Appian a-Way!

Appian Way 01

So, as you can tell… Google Maps screen shot. I couldn’t find my pictures from this trip, but you get the idea. Up, Up, and Appian a-WAY!

It’s funny when I was younger I never thought of roads as technology. But when you come across one that was built in 312 B.C. that spans 350 miles it makes you think a little more about it. Via Appia, otherwise known as the Appian Way, is such a road. A few years ago I went on a day trip walking along the Appian Way, and did a few sketches. Being that the road is ancient and leads right into the heart of the city, the road is dusted with ancient ruins. Old villas, Christian Catacombs, and bits of carved cornices. It seemed like if you were bold enough you could just take it home… who would stop you?… well customs officers I guess… or maybe the police.

This walk through history also reminded me that architecture is not just buildings. Architecture is also the landscape, and the way that buildings are aggregated together. Compare this screen shot to your commute to work, and you’ll see that we have sadly lost the battle for roads to the engineers. We have eschewed the wonder of travel for the harsh efficacy of science and trajectory. Fire trucks determine the width of roads, leaving little room for varying proportions of scale in new design.

All that being said, it put a feather in my cap to be able to enjoy the views. The wine-and-cheese picnic didn’t hurt either…

Appian Way 02

Catacomb of Saint Sebastian. Are amazing as well, but there wasn’t really the opportunity to sketch as you could imagine…

Appian Way

Ruins along the Appian Way drawn from a garden full of cypress trees and old marbles.

Ruins along the Appian Way drawn from a garden full of cypress trees and old marbles.

Appian Way 02


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