VIA APPIA ANTICA FROM TORRE IN SELCI TO FRATTOCCHIE
Via Appia Antica is the part of Via Appia abandoned in the Middle Ages in favour of Via Appia Nuova which linked the main road to the south with the Lateran. The two roads join in Frattocchie near Albano. Via Appia Antica is today cut by the Circular Road of Rome near Torre in Selci at the VIIth mile of Via Appia. This page deals with the section of Via Appia Antica between the Circular Road and the junction with Via Appia Nuova. The map below (1928), without the many roads and buildings which now are flanking via Appia including the Circular Road, shows the section between two asterisks.
(the numbers in the map refer to a walk to Porta Furba).
Torre in Selci
The name refers to the flints (selci) of the Roman road
which were used in the XIIth century to erect a tower
on top of a Roman tomb. Via Appia Antica is on a slightly higher ground than Via
Appia and this tower had a commanding view over it.
In the Countryside
After Torre in Selci there are less monuments to see and not many people around. To the left one sees the arches of the aqueduct which provided water to Villa dei Quintili. There are several stretches of basolato, the original pavement of Via Appia.
Colonne d' Ercole
These columns are what is left of the precinct of a
temple built by Domitianus in honour of Hercules half-way between Rome and Alba (Albano).
Tomb of Quintus Verannius
Both buildings were the subject of many paintings and prints (including one by Piranesi). In 1789, Sir Richard Colt Hoare a rich Englishman, admirer of Horace, decided to follow the itinerary described by the poet in Satire 5 of Book 1, a record of the journey he made to Brindisi in 38 B.C.
Colt Hoare invited Carlo Labruzzi, a young painter and draughtsman, to join him in his journey along Via Appia and to draw its principal monument. Here below is the drawing of the two tombs (they are not actually as close as shown).
Abandoning the XXIst Century
After crossing Via di Fioranello, which leads to the nearby Ciampino Airport,
Via Appia Antica gets narrower and is unpaved. Although one can hear the
noise of the traffic in Via Appia Nuova, the site seems to belong to
another century. The ruins scattered around give the same emotions which were experienced by
the travellers of the past.
This large brickwork monument is thought to be the tomb
of the Emperor Gallienus. We are at the IXth mile of Via Appia: here
was the first "Mutatio" where mail messengers changed their horses.
The last part of Via Appia Antica continues to be flanked by the ruins of tombs some of which are of the size of a little hill. Via Appia was a straight line from Porta S. Sebastiano to Albano: in the picture above it is possible to notice Via Appia entering Albano a few miles from the location where the picture was taken. At some points the path gets very narrow.
In Frattocchie Via Appia Antica ends with some scenery.