Appia Road Segment 16

From CAPUA (Casilinum) to VILLA GALAZIA (Calatia)


This segment is completely lost in the urban structure of present-day Capua, corresponding to ancient Casilinum, and of the contiguous Santa Maria Capua Vetere, corresponding to ancient Capua.

At the entrance to Capua, the Latina road (today Casilina road) converged with the Appia road and crossed the Volturno river via a monumental Augustean bridge (*) , destroyed in 1943 during the Second World War.

Access to the bridge from the countryside had been protected by Emperor Frederick II di Svevia (1194-1250) in 1239 with two towers and a monumental gate, but it was destroyed a first time in 1557 by the Spanish.

Present-day Santa Maria Capua Vetere took its name from the ancient one, as it assumed considerable importance in the Middle Ages, as attested by the Norman castle and the beautiful palaces and streets. It is also home to the Museo Campano, which preserves archaeological material related to the ancient history of Capua.

At the entrance to Santa Maria Capua Vetere (**) we find Hadrian’s Arch, originally an imposing work with three arches, of which three bare piers and only one archway remain today.

A little further on, on the left, the amphitheatre (photo 1 and photo 2) (*) is preserved in good condition, second in size after the Colosseum.

At the exit of the town we find two important and original sepulchres preserved in good condition:

– the first on the left, called “Le carceri vecchie“, is a low, circular building of 22 m in diameter made of opus incertum (*) with three floors.

– the second on the right, called “La Conocchia”, is a tall building with a quadrangular base ending in a cylindrical turret.

Immediately afterwards, the road points directly to Maddaloni and the surrounding plain preserves the road network created by the Roman centuriazione in the 2nd century BC.

In the locality of Villa Galazia, the statio Calatia, which is currently being researched, must have been located.


(*)  See : agustean age
opus incertum

in glossary.

(**)See: Santa Maria Capua Vetere, ancient Capua

is worth a visit.