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Roman Roads - Via Flaminia

by Pauline Kenny, January 2016

Via Flaminia Map
Map of Via Flaminia

"All roads lead to Rome" was true 2,000 years ago because Rome was the center of the western world and the Romans were road builders. It is true today, at least in Italy, because the modern roads follow the same route as the ancient roads.

The Romans built roads from Rome out to their territories. The Via Flaminia ran from Rome north through what is now Lazio, Umbria and Le Marche, to the Adriatic coast at Fano and then along the coast to Rimini (Emilia-Romagna) where they had a port.

The road was constructed by Gaius Flaminius (Consul of the Roman Republic) in the 2nd century BC but was repaired and upgraded during the next few centuries. Augustus, who ruled from 27BC to 14AD, restored the road and rebuilt many of the bridges. Vespasian, who ruled from 69 to 79AD, constructed the second tunnel at Furlo Gorge. Trajan, who ruled from 98AD to 117AD, repaired several bridges. The original road passed through Carsulae in Umbria but at some point an eastern route through Spoleto was added.

The total distance of the road was 210 Roman miles (311km) by the older road (the western branch through Carsulae) and 222 Roman miles (329km) by the newer road (the eastern branch through Spoleto).

The modern SS3 highway follows most of the route of the Via Flaminia.

Many parts of the Via Flaminia remain today - some stretches of original road, bridges and remains of towns along the route. We love to hunt out these bits of ancient Rome. Below is my list of Via Flaminia sites. Some we have visited, some we have not.

* Denotes the sites we visited. There are links to a more detail description with photos in the Day Trips section.

Lazio

Rome, Porta del Popolo: The Via Flaminia started in Rome at the Porta del Popolo (previously called Porta Flaminia), a gate in the Aurelian Walls on the Piazza del Popolo. Nothing from this original gate remains.

Rome, the Milvian Bridge (Ponte Milvio): We have not found this.

Prima Porta: Bill Thayer says there is a sign for a Roman tunnel off the SS3 near Petra Pertusa.

Malborghetto: The museum has a medieval building with a Roman arch from the Via Flaminia embedded in the wall. There is a stretch of excavated road nearby. Read more from Bill Thayer.

*Rignano Flaminio: The SS3 follows the route of the Via Flaminia through this part of Lazio, but south of Rignano Flaminio the modern road takes a corner differently, leaving some of the original Roman road visible. Read more on Day Trip - Rignano Flaminio.

Civita Castellana: A friend who lives in Civita Castellana told us there are remains of the Via Flaminia near the town, but we could not find them. The Via Flaminia passed east of the town.

Pile di Augusto: The Via Flaminia ran east of Civita Castellana, crossing the Tiber into Umbria over a bridge. Some vestiges can be seen. This bridge is mentioned in several places but Bill Thayer could not find it and neither could we.

Umbria

In Umbria the Via Flaminia split after Narni, with an eastern and western branch before rejoining near Foligno.

*Ocriculum: The remains of a town on the Via Flaminia. Read more on Day Trip - Ocriculum.

Narni was the Roman town of Narnia.

*Narni Bridge of Augustus: All that remains of the Ponte d’Augusto is one very large arch (see photo below). Read more on Day Trip - Narni Bridge of Augustus.

Narni Bridge of Augusts
Narni - Bridge of Augustus

Umbria Western Branch

*Carsulae: The remains of a Roman town on the Via Flaminia. Read more on Day Trip - Carsulae.

Acquasparta Ponte Fonnaia: Roman bridge about 4 km north of  Acquasparta. Read more on Bill Thayer's Lacus Curtius.

Acquasparta Chiesa di San Giovanni de Butris: This 13th century church was built on a Roman bridge. Read more on Bill Thayer's LacusCurtius and Comune di Acquasparta.

Vicus Martis Tudertium: Archaeological site near Massa Martana. This was a town or stopping place on the Via Flaminia. S. Maria in Pantano is a medieval church built in the same location, using part of an original Roman wall. Read more on Bill Thayer's LacusCurtius.

