Saturday, April 19, 2008
Via Appia-A Sore Spot for Roman Archaeologists
The Via Appia, the ancient road leading from Rome to Brinidisi, is lined with tombs, villas and all sorts of archaeological attractions. But modern Romans seem to be more interested in exploiting the ruins to make money than preserving them for posterity. Ruins have been turned into restaurants and banquet halls and are subject to vandalism on a nightly basis. Yet the Via Appia is a national park, protected by Italian laws, and truly a fascinating escape for the visitor. There are ancient tombs, catacombs, villas (like the Villa of the Quintili, pictured) and bath complexes lining the road in a park-like setting. See a recent New York Times article to read more about the issues facing this valuable historical resource.