Contenuto pagina
Turismo.pesarourbino.it
Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino
Sito in fase di aggiornamento a seguito del riordino delle Province (L. 56/14 e L.R. Marche 13/15)

The Flaminia Way

The Flaminia Way

A tour of the main archaeological sites which are still visible along the ancient Roman Consular Road, starting from the Umbrian border and arriving at the sea in Fano, before heading northwards as far as the border with Romagna.

The historical via Flaminia, opened by Caius Flaminius in 202 BC, is quite unique today, especially along the section running through the Province of Pesaro and Urbino. This is due to the number of bridges, cuttings and embankments, tunnels, stretches of pavement, support structures, drainage systems, roadside cippi (or pillars) and inscriptions which still exist along the way. These constitute a series of archaeological remains of exceptional importance which document several centuries of construction work along the road.

Cantiano, Ponte Grosso
Cantiano, Ponte Grosso
Cagli, Ponte Mallio
Cagli, Ponte Mallio
Furlo Gorge
Furlo Gorge
Tunnel, Furlo Gorge
Tunnel, Furlo Gorge
Fossombrone, archaeological site
Fossombrone, archaeological site
Fano, Arch of Augustus
Fano, Arch of Augustus
Pesaro, Archeological museum Oliveriano
Pesaro, Archeological museum Oliveriano

Just over the border from Umbria, at Pontericcioli (south of Cantiano), a large number of Roman constructions appear along the original stretch of road (which followed a different course to that of the present road). These include a fine support structure in grey stone and, a little further ahead, a bridge known as Ponte Grosso, built with two arches divided by a small water divider. Another bridge, also known as Ponte Grosso, at Cantiano, takes the Flaminian Way across the River Burano. The two arches, each seven metres (23 Roman feet) wide, join at a central pier (5.6 m wide) with water divider. It is built to the same design as the original bridge, which dated back to the Augustan period and was constructed using cornelian stone that had been quarried locally.
Yet another bridge is Ponte Mallio, at the ancient town of Cale, the present-day Cagli. This crossed the Bosso torrent before it joined the Burano. The central archway, built with 21 voussoirs and with a projecting line of blocks above it, measures 11.66 m (40 Roman feet) while the width of the road running over it, including pavement and parapets, is 9 m (30 Roman feet). The bridge was built towards the end of the Republican Period using vast blocks of grey stone and cornelian stone. In various places, depending upon the effect of the current, it is built using a dry stone technique.
The same technique was used further along the road in the construction of the viaduct in the Acqualagna district, just by the ancient abbey of San Vincenzo. This time, the viaduct has been built using the local Furlo stone and again dates back to the Republican period. It is reinforced at the front with six square buttresses which protected the road from being damaged when the River Candigliano flooded in bad weather. The viaduct also had two drainage arches for water running down from the slopes of Monte Pietralata. At the Furlo Gorge we see another extraordinary work of engineering. The road passes through the gorge, supported on huge square blocks and tapered buttresses which rise up to a height of around 6 metres in height, taking the road through a small tunnel which was probably excavated from a natural passageway or cavern. The larger tunnel beside it was opened in 76 AD, during the reign of Emperor Vespasian, as the inscription by the tunnel records. At that time the task of excavating a tunnel such as this was truly mammoth. The uninterrupted series of support walls is now partially submerged by the artificial lake which has dammed up the River Candigliano, though the height of the road can be clearly seen when it emerges on the other side of the tunnel onto a narrow ledge cut into the wall of rock. From here, the Flaminia continues on to Calmazzo, a district of Fossombrone. An interesting burial ground was found here with two tomb stones in memory of the Cissonia family. Its area measures around 135 m2 and is surrounded by a boundary fence of limestone slabs supported on small rusticated posts. In Roman times, Calmazzo was a small hamlet (or 'vicus'), built at the junction (or 'diverticulum') which already existed between the Flaminian Way and the road leading up the Metauro Valley in the direction of Urbino (Urvinum Mataurense). It stood just after the bridge which was built by the Emperor Trajan in 115 AD, restored by Federico da Montefeltro and sadly destroyed during the Second World War. Continuing on in the direction of the Adriatic coast, the via Flaminia passes through the centre of Fossombrone and on to the San Martino del Piano district of the town, to the archaeological site of the ancient 'Forum Sempronii'. It is commonly held that the town dates back to the time of Caius Sempronius Gracco, who built the forum between 133 and 126 BC. The town was built on a grid-like layout, running parallel with the Flaminian Way, a small stretch of which has now been unearthed. A short distance away we can see the remains of a domus, or family house, with thermal heating system, and a long stretch of basalt paving which runs parallel to the Flaminian Way. Other archaeological finds are displayed at the Museo Civico, in the Corte Alta palace in Fossombrone.
Another stretch of the ancient Flaminian Way, with the marks of chariot wheels still visible in the stone, can be seen in the Tavernelle district of Serrungarina, where various objects (vases, amphorae, coins and a rare marble head of Attis) have come to light which indicate this may have been a stopping place along the route. It has been suggested that the famous Battle of the Metauro, in which Hasdrubal of Carthage was defeated and killed in 207 BC, may have been fought in this area.
Another major stopping point along the Flaminian Way is Fano (Fanum Fortunae). This ancient town, (perhaps a municipium, or free town) was built around an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Fortune and was subsequently transformed by the Emperor Augustus into the Colonia Julia Fanestris. The Flaminian Way reaches the sea here before heading north along the coast through Pesaro (Pisaurum) to end its route at Rimini (Ariminum). Fano still retains its ancient grid-like layout of streets running north-south ('cardi') and east-west ('decumani'). Several stretches of basalt paving have been found just beneath the level of the present road, complete with an efficient drainage system dating back to the Augustan Period. Among the monuments dating from this time is the triple-arched Porta di Augusto (Arch of Augustus) as well as the underground remains of a large public building, which may either have been the Basilica built on one side of the Forum of Vitruvius (and described in detail by Vitruvius in his treatise 'De Architectura') or alternatively the Temple of Fortune. There is also an interesting surviving stretch of the wall of Augustus, constructed using small pieces of cut sandstone placed in horizontal rows ('opus vittatum'), strengthened with sturdy cylindrical towers and with a small gateway built on sandstone supports. The many fine relics from this period include mosaics (some still in situ), statues, busts, roadside cippi or pillars, inscriptions, and articles found in tombs which stood along the Flaminian Way. These are now conserved in the Museo Civico in the Malatesta Palace. Part of the urban street layout of the roman colony of Pisaurum (Pesaro), founded in 184 BC, also survives along the Flaminian Way in Pesaro, including the main north-south street (via San Francesco-Corso XI Settembre). Various archaeological finds have come to light over the years, both in the town centre as well as along the road from Fano. The original Fano-Pesaro stretch of the Via Flaminia ran inland and only later was it built along the coast as far as Fosso Sejore, where it headed up onto the hill (along the route of the present day "via panoramica") to Colle Ardizio before dropping down (through present day Monte Granaro) into Pesaro. Stone plaques, roadside pillars and various other finds are on display in the well stocked Museo Oliveriano in Palazzo Almerici.
Heading north from Pesaro, the road crossed the River Foglia at the point where the Ponte Vecchio, with its single great arch, now stands. From here it climbs the steep slopes of Colle San Bartolo before descending down to Gabicce Mare, the last town before the border with Romagna, and on to Rimini.

Copyright © 2018 Provincia di Pesaro e Urbino - Gestito con Docweb [id] - Privacy Policy