Cavallara The Devil's Bridge (Ponte del Diavolo): Bridge near Bastardo. Read more on Bill Thayer's LacusCurtius.

Foligno was the Roman town of Fulginium.

*Foligno Tombs: Two large burial tombs along the side of the road near Foligno. Read more on Day Trip - Foligno Tombs.

Umbria Eastern Branch

Spoleto was the Roman town of Spoletium.

*Spoleto Sanguinaro Bridge: The Ponte Sanguinaro in Spoleto was buried but has been excavated. Read more on Day Trip - Spoleto Sanguinaro Bridge.

Pontebari: Remains of a bridge.

After the branches rejoin at S. Giovanni Profiamma

Pieve Fanonica: Bridge-like structure.

Nocera Umbra: The ancient Roman town was located below modern Nocera Umbra, in the valley, near the Topino creek. Several parts of the Via Flamina remain. Le Spugne is the name of the area (I think). Read more on Italian Tourism Umbria Archaeology.

Fossato di Vico: Three bridges near this town north of Gualdo Tadino.

Villa Scirca: An imposing bridge, blown up in World War II.

Costacciaro Spiano Bridge: Ponte Spiano.

Le Marche

Sentinum: The remains of this Roman town are 1km east of modern Sassoferrato. Segments of the road have been excavated, but there might not be much to see here. Read more on Wandering Italy - Roman Roads and Livius - Sentinum. NOTE: Was this on the Via Flaminia? It seems to be off the route.

*Pontericcioli Bridge: The Ponte Tre Archi is a bridge with three arches near the town of Pontericcioli. There are a few more bridges in this area. Read more on Day Trip - Pontericcioli Bridge.

*Cantiano Bridge: The Ponte Grosso is a small bridge outside of Cantiano. Read more on Day Trip - Cantiano Bridge.

Cagli was the Roman town of Cale.

*Cagli Mallio Bridge: The Ponte Mallio is a large bridge below the modern bridge in Cagli (see photo below). Read more on Day Trip - Cagli Mallio Bridge.

Cagli Mallio Bridge
Cagli - Mallio Bridge

*Acqualagna Viaduct: Remains of a viaduct near the Abbey of San Vincenzo. Read more on Day Trip - Acqualagna Viaduct.

The Furlo Gorge was called Intercisa, meaning cut through, in Roman times.

*Furlo Gorge Tunnel: Two tunnels, one still in use, in the Furlo Gorge. Read more on Day Trip - Furlo Gorge Tunnel.

Calmazzo Tomb Stones: Two tomb stones in a burial ground. Nearby bridge destroyed in WWII.

*Forum Sempronii: The remains of a Roman town on the Via Flaminia near the modern town of Fossombrone. Read more on Day Trip - Forum Sempronii.

Serrungarina Via Flaminia: Near Tavernelle, a stretch of the original road with the marks of chariot wheels still visible in the stone.

Fano was the Roman town of Fanum Fortunae.

*Fano Arch of Augustus: The road reached the sea at Fano and then turned north. The Roman gate to the city remains. Read more on Day Trip - Fano Arch of Augustus.

Pesaro was the Roman town of Pisaurum.

Pesaro Museum Oliveriano: Museum in Palazzo Almerici with Roman finds.

Pesaro Ponte Vecchio: On the northern outskirts the road crossed the River Foglia at the point where the Ponte Vecchio, with its single great arch, now stands.

Emilia-Romagna

Rimini was the Roman town of Ariminum.

Rimini Arch of Augustus: Archo d'Augusto, built in 27BC to mark the end of the Via Flaminia, is the oldest triumphal Roman arch. Read more on Day Trip - Rimini Arch of Augustus.

Resources

Google Map

This is a rough Google Map showing the modern towns along the Via Flaminia where you can find remains of the historic road.

View on Google Maps.

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