The Roman Roads (Consular Roads – as the extraurban constructions were named) were extremely important for the imperial Rome as they connected the various parts of the Roman Empire allowing comunication and fast movements between the territories. We’re talking about hundred thousand kilometers of roads…
The Queen Road (the viarium Queen, the “most relevant among all roads”) was via Appia, the Appian Way going, in the beginning, from Rome to Capua. It was later extended up to Brindisi. And the mother (matrona) of the Consular Roads was via Latina, its origins dated back to the 8th century b.C. as an ancient Etruscan Road connected Rome with Campania.
This autumn, after three years of reconstruction works, the walkable part of via Latina has been doubled inside the breathtaking Archeological Park ‘Tombs of via Latina‘. The Archeological Park is one of the most important funerary complexes of the suburbium of Rome, and it still conserves the traditional aspect of the ancient Roman countryside practically intact. A consisent walkable part of via Latina is still covered with ancient flagstones and on both sides of the road there are numerous funeral monuments, historical and material testimonies.
What is immediately striking, is the peace and silence that surrounds us just a short walk from the city center. Crossing the park gate means leaving behind the siege of the modern city – noise, traffic, people… and suddenly one finds himself in a place where the time seems to be stopped for two thousand years.
If you like cats (they are almost everywhere in Rome) you will not be disappointed here. The cats of the park will follow you during your visit and sometimes will ask a few caresses.
BeTreasure Tip: Sit on one of the benches, perhaps with your favorite book and spend an hour, enjoying the silence or the song of grashoppers if you happen to come in summer.
Just after a few steps on the original pavement stones, on the right you arrive to the beautiful tomb of the Barberini, the first ‘sepulcrum’ on the way.You may want to book the organized tour for the tombs, in this case you can visit the Barberini Tomb of the second century b.C. Observe the mosaic floor and the magnificent architectural decorations originally painted.
The tour continues in the direction of the Tomb of the Valerii and the Tomb of the Pancratii late first century b.C. To enter the underground spaces you’ll always need a licensed tourguide in the group.
In both burials you can admire the perfectly preserved beautiful frescoed and stuccoed ceilings. The tomb of Valeri strikes with the perfect preservation of the medallions of white stucco (above) which amazes the visitor at the moment he enters in the hall – now illuminated by led lights which help to preserve the integrity of the original site.
A thousand details, mythological characters, maritime scenes, flowers and plants will capture your attention so that you’ll not be able to take your eyes off – we promise you a nice stiff neck in the end of the tour.
The other tomb we suggest you to visit is the tomb of the Pancratii that is often named the “Sistine Chapel of the Ancient Rome”.
An art lover once entered will not want to leave for at least an hour and a half, and maybe it would take a lot more to discover all the details. You can never tire of watching the colors, the characters painted and the stories told…
In these beautiful sunny days of december we will definitely pay a visit to the beautiful Archeological Park for a morning walk, let us know if you did the same!