The Archaeological Area of Minturnae (Comprensorio Archeologico di Minturnae) is a little-known but impressive archaeological site along the Appian Way. It is located in the town of Minturno in the southern Lazio, about 160 kilometres south of Rome and 75 kilometres north of Naples.
Coordinates: 41° 14′ 31.7″ N, 13° 46′ 5.38″ E
Minturnae was originally an Auruncian city (of which no archaeological traces have been found), one of the three towns of the Aurunci which allied themselves with the Samnites and made war against Rome in 314 BC. After being defeated by Rome the city suffered severe repression and was burned to the ground. The Romans settled in the area and built a castrum along the river Liris after realising the strategic and commercial importance of its close location to the sea. The military settlement grew into a Roman colony in 296 BC and became an important trading port of the Mediterranean as well as a fortified commercial centre along the Appian Way.
In the 1st century BC, Minturnae was a flourishing city provided with a Capitolium (temple dedicated to the triad of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva), a forum and a theatre. During the Imperial era, a new forum was built, surrounded by public buildings such as a Basilica, thermal baths, an amphitheatre and a macellum (market).
Today there are still significant Roman remains scattered on both sides of the Appian Way.
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