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Things to See When Landing at Rome Airports
The technology revolution allows people today to have more resources at disposal and to plan their trip to Rome and to Italy optimizing the time in order to see more. To make an example, when you are just landed at Ciampino Rome airport, during your transfer to the hotel you can see the archaeological area of the Appian way and the acqueduct built by the emperor Claudius in 54 AD.
Opened in 312 b. C. by the censor Appius Claudius, during the Sannite wars, in order to join Rome with the southern provinces of the peninsula, with Africa and the East. It became in short time the elected road, sacred to the cult of the dead, crossed during the Latin holidays by the crowd going to the temple of Jupiter on the summit of mount Cavo or to the temple of Diana, by the shores of the Nemi lake.
The Appian way ran here straight -after this the name of " recto " - at first followed the line of an existing road to the Alban hills and reached the Agro Pontino. After the Appio Forum it touched the city of Terracina and it continued for Fondi until Capua. Some year later it was extended via Benevento and Venosa, native land of Orazio, and a century later to Taranto and Brindisi.
In the first years of II the century A.D. the emperor Trajan added his name to the road.
The beginning of the road, outside the Porta San Sebastiano, a gate in the city walls, is lined with interesting dilapidated buildings, including the church of Domine Quo Vadis, where St. Peter is supposed to have had a vision of Christ. Jesus's footprints were preserved for posterity in a slab of white marble (in the centre of the church floor). There are also three sets of catacombs close to this stretch of road - check opening times and days first as their long lunchtime closures can interfere with your day's planning.
With the New Appian Traian Way it was possible to go from Rome to Brindisi in 13/14 days with a total distance of 540 kilometres. The road was approximately 4.15 meters wide, enough to permit the transit of two chariots at the same time. Two sidewalks in earth delimited by stone flanked the track. Every 10/13 km in the most busy sections were aligned along the road the so-called "stations" for the change of the horses and " taberne ", which offered refreshments and lodging for travellers.
The construction was extremely difficult , was realized solving natural difficulties with an amazingly modern plan of conception which made of it a solid, rational road with easy access. Bridges across the rivers were built, valleys filled, heights flattened, channels dug, banks raised in order to contain waters of the rivers, it was covered with blocks of hard basalt that still today emerge from the road. After the fall of the empire and barbarian invasions the road fell into decay and was abandoned. The monuments were sacked and lost their works of art anddecorations; Grass grew wildly upon the road which slowly disappeared from sight. Columns, marbles, statues, friezes, relieves started to embellish the new buildings of the City, the new Christian basilicas and noble castles. Towards the half of the ' 700 historians started to dig discovering important works and collecting fragments.
The first Christian cemeteries rose along the Appian Way at the end of the I century: along this road the most important necropolis were discovered, the Catacombs of S. Callisto, going back to the II sec., and those of S. Sebastian, in which were housed for a while the bodies of the two Apostles of the Roman Church: Peter and Paul. The history has confirmed that the Apostle entered in the city walking along the Appian Way.
Few people know that if you arrive at the Rome airport Ciampino during the summer, you can reach from there in few minutes the summer residence of Castelgandolfo, where the pope spends his vacation time.
About the Author: Stefano Sandano is an archaeologist of Rome and expert of his city. If you land at Rome airports and you want to visit Rome outside of the beaten paths you can visit http://www.rome-airport.org