Tag Archives: Rome

Appian Way, Queen of Long-Distance Roads, 312 BC

Original Appian Way Rome, Italy

“Appian Way, Queen of Long-Distance Roads, 312 BC ” by Joan Y. Edwards

On October 2, 2023 I was fortunate to visit Rome, Italy. I went to see the Appian Way…the oldest road there. I heard that it was the Queen of Long Distance Roads and wondered why. Oh my!
I discovered that although this road is technically more than 2,335 years old, ten miles of it still exists!!! I actually stood and walked on it.  Sometimes you have to witness something in person, in picture, or video to understand the strength of things built to last. I’m not sure that Appius Claudius Caecus knew the strength of this highway, but he knew that it was desperately needed to carry troops from Rome to the southern part of Italy. 
The first section to Capua near Naples was approximately 120 miles and  in 244 BC it was expanded to reach Brindisi along the Adriatic Sea on the west coast  of Italy was about 400  miles long. From Brindisi, it was easy to sail to Greece and Egypt.
The Appian Way was built to move troops swiftly and easily during the Samnite Wars. They built forts along this highway, too.  Appian Way was the first long distance road. They built 19 other roads from Rome. Hence the saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” The Appian Way was celebrated by The poets Horace and Statius called it longarum regina viarum, or “queen of long-distance roads.” I definitely agree with that statement.
The Appian Way on an average was 20 feet in width. It was slightly convex to allow the rainwater to drain well. Heavy stone blocks formed the foundation of the road. They were cemented together with lime mortar.  Many sided blocks of lava were smoothly and expertly fitted together. They say this early road was  very smooth, not bumpy or rough edged. No potholes. 
Appian Way intersection with red light and wall
Appian Way Red Light intersection
Today there is a red light at the intersection. In this picture you can see the sign for Appia Antica.

Later times they built the roads like this. They were not and are not known for being smooth like the old Appian Way. So if you go to Italy or other towns where there are cobblestone roads, be careful not to twist your foot. I twisted mine. I am glad to say it healed nicely in about 3 weeks.
  1. Britannica.com. “Appian Way” https://www.britannica.com/topic/Appian-Way
  2. Live Virtual Tour. “What is the origin of the Appian Way in Rome?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-MnyFMAtm4
  3. Rick Steves.  “Time Travel on Rome’s Ancient Appian Way:” https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/read/articles/time-travel-on-romes-ancient-appian-way
  4. Sidetrack Adventures. “Exploring The Appian Way – Ancient Rome’s First Highway:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZH9_gzO_e0ay 
  5. Worldsiteguides.   “Appian Way – Rome:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkIMjtfAjs 

What Town Does Your Main Character Call Home?

“What Town Does Your Main Character Call Home?” by Joan Y. Edwards

Does your main character live in a small town with parades going down Main Street to celebrate the oldest citizen in the community? Are there hundreds of people or thousands?

Perhaps your main character’s niece is a cheerleader in the parade or an uncle who is the mayor.

It’s possible that your main character is a flight attendant who only gets home to see his parents once a year. He currently lives in Tokyo.


On his days off he might use the services of a rickshaw pulled by one man to go shopping.

Your main character might prefer the romantic city of Paris, France, but he might suffer his greatest defeat at the base of the Arch de Triumph! His date turned him down and his boss fired him.


He could try for a job taking care of the trees along one of the main thoroughfares in Paris. He could be so determined to find a job that he checks in every building for ten full blocks to find a job.

He may feel so lost that he feels he needs the help of the Pope in Rome, Italy to pray for him.

He may feel like he wants to go to a small fishing village. 

 Or be one of the consultants on how to build the safest home in case of a hurricane in Miami, Florida.


Whatever town, city, or village you choose for your main character, make it add tension to the story that’s so bad he might want to move or be frightened to move. Or when he moves that the problem inside him is still there waiting for him to solve it?

Where would you want to live if you didn’t live where you are now? What city, town, or village would add more stress to your main character’s life? I appreciate www.morguefile.com for letting me use their pictures for free.  Thanks for sharing my blog with others.

Other Questions to Inspire Your Writing:

  1. What Shoes Would Your Main Character Wear?
  2. In What House Would Your Main Character Reside?
  3. What Will Your Main Character Drink?
  4. What Will Your Main Character Eat?

Celebrate you.
Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2014-2019 Joan Y. Edwards