Appia Antica Park is a regional protected area gazzeted by regional law n°66 of November 10th 1988.
The Park’s aims are conservation and enhancement of its territory to allow people to enjoy the extraordinary scenic beauty, to learn about and study this fundamental historic, artistic and natural heritage.
The History talk about the consul Appio Claudio gave his name to the route of a new road to reach Campania and then Brindisi. This new road was paved with large smooth stones that fitted together perfectly, laid on a bed of gravel that ensured stability and drainage. This meant that it was viable in any weather and with any means of transport. With this revolutionary technique the Republic and the Empire was to build the vast network of roads throughout the Roman world. The roads are almost always straight, about 4,10m wide, a width that allows two-way traffic, with two footpaths to the side and mileposts. The Appia quickly earnt itself the title of ‘Regina viarum’, the queen of roads.
Numerous burial constructions are to be found along the first few miles of the road in accordance with the law that forbade burial within the holy walls of Pomerio: there are monuments belonging to important families, columbaria built by confraternities who formed to give their members a decent burial and underground cemeteries belonging to ethnic or religious groups. We can see here the stratification of a priceless historic, cultural and artistic heritage.
Th Park offers to visitors a journey through the evolution of its territory from its original landscape to one modified by human presence and settlements to the birth of a great road infrastructure – the most important in ancient times – to the present scenery, the result of the collapse of a great political and social system followed by a long period of decay and decadence recently modified by a more serious approach with efforts to recover, reinstate and safeguard.
The Park territory also includes Valle della Caffarella, with the river Almone running through it. It is the most important scenic element reflecting ancient agricultural use close to the city, but it also has a wealth of important monuments from a variety of periods like the temple of the god Redicolo, the Ninfeo di Egeria, the church of Sant’Urbano, the medieval towers; the Tombe Latine and the Parco degli Acquedotti, with the imposing ruins of the conduits that supplied the city with water.
The landscape is the aspect the natural or man-made elements of a certain territory take. Appia Antica area was directly affected by the Lazio volcano’s activity which began about 600 thousand years ago.
The area was shaped by Capo Bove lava flow which created the flat platform on which the road was built. On top of the volcanic activity came weathering which modified the characteristic undulating aspect.