Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Roman Roads Vulci Archeological Park Maremma Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),

There are more than 120,000 kilometers of public roads in Europe, northern Africa, and beyond that date back to the 4th century B.C. and are attributed to the Romans. Millions have traveled these roads to exchange ideas and merchandise.

    The Roman roads were typically built with layers of stone, all fitted in such a manner as to hold each neighboring stone in place. The roads were created by first cutting the path and then removing the dirt along that path.
  • The base layer was called “statumen” and consisted of 30 cm high blocks of hard stone.
  • The next layer “ruderatio” was another hard layer, but consisting of rounded stones held together by lime in a specific ratio (1:3).
  • For the third layer, rows of blocks were placed along the edges of the roads and then the center was filled with gravel. This “pavimentum” was designed in such a way that the edge rocks were extended where the road widened, and served as a place to mount and dismount one’s horse.
  • The “Lastricatura” was the final finishing layer and consisted of basalt, a volcanic material.

Roman roads even had mile markers and a system setup for maintenance. Every five to seven miles on public roads there were postal stations and areas set up for communication, as well as places in which to refresh the horses. Within a day’s travel by horseback one could pass six to eight of these stations. Thus, hotels and rest areas were also present along roadsides to accommodate weary travelers.

The images you see here in this post were ones that I took a few months ago while visiting the ghost town of Vulci, Italy. It is in the southern part of Tuscany called Maremma. Specifically, the images (and the information about the Roman roads) are from inside the Vulci Archaeological Naturalistic Park. The park features a beautiful open landscape that is home to the ruins of an entire Etruscan city and necropolis. The day that I was there, much of the park was closed due to renovation and heavy rains. Still, I found the overcast day and slight drizzle added to the atmosphere of this peaceful and historic site. I would not have enjoyed my visit as much on a bright and sunny day.

Thank you for reading. It is good to find my way back!

Kelly Borsheim


Gene P. said...


Kelly Borsheim Artist said...

I am constantly amazed how "old" things that are well done are also "contemporary." Vasily Fedorouk pointed this out to me often as he showed me art being discovered in Ucrania. He loved reading National Geographic for this reason, although he told me that he had to read it about five times since English is not his native language. :-)