Via Iulia Augusta Trail

The road was built in 13 BCE on the orders of Emperor Augustus to connect Rome with southern Gaul and today is considered one of the most beautiful historic routes in the whole of Liguria.
As a result, it is a protected archaeological and landscape monument, but it is still open to pedestrians.

The trail is easy, part of its is asphalted, part is a loose earth surface and the whole trail takes around two hours to walk. A stroll along the trail gives you a real feel for the past, surrounded by the colourful and fragrant Mediterranean brush.

The route starts from the car park in front of Santa Croce church, famous for its spectacular views over the bay. The stunning views continue after you pass under the stone archway, as the bright blue sea and Gallinara island remain your constant companions throughout the walk which makes its way through the cypress and eucalyptus trees to Sant’Anna ai Monti, an ancient church probably dating back to around 1000 AD. From up here, there is a captivating view over Gallinara island, which was named by the Romans after the wild hens, or galline in Italian, that used to live there.

The island, which is still privately owned, is part of a network of protected areas in Liguria to preserve their unspoiled habitats and their priceless historical, environmental, and cultural value. The history of the island is linked to a Benedictine Monastery which during the ninth century became the seat of rich and powerful Abbey. From this viewpoint, you can catch a glimpse of the 16th century tower, built by the Republic of Genoa, the noble residents which has been repeatedly extended and remodelled, and the early-1900s church.
Continue along the path for a further 3 km and you come to some stone paving where the ancient Roman cobblestones can still be seen, with the typical water drainage system. Just after this, you come to the Roman necropolis of Albingaunum, dating from the 1st or 2nd century AD, remains of which can be found all the way along the rest of the trail. After passing the last of the ruins, you arrive at Punta San Martino, near the “Pilone”, a tower-shaped funeral monument from the 2nd century AD, and the Roman amphitheatre.

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