An unique monumental area
In this area, called “Fonte” (source), there are several “caselle” above ground and inside the terraces. The “caselle” are buildings made with dry stones, whose construction technique has prehistoric origins and is widespread throughout the Mediterranean. To complete an almost museum-like space there are sections of mule track enclosed between picturesque walls and wells (pay attention!). It is rare to find such well preserved rural architecture solutions. Here passes an ancient communication route between the Dianese Gulf and the Merula Valley, via the Chiappa pass. A thesis proposes that this path follows the ancient Via Julia Augusta.
A Roman stone from the Augustan period, found and preserved in Chiappa, dating back to between 13 and 12 BC, indicates the distance from Rome to 553 miles and shows the following epigraph:
AVGVSTV [s imp.x]
[tr] I [b] VNICIA POTEST XI
To reach Gaul, the Roman Empire founded the Julia Augusta road.
Following the evolution of the road network, today it seems impossible to identify the original Roman route between the Merula Valley and the Dianese Gulf.
There are two hypothesized routes: an inland one would lead to Passo Chiappa to descend into the area of the current village of Chiappa and head towards the sea; the other would pass through the village of Rollo, near the coast.
In addition to the aforementioned milestone of Chiappa, a main stage rests under the current elementary school of San Bartolomeo al Mare: the building stands on the remains of a Roman Mansio, interpreted as a horse change and refreshment station, and a stretch of glareata road, that is formed by pressed pebbles and gravel.
Testo a cura di Nicola Ferrarese, immagini di Luca Patelli e Nicola Ferrarese