Nom de Plumage

August 17, 2012

All Roads Lead To Rome – Literally

Filed under: Travel Journal — nomdeplumage @ 10:35 pm
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The most notable and ever present fact about ancient Rome and their conquering of the world, is their uncanny and brilliant ability to make roads. So what road can be so important that I have to see it, you ask? This one is special and if you will humour me a little, let me explain……..

If not for the friendly advice of a wonderful British couple, who were also staying at the same hostel, I would never of discovered Appia Antica – Queens Road. There are hundreds of roads that dissect the city and none of them are exciting or more special than this little gem. What makes this road  worth seeing, is that it is one of the first roads built. This road truly lead citizens and travellers in and out of Rome and it is still to this day in use and although worn and ancient, a remarkable feat of workmanship.

Although keen to see this relic for myself, I really did not plan my adventure well and only had a vague idea as to where this road lay. The weather was perfect and with the  rare appearance of  blue sky, it seemed the ideal way to spend such a day. Ideally, I had planned on spending a considerable time walking and exploring and  I could have achieved this, if not for the fact that I caught the wrong bus. Not a good start.

Lost, bewildered and really p….d off, I decided that when upset, stuffing one’s face with food could perhaps help take the sting out a little. At San Giovanni Piazza, I stopped at a little  nondescript restaurant and ordered a set menu. For eight euros, I was given a margarita pizza, a can of coke and an espresso. Not bad and very delicious; I mean let’s face it, how can you ever go wrong with pizza and coke?

Belly full, emotions now calm, I make a second attempt and thankfully get the correct bus, going in the correct direction.

At the very beginning of the road, is a tourist bureau. The attendant was very friendly and helpful in showing me on a map, all points of interest to look out for. Then reality hit and I realised that this is no ordinary road of a small length, and that I really needed many  hours to explore it, but only had two. And so I did….

                 

There was the option of waiting for the next bus to take me to the very start of the road, but with no timetable to show me when the next bus arrived,so I made my way on foot, not wanting to waste precious time. In hindsight, it was probably not the wisest move. You see, the road is narrow and the traffic fairly busy and as my first photo shows, no real path for pedestrians. It was scary and how I survived to tell the tale, I have no idea. But survived I did and about thirty minutes later,was the road itself. It was not as I imagined; it was better. Large stones; worn, uneven and smooth, lined the road. The entire road was not of the same material, but the majority was and let me say right now, murder on the feet. Thankfully there was grass to help ease the aches, but also with all the rain in the past weeks, parts of the road lay deep in water and so the grass offered some dry alternatives as well.

               

The view was glorious. It took me by surprise, how sublime, lush and green the surrounding area is. The road is still habituated with residents and people use it for recreation, as  I pass many local runners and walkers. The road is narrow and if you look closely, you can still see the wheels of carts imbedded within the stone as a special reminder for future generations. The scenery that lay before me, was ancient. Houses, buildings and stone walls lay exposed and in ruins alongside the stone road.

                   

So how did I feel walking this road? If only you could have seen the smile that never left my face the entire time and the complete sense of peace as each step; although painful on my feet, would take me to new discoveries. It was a memorable day and one that I will treasure. I could not regrettably, walk the entire road. The sun was setting and I was frightened that I would be stuck out here with no way of knowing how to get back into the city. So reluctantly I turned back.

At the main intersection there is a bus stop and it was here that I waited and hoped for a bus. It came after twenty minutes and with it, my splendid day had come to an end.

 

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