Historical roads of Rome
The reliefs of
Trajan's Column portray in many scenes
Roman soldiers in the act of opening a road in the forests of Dacia. The ancient
Romans may not have added too much to the design of temples,
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.
For sure 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. 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.
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 Siena and Florence; locations near Rome along Via Cassia shown in this website: S. Maria di Galeria, Isola Farnese and Formello.
2) Via Flaminia: it starts at Porta del Popolo Milvio 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.
3) Via Salaria: it starts at Porta Salaria and it leads eastwards to S. Benedetto del Tronto again on the Adriatic Sea; 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Other Directories The Streets of Rome