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Tomba di Gallieno
This large brick monument is thought to be the tomb of Emperor Gallienus; it was surrounded by a porch. The heirs of this emperor built a similar large circular construction (a nymphaeum) on their estate inside Rome. The tomb is located at the IXth mile of Via Appia near the site of the first mutatio, the staging post where mail messengers changed their horses. The image used as background for this page shows an isolated wall of this tomb.
(left) A hidden tomb; (right) detail of the entrance in "opus reticulatum"
The mounds which flank this part of Via Appia Antica occasionally show the structure of the tombs which they hide; many of them were built in opus caementicium, a sort of concrete made up of flints and mortar; because the resulting walls were very solid, but not nice to see they were faced with square stones forming a diagonal pattern (opus reticulatum) (see a page on Roman construction techniques).
Decorated architectural elements
After crossing Via di Fioranello, which leads to the nearby Ciampino Airport, Via Appia Antica gets narrower and is unpaved. Fragments of monuments are scattered around rather than being arranged at the sides of the road.
A quarry which provided the flints used in the construction of many tombs has now become a training ground for Roman climbers.
Large circular tomb
The last section of Via Appia Antica is marked by the ruins of a tomb which has the size of a small hill.
Jogging and cycling
On Sundays many joggers and cyclists choose to run along the path from this large tomb to the end of Via Appia at Frattocchie.
(left) Section of the ancient paving of the road; (right) a tomb turned into a chapel
Last stretch of Via Appia Antica
Until a few years ago the very last stretch of Via Appia Antica was hardly inviting; one had to find his way through weeds and rubble and the ancient tombs were used as shelters by squatters. The images of this page were mainly taken in December 2009 and they show a much improved situation.
Via Appia was a straight line from Porta S. Sebastiano to Albano: in the picture above it is possible to notice Via Appia entering Albano a few miles from the location where the picture was taken.
The relatively well preserved structure of a circular tomb near the end of Via Appia Antica can be regarded as a summary of the construction techniques used by the ancient Romans.
View towards Rome at Torre Appia
In 1855 Father Angelo Secchi, Director of the Pontifical Observatory at Collegio Romano, built a tower on top of an ancient tomb to take exact measurements of the distance between this tower and Cecilia Metella as a basis for the topographic mapping of the region.
(left) Via Appia Antica at the junction with Via Appia Nuova; (right) modern map of Via Appia Antica:
the green area is protected by stringent restrictions on new constructions/alterations of existing buildings;
the asterisks show the section of Via Appia Antica between Torre in Selci and Frattocchie
At Frattocchie Via Appia Antica ends with some scenery.
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