Hercules Temple, Via Cecilia, and the Megalithic Walls of Colle del Vento
A few kilometers from Montorio al Vomano, in loc. Venaquila, going along a short trail leading to river Vomano, you will reach Hercules Temple. Of great historical-archaeological importance, this Roman temple was discovered in 1865. Of the structure, significant rests of the cell with a mosaic floor remain: the floor was made in opus tessellatum with white limestone tesserae and black tesserae for the outlines. On the floor, the dedication inscription that, thanks to the mention of the consul couple, can be dated back to the 55 BC.
Besides providing the name of the divinity the temple was dedicated to (Hercules), the epigraph also provides information about the structure built by three magistri of a vicus, probably in the area of Montorio. After about half an hour of pleasant walk, from the small town center of Piano Vomano di Crognaleto it is possible to admire the most ancient monumental evidence of the Major Road District: the megalithic walls of Colle del Vento. An imposing stretch of "almost square" walls watching over Upper Vomano Valley, along which the ancient Via Cecilia developed. The easternmost spur of the plateau dominating Crognaleto, Piano Roseto, houses the ruins of the homonymous Rocca, built by the Suebians and strengthened by the Angevins. Common denominator of these important archaeological sites is Via Cecilia, a Roman road which, branching off from Salaria at Antrodoco, used to connect the present slopes of L'Aquila and Teramo with the Adriatic Sea. A considerable stretch of about 400 meters of the important consular road has been found in loc. Pietre Bianche, near the springs of Vomano and the junction to Campotosto Lake. The archaeological itinerary ends in Amiternum which without a doubt represents, with its imposing and well-preserved monuments, the most extraordinary evidence of the historical importance of these territories. A town of Sabine origins, hometown of Sallust, it preserves the characteristic Roman urban plan with the forum, the spas, the basilica, as well as the theater and the amphitheater.