The via Appia was built in several instalments between 312 BC and 191 BC to connect Rome to Brindisi, following the advancement of the Roman conquests in southern Italy. After the defeat of Lautulae (315 BC) near Terracina, which resulted in the defection of Capua during the second Samnitic War (326-304 BC), censor Appius Claudius decided the building of a new road to reach Capua, fast and easy to defend, in the place of the old via Latina, winding and exposed to military attacks.The main feature of this new road is viable in any time and by any means, thanks to the pavement made large smooth stones fitted together perfectly, resting on a layer of gravel that ensured stability and drainage.
With this revolutionary technique the Republic and the Empire to build the vast road network of the Roman world.
The via Appia, which was originally paved with gravel, was later paved with large basaltic stones up to Capua (191 BC). The measures of the road, which would become standard for the other consular roads, were 14 Roman foot (4,15 m) for the gauge, allowing the simultaneous transit of two carriages, and 11 foot (3,25 m) for each side walk, for a total of more than 10 m wide.
About each 10 mp a station (statio) was available for the change of horses (mutationes) and about each 20 miles the station also provided meals and lodging for travelers (mansiones). On the via Appia some the stations coincided with existing villages or they were expressly built for the transport of goods, persons and official mail (cursus publicus) and later became urban centers .
Along the first few miles there are numerous burial constructions following the law that forbade burial within the sacred walls of Pomerio: monuments of illustrious families, but also columbaria brotherhoods formed to give their members a decent burial; subdiali or underground cemeteries belonging to ethnic or religious communities. Create and stratification of a wealth of historical, cultural and artistic activities of great value.
( http://www.parcoappiaantica.it/home/il-parco/storia )...few minutes from home, take the Bus 660 from Colli Albani Terrace, get off after 6 stops and you are arrived in the heart of archaeological area of Appia Antica.
Not to be missed !