Renaissance Rome 9) Via Appia (Nuova) Ancient Rome 10) Via Appia Ancient Rome 11) Via Ardeatina Ancient Rome 12) Via Ostiense Ancient Rome 13) Via Portuense Ancient Rome 14) Via Aurelia Ancient Rome 15) Via Trionfale
1850 ca. Map of the environs of Rome

1) Via Cassia: it branches off Via Flaminia at Ponte Milvio and leads to northern Italy through Viterbo, Siena and Florence; locations near Rome along Via Cassia shown in this website: S. Maria di Galeria, Isola Farnese and Formello.

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2) Via Flaminia: it starts at Porta del Popolo and it leads northwards to Rimini, a town on the Adriatic Sea; locations near Rome along Via Flaminia shown in this website: Prima Porta and Malborghetto.

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3) Via Salaria: it starts at Porta Salaria and it leads eastwards to S. Benedetto del Tronto again on the Adriatic Sea through Rieti and Ascoli; the road was used for the salt trade and it is named after it; locations near Rome along Via Salaria shown in this website: Ponte Salario.

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4) Via Nomentana: it starts at Porta Pia and it leads to the small town of Nomentum, today Mentana; locations near Rome along Via Nomentana shown in this website: S. Agnese fuori le Mura and Ponte Nomentano.

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5) Via Tiburtina: it starts at Porta Tiburtina and it leads to Tivoli, the ancient Tibur; locations near Rome along Via Tiburtina shown in this website: S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura and Ponte Mammolo.

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6) Via Prenestina: it starts at Porta Maggiore and it leads to Palestrina, the ancient Preneste; locations near Rome along Via Prenestina shown in this website: Tor de' Schiavi and Ponte di Nona.

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7) Via Casilina: it starts at Porta Maggiore and it leads to Casinum, today Cassino; locations near Rome along Via Casilina shown in this website: SS. Pietro e Marcellino.

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8) Via Tuscolana: it starts near Porta S. Giovanni and it leads to Tusculum, an ancient town, now abandoned near Frascati; locations near Rome along Via Tuscolana shown in this website: Porta Furba.

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9) Via Appia (Nuova): it starts at Porta S. Giovanni and by following in part the old Via Latina reaches Via Appia before Albano; locations near Rome along Via Appia Nuova shown in this website: Tombe della Via Latina.

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10) Via Appia: it starts at Porta S. Sebastiano and it leads to Brindisi (and across the sea to Greece): for its importance it was called Regina Viarum (Queen of the roads); locations near Rome along Via Appia shown in this website: Basilica di S. Sebastiano and Tomba di Cecilia Metella and many other monuments.

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11) Via Ardeatina: it branches off Via Appia near Basilica di S. Sebastiano and it leads to Ardea, a small town near the Tyrrhenian Sea; locations near Rome along Via Ardeatina shown in this website: SS. Nunziata and Santuario della Madonna del Divino Amore.

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12) Via Ostiense: it starts at Porta S. Paolo and it leads to Ostia; locations near Rome along Via Ostiense shown in this website: S. Paolo fuori le Mura.

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13) Via Portuense: it starts at Porta Portese and it leads to the lost harbour of Porto; locations near Rome along Via Portuense shown in this website: S. Passera.

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14) Via Aurelia: it starts at Porta S. Pancrazio and it leads to France through Civitavecchia, Pisa and Genoa; locations near Rome along Via Aurelia: Villa Corsini, Villa Pamphilj and Palidoro.

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15) Via Trionfale: its name derives by the fact that the consuls or the emperors returning to Rome after a victory preferred to branch off Via Cassia and enter Rome through Ponte Trionfale; locations near Rome along Via Trionfale: S. Francesco d'Assisi a Monte Mario.

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Other Directories The Streets of Rome