Via Flaminia - Furlo Gorge Tunnel

The ancient Roman road Via Flaminia passed through the narrow Furlo Gorge (Gola del Furlo). During the original construction in 220BC the road was built into the side of the gorge and a tunnel was created. In 76AD Emperor Vespasian built a longer second tunnel. The modern road built on the original Via Flaminia uses the second tunnel today, or did until 2015 when a landslip blocked the road and traffic through the gorge was stopped. This makes it better for visitors who can now have a good look at the tunnel without cars passing by.

Return to Italy - Marche

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Location: Italy - Marche - Pesaro and Urbino - Furlo

Category: Ancient Roman

Tags: Tunnel, Via Flaminia, Road

In 2015 the road through the gorge was closed after a landslip. Now you can walk the road and see the tunnels. Exit the SP3 (highway to Fano) at Furlo. Follow the main road west through the village of Furlo, until it ends in the gorge. From there you can walk along the road, through the tunnel and further into the gorge.

Website: Riserva Naturale Statale Gola Del Furlo

Day trip contributed by Pauline Kenny

More Information

This stretch of the Via Flaminia was difficult to construct because of the narrow gorge. There was a path beside the River Candigliano in pre-Roman times. The road was originally constructed in 220BC by cutting into the rock face. Rockslides were a problem. The original tunnel was built at this time. You can see the western entrance beside the current tunnel. The eastern entrance is covered by the small church of Santa Maria, built in 400AD.

During the Augustan period (27BC to 14AD) the road was rebuilt with supporting walls underneath. Most of these supporting walls are now underwater in the man-made lake beside the road.

The second tunnel was built by Emperor Vespasian in 76-77AD. It is one of the best preserved Roman tunnels (there are less than 20 Roman tunnels in Italy). The second tunnel is 38 meters long and 6 meters high with an average width of 5.30 meters. A drainage tunnel was created at the same time.

An inscription carved on eastern entrance of the tunnel, now hidden by a wall, noted the construction of the tunnel by Emperor Vespasian 76 - 77AD. An inscription on the western entrance was added in 246AD by Aurelio Munaziano, who was in charge of monitoring the area, celebrating a victory of the Emperor Philip the Arab over local robbers. This was removed in 1886 and is in the Museum in Pesaro.

When the Roman empire fell, this part of the Via Flaminia was not used for trade but was frequented by bandits.

Read more: Glossary - Via Flaminia.

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