The Romans are famous for their superb roads, they built roads that really integrated their massive empire. Their roads were built to last and last they have. One can still visit, walk, cycle these impressive roads all over the Mediterranean and beyond. While not a road but still one of the most impressive Roman ruins in Britain today is Hadrian's Wall and the fort of Vindolanda on it - certainly worth adding to the bucket list.

For those interested in ancient roads in the Western Hemisphere, it was the Incas who excelled at building incredibly impressive and enduring roads that can still be seen today.


Italy - The Appian Way

One of the main roads the Romans built that actually led to Rome was The Appian Way (or Via Appia). The Via Appia Antica is the old Roman Appian Way and is one of the oldest and most important roads that once crisscrossed the Roman Empire. It was once the essential road in transporting troops down to the port of Brindisis down in southeastern Italy.

  • Via Appia: One Of The Most Important And Famous Roman Roads

Today tourists can see sections of this iconic road and see various attractions along the route. While traveling this road stop in to see the Catacombs of San Callisto and the Catacombs of San Sebastiano (as well as other tombs and basilicas).

Tip: See The Catacombs En Route


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As one approaches Rome, the Via Appia Antica is now a nature and archaeological park called the Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica.

  • Accessible: From Rome By Public Transport

The Appian Way is readily accessible in Italy by both public bus and the Big Bus hop on. There are also tours of this road. There is a guide on how to access the Appian Way in Rome on Roman Tool Kit.

Related: Do The Baths Of England Live Up To The Hype? Here's What To Know

Britain - The Fosse Way And Others

While Britain was a remote province of the massive Roman Empire, it is still a maze of old Roman roads (but not in Scotland). While in England and Wales one can explore the rich history of Roman Britain. Many of these old thoroughfares can still be traced today and make for a unique way to see the country.

  • Roman Roads In Britain: Found In England and Wales But Not Scotland
  • Britain's Roman Roads: Once 3,000 Kilometers or Around 2,000 Miles
  • Roman Rule: In Britain Was Around 400 Years

Britain was one of Roman's shortest-lived provinces, but even so, they were there for around 400 years - plenty of time to leave their enduring mark on the country. They built over 3,000 kilometers (or around 2,000 miles) of roads in Britain and they connected the many settlements with their many impressive fortresses.

Most of the roads have since been overlaid or otherwise altered over the centuries but there are still sections where one can still retrace the ancient authentic Roman roads of yore. Among them are the famous Ermine Street linking London with the important northern city of York. Another is the Fosse Way. It was the longest route leading from Exeter to Lincoln. And these roads boast rich Roman history.

  • Fosse Way: Longest Route
  • Lead: From Exeter To Lincoln
  • Length: Around 370 Kilometers or Around 200 Miles

The Fosse Way stretches for some 370 kilometers or around 200 miles across Britain. It is the longest remaining Roman Road in Britain. Start in Exeter a gem of Britain's southwest and see the city's medieval underground passes or follow the city wall trail - parts of it are almost 2,000 years old.

  • Exeter's City Wall Trail: Parts are 2,000 Years Old
  • Roman Baths: Some Of The Best Preserved Roman Ruins In England

Along the route stop off at the Roman Baths - one of the best-preserved Roman sites in Britain. And then there's the Cotswolds and the Roman town of Cirencester with its Roman amphitheater. For a full guide of Roman roads in Britain, Visit Britain has some excellent suggestions and itineraries.

Related: The Posh City Of Chester Is Often Overlooked, But Absolutely Worth Exploring

France - Via Aurelia: The Roman Empire’s Lost Highway

In France, the Via Aurelia has been dubbed by the Smithson Magazine as the "Lost Highway" of the Roman Empire. Here one can see "milliaires" or milestones along the ancient route.

  • See: A Milestone One The Old Roman Road In Southern France

The Romans built hundreds of these milestones along the highways of ancient Gaul. One of the last standings can be seen in Pélissanne in southern France. The inscription has on this milestone as worn away but it is old, dating from 3 BC in the reign of Augustus.

  • Built: During The Regin Of Augustus
  • Length: 180 Miles
  • Complete Roman Network: 62,000 Miles of Road Network Across The Empire

In 12 BC Augustus was at the height of his power and he commanded that his powerful legions built a highway transversing the province of Gallia Narbonensis (today southern France).

They built a road spanning 180 miles and for 4 centuries with was the region's main artery. It carried charioteers, couriers, traders, legionaries, and many others. It was paved and finely graded it was well maintained until the Roman Empire began to fall apart. It was built with rest stops and chariot service stations every 12 to 20 miles.

Next: 20 Stunning Roman Ruins Every Visitor To Europe Should See