Ancient Appian Way
In 312 BCE, during the Second Samnite War, the censor Appius Claudius Caecus began the construction of a new road connecting Rome with Capua, at that time the most important traffic hub of southern Italy, with the initial aim of enabling the advance of the Roman army southward.
The roadway was subsequently extended to Beneventum (Benevento) first, then to Venusium (Venosa) and finally arrived in Brundisium (Brindisi).
No Roman road ever reached the importance held by the Ancient Appian Way. The abundance of trade and the consequent high anthropic frequentation along its route facilitated the emergence of multiple economic and productive activities such as mutationes, mansiones, caupone, tabernae, hospitia, thermal complexes, such as the one at Capo di Bove, and suburban villas with agrarian functions and residential annexes, such as Villa dei Quintilii.
“There is a stern round tower of other days, Firm as a fortress, with its fence of stone, Such as an Army’s baffled strength delays, Standing with half its battlements alone, And with two thousand years of Ivy grown, The Garland of Eternity, where wave The green leaves over all by Time o’erthrown – Where was this tower of strength? within its cave What treasure lay, so locked, so hid? – A Woman’s grave.”