The Via Appia was the ancient Roman road that connected Rome to Brindisi, the most important port for Greece and the East. The Appia is probably the most famous Roman road which remained meny evidences. The building began in 312 BC, at the behest of the censor Appio Claudio Cieco, and continued until 190 BC. The road was restored and enlarged during the rule of the Emperors Augustus, Vespasian, Trajan and Hadrian. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the road fell into disuse for a long time, until Pope Pius VI ordered its restoration and brought into activity. Large tracts of the original road have been preserved to this day (some still used for car traffic), showing many tombs and catacombs of early Christian communities. The road was designed and built by leading engineers of the Empire enough to be viable in every season thanks to the pavement with large smooth stones that fitted together perfectly. The flooring rested, in turn, on a layer of crushed stone that filled an artificial trench ensured that the tightness of the drainage. Almost always straight, allowing circulation in both directions, flanked on either side by crepidines (sidewalks) to the pedestrian path, earning the nickname "Queen of the Road" (regina viarum). On the Via Appia it appeared for the first time milestones. A new Via Appia was built from Rome to Brindisi parallel to the original one in 1784. Given the historical and the amount of the archaeological finds along the way, and in 1988 was established the Regional Park of Ancient Appia, which falls in the municipalities of Rome, Ciampino and Marino.