Via Amerina

Via Amerina

Itineraries, history and nature

The Via Amerina is one of the symbolic landmarks of this territory. Throughout its itinerary, rich in suggestive views, the ancient road passes in the there abouts of all the main towns one can visit in the Agro Falisco.

Various minor paths branch off from the Via Amerina, penetrating into the midst of the pristine green of the surrounding woods, into a thick vegetation which hides necropolis and arcane ruins.

The unique features of this road, moving along ancient bridges and road constructions, make of this one of the first relevant architectural structures of the Roman expansionist period. To this day the Via Amerina remains one of the best preserved ancient roads of the Southern Etruria.

Basolato della via Amerina

Basolato della via Amerina

Necropoli Cavo degli Zucchi

Necropoli Cavo degli Zucchi

Tombe della Necropoli di Cavo Degli Zucchi

Tombe della Necropoli di Cavo Degli Zucchi

Torrente Rio Maggiore

Torrente Rio Maggiore

Amerina welcomes you

The great value both we and at large the Agro Falisco, place on this ancient road, has brought to life the avatar of Amerina. She is a Faliscan woman, named after the ancient road, who will walk you around as you surf our website. She is here to give you advice regarding the visits and tell you about facts worth knowing.

amerina-agro-falisco
amerina-agro-falisco

The ancient roman road

The Via Amerina was built in the 4th century B.C, during a period of the great Roman expansion. The construction of this ancient road, which stretches all the way to Amelia, was brought to completion in the year 241 B.C, not long after the devastation of the Faliscan capital city of Falerii Veteres.

The itinerary followed by the road, reveals the intention of the Romans to keep this important route detached from all the main Faliscan settlements, so as to keep them isolated and prevent new uprisings. In that same period, the Romans also founded the city of Faleri Novi, where the Faliscan people were relocated. This town lay on level land, and was therefore easier to control, whereas Falerii Veteres, the previous home town of the Faliscan population, was perched on the top of a tuff rock spur. The new Roman town was crossed by the Via Amerina, which constituted the “cardo” of the settlement (one of two main city streets).

The layout of this ancient road manifests the intent of the Romans, that of re-evaluating the surrounding territory. Indeed, this is the first road to proceed head to tail in a straight line, unlike the others whose route conformed to the morphology of the environment. By means of bridges and road constructions flanking the road and dug into the tuff rock, it is possible to cut through the ravines and shorten the distances.

 

The Cavo degli Zucchi necropolis

The largest Faliscan necropolis surviving to this day is known as Cavo degli Zucchi. It is an enchanting place, evocative and mysterious, an ideal destination for those who enjoy excursions, exploring and being outdoors. The necropolis lies a few kilometres out of the town of Fabrica di Roma, not distant from Faleri Novi, and the tract of the Via Amerina crossing the area, is clearly visible and perfectly preserved here.  

The tombs were excavated into the walls of a tuff rock construction which flanks the road. One can visit one of the most outstanding tombs, the Tombs of the Queen. Several findings were uncovered during the archaeological excavations, and these are today in large part displayed within the rooms of the National Museum of the Agro Falisco.

 

The “Byzantine corridor”

The Via Amerina played a crucial role throughout the Barbaric invasions which took place between the 5th and 10th century A.C. The Longobards had occupied the Italian peninsula, and Rome found itself caught between the Duchy of Spoleto southwards, and the Regnum Longobardorum towards north.

The conflict between the Byzantines and Longobards took place to a large extent along the Via Amerina, which by then constituted the only remaining link between Rome and the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna. Hence the name given to this particular stretch of the road, from then on known as “Byzantine Corridor”.

The political developments of the following centuries put a halt to the expansionistic aims of the Langobards, and progressively lead up to the scission of the Church of Rome from the Byzantine Empire.

As time passed the Via Amerina gradually lost its prime role of main connecting route, and the people moved back to their original pre-Roman and well-protected settlements. At present, this millenary road, is one of the best preserved Roman paths, and represents an ideal way for visitors to explore the Agro Falisco.

 

Walk along the ancient Via Amerina, and experience this itinerary, rich with enchanting views, monuments and stunning nature. The Agro Falisco is waiting for you!

Where is the via Amerina

From the car park, the access to via Amerina and to Cavo degli Zucchi necropolis is about 500 meters later, to Nepi direction.

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