Appia Road Segment 01

From “Grande Raccordo Anulare (G.R.A.)” of ROME-Appia exit to Sepulchre of Emperor GALLIENUS


We begin our exploration of the Appia road from Rome’s “Grande Raccordo Anulare”.

We are at the VII mile from Porta Capena, the original milestone of the VII mile is now on the balustrade of the Campidoglio, and on the opposite side is that of the I mile.

From here to Genzano the road continues straight for 24 km and, as far as Frattocchie, it is lined with stone walls separating it from private land. This work, along with others begun in the 17th century to restore the historical and monumental aspects of the ancient ‘Regina viarum, were completed under Pope Pius IX in 1852.

Nevertheless, the section from the 7th to the 9th mile is particularly degraded and is the subject of an environmental restoration plan of the Appia Antica Regional Park. However, the original pavement and many monuments are still visible.

At the subway of the “Grande Raccordo Anulare” a memorial stone was placed in 2005 symbolising the three monotheistic religions that accompanied the history of the Appia  road.

Then we see to the left several sepulchres and a large semicircular building with a collapsed semi-dome. This, adorned with marbles and statues, may have been a sepulchral exedra (*), or according to others, an imposing building to impress travellers on their arrival in URBE, the ancient name for ROME.

Further to the left we see a brick an aedicula sepulchre (*) with three niches, for two semi-columns and a statue.

Further on to the left we see a columbarium sepulchre (*)and to the right an undescribed high sepulchre.

Shortly after the junction with “via degli Armentieri“, on the right we find a sepulchre half-submerged by vegetation and a concrete (*) mausoleum sepulchre (*). Immediately beyond, another mausoleum sepulchre followed by an open space with a forest of truncated columns belonging to a four-sided portico of the late Republican age (*) dedicated to the mythological deity Silvanus and built for the rest and refreshment of travellers, or according to others, a sacred area dedicated to the mythological hero Hercules.

Next on the left is another aedicule sepulchre similar to the previous one, but in better condition as an intact half column is in place in a niche.

Also on the left we see another circular sepulchre known as the “Berretta del Prete“(Priest’s Berretta) because of its characteristic shape. In the early Middle Ages it was converted into a church but later abandoned.

After the junction with the “via di Fioranello” and the adjacent “via dell’aeroscalo”, we find another mausoleum sepulchre and then at the 9th mile, the statio Ad Nonum I , the sepulchre of the Emperor Gallienus (253-268 AD). The building consists of a circular chamber on two floors covered by a dome and surrounded by columns.


(*)   See : aedicula sepulchre,
columbarium sepulchre,
mausoleum sepulchre,
Republican age

in glossary.