The Appian Way or Via Appia Through Itri
The original route of the Via Appia Antica, the ancient Appian Way, runs straight through the centre of lower half of Itri. The road is quite narrow, not designed for modern day traffic. In Itri separate neighbourhoods developed along the Corso Appio Claudio such as Lo Straccio and San Gennaro. The road is tightly lined on both sides by ancient dwelling houses. It is paved in slabs of hard volcanic rock which have become shiny and polished with wear.
Appius Claudius Caecus
The Appian Way was the project of the Roman statesman Appius Claudius Caecus. This was a road that was intended to stretch from Rome to Capua. Later it was extended to reach the port of Brindisi in the heel of the boot of Italy. It became an very important military and commercial route linking Rome and the mainland to other territories of the Roman Empire such as North Africa, Greece, Egypt and the Middle East. From Rome the road ran along a straight route to Terracina. From here it headed slightly inland through Fondi and Itri and onwards in a south easterly direction towards Capua, in Campania, passing through the ports of Mola in Formia and Minturnae.
The road was built in 312 AD and was roughly 6 metres (10 feet) in width and totalled 230 miles (370 kilometres) in length. It was built by using polygonal blocks of basalt which rested on a base of small stones and gravel and mortar. The surface was slightly arched to aid drainage. The rectangular blocks of paving we see today date from the Bourbon era, when a significant amount of work was carried out to maintain the road.