Ancient Appia Landscapes is born to tackle in a systematic way the topographical reconstruction of via Appia southern Benevento, in a wider project of reshaping the ancient landscapes, under the coordination of Alfonso Santoriello, Professor of Methodology of Archaeological Research and Landscapes Archaeology in University of Salerno. The project of research took place in 2011 thanks to an agreement between the Soprintendenza Archeologia Campania and the University of Salerno’ s DISPAC. The territory considered embraces a wide landscape of an area which extends towards the river Calore in Benevento, south highway n°7 Appia, and by the border with Avellino province (Sud-East). The signs on the field and the archaeological traces that produced the set of reconstructions began to make feel the desire to rebuild not only the layout of the road but also the broadest context, where the ancient settlement can be valued as an individual monument and more. The territory examined embraces a wide landscape of an area which extends towards the river Calore in Benevento, south highway 7 Appia, by the border of Avellino area.

Ancient Appia Landscape studies area and the hypothetical paths


Although the Appia is one of the most important roads, mentioned either in ancient sources or in the recent literature, the exact identification of some sections is problematic. Particularly is still uncertain the reconstruction of the sections between Beneventum and Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge),also called Ponte Appiano. It could be placed the s.c. Statio ad Calorem. According to the present status of research, the first conjecture dates back to the late 1800 and the early next century. They are based on some archaeological elements, that are the result of either recovers by chance or unsystematic research. Local scholarly's attention focuses mainly on macro evidences in the territory, such as fragments of inscriptions or milestones, and on the interpretation of medieval documents, which, though essential, is not supported by concrete and documented archaeological data. Two large arteries crossed the town, the via Appia, which from Capua reached Brindisi, and the via Latina, that from Teano to Isernia and Telese, crossing first Alifae and Telesia; other minor arteries connected also Benevento to the Irpinia and Sannio and to the landscape of Salerno. The Appia crossed the city for about a mile, reached also Aeclanum. On the topographical identification of this stretch of road, scholars have not yet agreed; what is certain is that, according to the routes, there should be a trace outside the city of a statio, near Nueriola or Nuceriola, and a trace one mile far, at X miles, in the place of Apice’s Ponte Rotto still well preserved.

Tabula Peutingeriana (Pars. VII - Segm. VI)

Nuceriola, as per Tabula Peutingeriana (Pars. VII - Segm. VI), as the first station of Appia after Benevento towards Brindisi, identified an antique base by Meomartini in 1897 in Cancelleria countryard. The same scholar, after 1903, thought the statio could be more southern, in “Piano Cappella”, as per some archeological recoveries. Only at the end of the 80’s of last century an additional hypothesis took place arised by L. Quilici thinking Appia, existing from Benevento, passed through an area called San Cumano where there are several evidences. Ancient Appia Landscapes lay within a described picture whose main goal is to try to think of valid hypothesis not only the develop of the layout of the roadway, although important and strategic, but also to add value to environmental phenomena, the settlement and peopling which determined the socio-economic production activities that increased in this area highly characterized by Appia. The “global” approach of the study ot the territory has been the most correct methodology choice, since many strategies, methode and techniques characterized by multi and interdisciplinary approaches, thanks to an increasing exchange of knowledge among different specialists (archeologists, geomorphology, botanicals, anthropologists, economists of the old world) with the common goal for historic reconstruction of the old territory and the landscapes which occurred in the time.