Walking through the ancient Roman roads
Discovering the ancient Roman roads, an itinerary from Rimini to Cattolica (1/2 day).
1. Augustus Arch
The monument is the gateway for those who arrived in the Roman city along Via Flaminia, that, starting from Rome, ended here. Four heads of gods adron the sides of the arch: Jupiter and Apollo outwards and Rome and Neptune to the inside of the door. The inscription at the top informs us that it was built in 27 BC by the will of the Roman people and senate and it celebrated Ocatian Augustus and his work of recongnization and restoration of the major Roman roads in Italy, including via Flaminia.
On the sidelines of Via Flaminia, a few meters away from the church of S. Maria della “Colonnella”, is visible the milestone that marked the first mile away (about 1,480 m) from the Arch of Augustus. It is a milestone in local stone 2.68 m high with a square base and a truncated cone shaft. Following a reclamation intervention the milestone has been placed in a public parking lot, where excavations have been able to identify the route of Via Flaminia and a necropolis.
3. Miramare Milestone
At Miramare in the area known as "Il Terzo" there is the milestone that marked the road distance of three miles from Rimini. The stone is made of local stone and shows a truncated cone upper part resting on a square base, which in ancient times could not be seen as stuck into the ground.
4. S. Lorenzo - Pharmacies Area
Just below the Municipal Pharmacies Area of . S. Lorenzo in Strada, remains of some buildings became museums. They are parts of a small housing cluster, perhaps coinciding with the ‘vicus Popilius’, that the local historical sources placed along Via Flaminia near Riccione. In Republican Rome times (between III and I century BC.) the area was occupied by plants and craft buildings, on which a small necropolis and a circular cistern overlapped in imperial times (I-III century AD.). The site was again used for residential purposes in late ancient times (V-VI century AD.) with the construction of a new building and the transformation of the tank in lime kiln, a furnace where the marbles taken from the funerary monuments were cooked for a lime production. A little further on, towards the roundabout, there are also housed two parallel walls belonging to a Roman Republican era warehouse.
5. Church of San Lorenzo in Strada
In the garden at the side of the parish church of S. Lorenzo there are a few marble blocks and column drum. They were discovered during the renovation of the church and probably referring to a Roman temple. The church, built in the Middle Ages above the temple, wad dedicate to S. Lorenzo and kept in the “last name” ‘in Strata' the memory of the bond with Via Flaminia.
6. The Bridge over the Rio Melo
Via Flaminia crossed the Rio Melo by a single arch bridge. The Roman structure is preserved in the two stoned side panels on which the medieval part in brick masonry now visible was built.
7. The Territory Museum | Riccione
The small but well-equipped museum collects documentation of the Roman settlement long history, rich of materials from many farms in the area and from San Lorenzo in Strada. Characterized before the arrival of the Romans from a center of workship, the place was then equipped as settlement (vicus) and a refreshment point along Via Flaminia, to which usual areas for burials flanked.
8. The Queen Museum | Cattolica
Founded in 2000, this museum houses two sections: the archaeological site, which displays artefacts found during city excavations from the 60s till today, and the one on the Adriatic navy. The archaeological section documents the stories of the center of the road and its postal station, equipped for travelers hospitality and the change of horses that gave rise to Cattolica, as a Roman settlement, also exploiting the potential for the sea trade port.
9. The Former Fruit and Vegetable Market | Cattolica
Inside the parking place behind the Former Fruit and Vegetable Market some buildings are visible, found during the sixties of the last century excavations. For these they proposed their identification with the postal station (mansio) structures located along the route of Via Flaminia from which the present town of Cattolica grew up.