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Interregional project: “Salaria: a historic, cultural and religious itinerary for tourism”

The Salaria road is the ancient roman consular way, nowadays state highway number 4, which starts from Porta Salaria of Rome and arrives to San Benedetto del Tronto, particularly to Porto d’Ascoli, at the outlet of Tronto river, the Adriatic coast where earlier Sabini and then Piceni (the most ancient people of Italy) used to collect sea salt.

This is an historic way which was the main connection between two seas of the Italian peninsula, Tyrrhenian and Adriatic and one of the first consular way built by Romans.

Loads of its layouts were used before Roman age by inner populations for salt supplying used to conserve food.

Its three thousand-years old history leaved a precious heritage with several monuments along its blueprint; this way represents an extraordinary open-pit museum along all its 323 kilometers.

The travel through the ancient Salaria nowadays is a completely different experience from the one through the fast and anonymous motorway, which is far from the natural landscape and the no more crossed Medieval hamlets.

The Salaria way twists and turns through different river, hill, mountain and coast landscapes including important Apennines mountains and the greatest national park system as Monti Sibillini National Park at the north and Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga Parks at the east).

The cities along the way, the biggest one Rome as the medium ones as Rieti and Ascoli Piceno and the smallest Cittaducale, Cotilia, Cittareale, Antrodoco, Accumuli, Arquata del Tronto, Acquasanta Terme and Porto d’Ascoli, Farfa and Amatrice, have all a huge historic and cultural value.

The natural landscape shows suggestive glimpses as Terminillo, the Gole di Antrodoco and the Gole del Velino.

We also remind the traditional dishes and typical produits offered along the way by farms, trattorias, agritourisms. We can mention extra virgin olive oil of Sabina DOP, ascolana stuffed olive DOP, truffles, anisetta liqueur and much more.

The religious aspect has also a big importance because of “faith sites”. Since ancient times Marche and Lazio represented the places of passage of Romei, pilgrims going to Rome. We can find many sites of cult, as the Farfensi ones of Piceno (Benedictines of Farfa organized the Piceno as courts and churches system surrounded by vegetable gardens and mills) and the Romanesque parish church in the Monti Sibillini National Park, San Giacomo della Marca di Monteprandone, Santuario della Madonna dell’Ambro di Montefortino and much more. We also remind the historical cult of Sant’Emidio, first bishop and martyr of Ascoli church and protector from earthquakes. 

Along the way we also remind the presence of several thermal baths as Terme di Vespasiano, Cotilia in Lazio and Acquasanta Terme in Piceno. In the past the name of Salaria was lied more to this healthy aspect than to the salt transport.

Along the Salaria way we pass through millenniums of history.

The Province of Ascoli Piceno, with the collaboration of Regione Marche and Regione Lazio and with the contribution of Dipartimento per lo Sviluppo e la Competitività del Turismo della Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri (Legge n.296/06 - DPR 24 Luglio 2007, n.158) is going to realize the interregional project “Salaria: a historic, cultural and religious itinerary for tourism” to promote and value the historic, cultural, religious, environmental and food and wine heritage of this ancient roman consular way and of its territory.

The objective is to put into action different kinds of journeys as naturalistic, food and wine, historic, cultural, religious to make this way not only a road to pass but a touristic destination.

Inner the project we find several thematic fields:

-       Salaria by foot”, which allows to pass through the way from Rome to Porto d’Ascoli and vice versa, by a multimedia narration;

-       Salaria cycle tourist” which realizes a road from Piceno to Rome through different steps where cyclists can rest, sleep, taste the food and wine specialties, promoting a net of bike hotels (structures able to serve special services to cyclists – deposits, cycle laboratories, washer-dryers, specially restaurants);

-       Salaria Cristiana”, which consists in journeys of different duration to discover cloisters along the “way of salt”, with census of small sanctuaries and faith sites to design a specific itinerary;

-       SALutARIA”, which put into action and value the thermal baths of this road.  

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