This Roman thoroughfare runs directly through the town and is a testament to the
remarkable organisational and engineering ability of the Romans.Construction of
this, the first and most famous of the ancient Roman roads, was commenced in 312
AD by the Appius Claudius Caecus. It was called the "Queen of Roads" (Regina Viarum)
and was to be the main means of communication between Rome and the south, first to
Capua, and later extended down to Brindisi, with a total length of more than 563
km (350 miles). In effect it was the very first motorway even built. Just outside
of Itri original sections of this road can still be seen, paved with smoothly fitting
blocks of hard wearing lava.
Cicero, the Roman orator, writer and statesman, was brutally murdered in 43 BC on
the Appian Way. He was apprehended whilst
Except where photos have been rightfully accredited to the photographer / owner
Itri is situated a few kilometres inland, between the nearby towns of Fondiand Formia,
and rests in a valley, nestling among the foothills of the Aurunci Mountains. The
town of Itri is divided into three sections, the upper, historic, medieval town,
the route of the ancient Via Appia and the lower sprawling, more modern section.
trying to flee from his political enemies, and was beheaded and had his hands severed.
Cicero’s Tomb, a 24 metre cylindrical tower, is situated on the Via Appia, on the
outskirts of Formia.
During the era when young British aristocrats and scholars undertook the cultural
“Grand Tour” of Italy, a common itinerary would have included Rome, Venice, Florence
and Naples. Thus many great artists and writers would have journeyed along the route
of the Via Appia, and Itri may have been a welcoming resting place for weary travellers.
Charles Dickens, when travelling through Itri during the 19th century described
the castle in his journal as being “like a device in pastry, built up, almost
perpendicularly, on a hill, and approached by long steep flights of steps.”