Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A trip to the countryside along the ancient Appian Way

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My fantasy trip to the countryside would be a long walk along the ancient Roman highway, the Appian Way, which was begun about 312 B.C. One of our daughters just returned from 2 weeks in Italy, stirring memories.  From Rome, the Appian Way climbed up the hills of Italy's southern tip to the ports of Naples, Bari, Taranto, Brindisi, & Reggio. Including branch roads, it was over 350 miles long & was an average of 20' wide. Along most of the road, a crown-shaped base of heavy lava stone blocks irregularly cemented together provided good drainage for passing feet & wheels. The first 3 miles of the road in Rome are still heavily used by cars & buses, but from then on traffic is very light & the ruins dotting the road can be explored on foot. It is, in fact, a very straight line through the Italian countryside.















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