Loquis: L'Antica Via Flaminia

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L'Antica Via Flaminia


Published on:  2018-03-13 18:26:00


The original route of the ancient Via Flaminia began on the slopes of the Capitoline Hill in the heart of Rome.It left by the Servian Wall and continued straight on across the Via Lata, today's Via del Corso, to cross the Tiber on the Milvian Bridge. The road carried traffic towards the northern Adriatic coast, the lands taken over by Roman expansion. Today's itinerary begins at the Milvian Bridge. From here we can still see remains of the embankments and the ancient bridge, dating from two centuries before the birth of Christ. Traces of the road are visible inside the Carabinieri Corps establishment in Tor di Quinto. This area takes its name from a tower, today in ruins, which was built to mark the fifth mile of the road. Leaving Rome via the Due Ponti area, we come to Crescenza Castle, built around the 15th century; nearby there are also several funerary sites, the most interesting being the Nasoni Tomb and, in the Grottarossa area, the Fadilla Tomb, with mosaics and decorative paintings. Having passed Saxa Rubra, with its massive modern buildings housing the headquarters of the RAI broadcasting company, we arrive in Prima Porta, site of one of the capital's largest cemeteries.Some interesting archaeological sites are to be found here, such as the Villa di Livia, and the necropolises in nearby Malborghetto. We then reach Sacrofano, and continue through Riano, Castelnuovo di Porto, Morlupo and Capena. The fortified towns of Riano and Castelnuovo di Porto are home to two fascinating castles, very different in style and age. In Morlupo, the Palazzo Orsini is worth a stop, while in Capena there are the Civitucola archaeological sites. After Morlupo we pass Magliano Romano and a diversion takes us to Calcata, a highly picturesque and charming village. Built in the Middle Ages on its rocky spur, the village has retained intact its ancient appearance, despite the fact that it was abandoned for many years due to the risk of collapse of the rock where it stands. Calcata's location is the valley of the river Treja, within the Regional Natural Park of the same same, and here, surrounded by luxuriant nature, many archaeological finds and traces of ancient civilisations can be seen. An example is the ruins of the ancient settlement of Narce in Pizzo Piede. Nearby is another medieval village, Mazzano Romano. We turn back to re-join the Via Flaminia, and after passing close to Faleria, we come to Rignano Flaminio.Here is the picturesque church dedicated to Saints Vincenzo and Anastasio, and to the east, the catacombs and church of Saints Abbondio and Abbondanzio. On the other side of the road is Mount Soratte and the town of Sant'Oreste, in a land rich in medieval traces which evoke the religious character of the age and the economic activities linked to livestock rearing and coal production.We continue north and arrive at the small city of Civita Castellana in the province of Viterbo. A wonderful example of a medieval city built mainly in tufa stone, Civita Castellana has a lovely Cathedral whose crypt and portico are noteworthy, and just outside town, the church of Santa Maria dell'Arco.Numerous necropolises lie outside this town, originally an Etruscan settlement. The road continues past Borghetto, where the remains of a medieval castle and stronghold are still visible, then crosses Umbria and the Marche towards Romagna, outlining the route which soon after the fall of the Roman Empire would become one of the major thoroughfares of the Papal States.

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