Featured photo copyright National Geographic Magazine, taken from “A Roman-era ‘superhighway’ is disappearing. Italy has a plan to save it.”
National Geographic have released their Best of World list of 25 must-see destinations for 2023. An annual list of 25 “superlative destinations for the year ahead—places filled with wonder,” focussing on destinations doing important work in ecotourism, sustainability and inclusive travel.
The 25 destinations for 2023 are “under the radar, ahead of the curve, and ready for you to start exploring”.
The Appian Way, Europe’s ancient “superhighway” connecting Rome to Brindisi in Puglia, takes 1st place in culture list. Places where “history and heritage rule”.
The Appian Way symbolised the Roman Empire’s might. Built to connect Rome with Brundisium, the Roman name for Brindisi, and outward to the east Mediterranean, Via Appia facilitated the movement of goods and troops to and from the heart of the Roman Empire.
With the passing through of Roman legions, navy and trade ships, Brindisi grew in reputation, importance and wealth.
The Appian Way runs through Puglia. It takes us by the Ponte dell’Acquedotto, in Gravina in Puglia (scene of James Bond’s leap in No Time to Die), into Taranto, the only city founded by the Spartans outside Greece and ends in Brindisi.
Ancient twin columns at Via Colonne marked the terminus of Via Appia. Today only one of the columns stands above the port.