1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Valeria, Via
VALERIA, VIA, an ancient highroad of Italy, the continuation north-eastwards of the Via Tiburtina (q.v.). It probably owed its origin to M. Valerius Messalla, censor in 154 B.C. It ran first up the Anio valley past Varia (q.v.), and then, abandoning it at the 36th mile, where the Via Sublacensis diverged, ascended to Carseoli (q.v.), and then again to the lofty pass of Monte Bove (4003 ft.), whence it descended again to the valley occupied by the Lago di Fucino (q.v.). It is doubtful whether it ran farther than the eastern point of the territory of the Marsi at Cerfennia, to the N.E. of the Lacus Fucinus, before the time of Claudius. Stiabo states that in his day it went as far as Corfinium, and this important place must have been in some way accessible from Rome, but probably, beyond Cerfennia, only by a track. The difficult route from Cerfennia to the valley of the Aternus—a drop of nearly 1000 ft., involving too the crossing of the main ridge of the Apennines (3675 ft.) by the Mons Imeus (mod. Forca Caruso)—was, however, probably not made into a highroad until Claudius’s reign: one of his milestones (Corp. Inscr. Lat. ix. 5973) states that he in A.D. 48–49 made the Via Claudia Valeria from Cerfennia to the mouth of the Aternus (mod. Pescara). He also constructed a road, the Via Claudia Nova, connecting the Via Salaria, which it left at Foruli (mod. Civitatomassa, near Amiternum) with the Via Valeria near the modern Popoli. This road was continued south (we do not know by whom or when) to Aesernia. From Popoli the road followed the valley of the Aternus to its mouth, and there joined the coast-road at Pescara. The modern railway from Rome to Castellammare Adriatico follows closely the line of the Via Valeria.