The ancient Roman road Via Appia Antica, which linked Rome to the Adriatic port of Brindisi in southern Italy, is to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Italian Ministry of Culture will present the candidacy on October 1st in Florence.
“This is a great measure to protect and enhance an exceptional cultural heritage in southern Italy,” Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said today.
“It is a road that has linked East and West for millennia, along which Greek and Hellenistic cultures penetrated the Roman world. The ministry is investing more than 22 million euros in the protection of monuments and the modernization of the Appian Way”, said Franceschini.
Roman road system prototype
The old traffic axis, considered the “queen of Roman roads”, was the prototype of the entire Roman road system, which with a total length of 120,000 kilometers still forms the backbone of the articulated road network in the Mediterranean region.
Via Appia, approximately 540 km long, was one of the most important trade routes in the Roman Empire. It led from Rome to Brindisi, which in ancient times was the most important port for a trip to Greece and the most important transshipment point for goods and slaves from the East.