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There is a question on mythical roads in Europe. I think that there are a couple of mythical and historical roads in Europe: the ancient Roman roads. It should be possible to follow their tracks approximately and to visit historical sites alongside.

Hence my question. Does anyone know about resources for the modern and motorized traveler who would like to explore these roads? They should ideally translate the old courses into existing roads. They should also describe relics and interesting sites that can be visited today.

Alternatively, if such resources do not exist, does anybody know about good and reliable historical books on the topic? I believe that with a reliable documentation, a modern road map and perhaps one or another guidebook, I should be able to knit something on my own.

Please note that I am mainly interested in the road network in Europe. Nevertheless, if you happen to have material on the Roman roads in Africa or the Near East, I will not dismiss it.

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They do exist on their ancient courses in many places! Often even as roads, and otherwise as footpaths –  Gagravarr Jun 10 '12 at 21:46
    
Thanks for the comment. Then I have maybe started with wrong premises. I adapt the text. But the question basically remains the same. –  user766 Jun 11 '12 at 19:59

1 Answer 1

Yes, there are many modern roads and highways - especially in Italy - that follow the old roads. They were some seriously industrious workers - with roads throughout Europe, over mountains, across the UK and in the Middle East and Africa!

Firstly, voila, Wikipedia to the rescue!

Italy

Major roads

Via Aemilia, from Rimini (Ariminum) to Placentia
Via Appia, the Appian way (312 BC), from Rome to Apulia
Via Aurelia (241 BC), from Rome to France
Via Cassia, from Rome to Tuscany
Via Flaminia (220 BC), from Rome to Rimini (Ariminum)
Via Salaria, from Rome to the Adriatic Sea (in the Marches)

Others

Via Aemilia Scauri (109 BC)
Via Aquillia, branches off the Appia at Capua to the sea at Vibo
Via Amerina, from Rome to Ameria and Perusia
Via Canalis, from Udine, Gemona and Val Canale to Villach in Carinthia and then over Alps to Salzburg or Vienna
Via Claudia Julia Augusta (13 BC)
Via Claudia Nova (47 AD)
Via Clodia, from Rome to Tuscany forming a system with the Cassia
Via Domitiana, coast road from Naples to Formia
Via Flavia, from Trieste (Tergeste) to Dalmatia
Via Gemina, from Aquileia and Trieste through the Karst to Materija, Obrov, Lipa and Klana, from where, near Rijeka, descending towards Trsat (Tersatica) to continue along the Dalmatian coast
Via Julia Augusta (8 BC), exits Aquileia
Via Labicana, southeast from Rome, forming a system with the Praenestina
Via Ostiensis, from Rome to Ostia
Via Postumia (148 BC), from Verona across the Apennines to Genoa
Via Popilia (132 BC), two distinct roads, one from Capua to Rhegium and the other from Ariminum through the later Veneto region
Via Praenestina, from Rome to Praeneste
Via Schlavonia, from Aquileia across northern Istria to Senj and into Dalmatia
Via Severiana, Terracina to Ostia
Via Tiburtina, from Rome to Aternum
Via Traiana Nova (Italy), from Lake Bolsena to the Via Cassia. Known by archaeology only

Africa

Main article: Roman roads in Africa

Main road: from Sala Colonia to Carthage to Alexandria.
In Egypt: Via Hadriana
In Mauretania Tingitana from Tingis southward (see: Roman roads in Morocco)

Albania / Republic of Macedonia / Greece / Turkey

Via Egnatia (146 BC) connecting Dyrrhachium (on Adriatic Sea) to Byzantium via Thessaloniki

Austria / Serbia / Bulgaria / Turkey

Via Militaris (Via Diagonalis, Via Singidunum), connecting Middle Europe and Byzantium
Roman road in Cilicia in south Turkey

France

In France, a Roman road is called voie romaine in vernacular language.

Via Agrippa
Via Aquitania, from Narbonne, where it connected to the Via Domitia, to the Atlantic Ocean across Toulouse and Bordeaux
Via Domitia (118 BC), from Nîmes to the Pyrenees, where it joins to the Via Augusta at the Col de Panissars
Voie romaine, extending from Dunkirk to Cassel in Nord Département

Germania Inferior (Germany, Belgium, Netherlands)

Via Belgica (Boulogne-Cologne)
Lower Limes Germanicus
Interconnections between Lower Limes Germanicus and Via Belgica

Middle East

Via Maris
Via Traiana Nova
Petra Roman Road First Century Petra, Jordan

Roman roads along the Danube

Romania

Trajan's bridge and Iron Gates road.
Via Traiana: Porolissum Napoca Potaissa Apulum road.
Via Pontica: Troesmis Piroboridava Caput Stenarum Apulum Partiscum Lugio

Romania / Bulgaria

Via Pontica

Spain and Portugal

Iter ab Emerita Asturicam, from Sevilla to Gijón. Later known as Vía de la Plata (plata means "silver" in Spanish, but in this case it is a false cognate of an Arabic word balata), part of the fan of the Way of Saint James. Now it is the A-66 freeway.
Via Augusta, from Cádiz to the Pyrénées, where it joins to the Via Domitia at the Coll de Panissars, near La Jonquera. It passes through Valencia, Tarragona (anciently Tarraco), and Barcelona.
Camiño de Oro, ending in Ourense, capital of the Province of Ourense, passing near the village of Reboledo.

Trans-Alpine roads

These roads connected modern Italy and Germany

Via Claudia Augusta (47) from Altinum (now Quarto d'Altino) to Augsburg via the Reschen Pass
Via Mala from Milan to Lindau via the San Bernardino Pass
Via Decia

Trans-Pyrenean roads

Connecting Hispania and Gallia:

Ab Asturica Burdigalam

United Kingdom

Main article: Roman roads in Britain

Akeman Street
Camlet Way
Dere Street
Ermine Street
Fen Causeway
Fosse Way
King Street
London-West of England Roman Roads
Peddars Way
Pye Road
Stane Street
Stanegate
Via Devana
Watling Street

But clearly you can't go see them all (well you could, but it would take a while). So let's focus on the more fantastic or famous ones. Primarily, the Via Appia.

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Appia teritur regina longarum viarum

"the Appian way is the queen of the long roads"

The Appian Way (Latin and Italian: Via Appia) was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, Apulia, in southeast Italy.

This is THE road. Much of it still exists today. If you know your Roman history (or watch the Starz tv show) - this is the road on which Spartacus was crucified - after his revolt, in 71 BC, 6,000 were crucified along the 200-kilometer Via Appia from Rome to Capua.

It has the Temple of Hercules, the catacombs of St Sebastian, and Mausoleum of Gallienus - among others.


Finally, while book resources starts to venture more into requesting history information rather than travel information, I can offer the following suggestions:

There's also an iPhone game loosely based on the building of the thousands of miles of road, but it's such a tenuous connection that I won't even dignify it by posting a link ;)

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still working on it, editing as I go ;) –  Mark Mayo Jun 10 '12 at 22:39
    
OK answer complete. I hope that's of some help. –  Mark Mayo Jun 10 '12 at 22:58

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