Il primo arco trionfale definito nella sua completezza e peculiarità apparve nel 40-30 a.C. ad Aquino,
The first triumphal arch defined in its entirety and peculiarities appeared in 40-30 BC at Aquino (then Aquinium).
(The full article is here, and if necessary google translate will help you get the picture).
It constantly amazes me, this history I live in. This arch is not far from my much visited and loved Via Latina, (below) which I have been told is the first road in recorded history to be planned and built. Other roads - in Greece - developed from dirt tracks and are older, but this one was the first of the "all roads lead to Rome" that is known to have been designed and constructed from scratch.
It is also next to one of my most favourite churches (photos in the following blog post but also in the article linked to below).
Knowing that it was (apparently) the first triumphal arch makes it even more imperative that we save it from the neglect and abuse that industry has caused and is causing now.
It is a huge conceptual leap for me, that something like this can be taken for granted simply because there are so many ancient things around. But in these times, when Pompeii is crumbling, earthquakes are shaking Tuscany (over four thousand people are on the road today fleeing the beaches and houses) a hidden arch could simply be let fall, be looted and sold, who knows how! But as long as there are collectors without scruples paying money, things like this will leave Italy and their provenance will be lost.
Do you fancy the first ever triumphal arch in your garden? I'm not really joking; the wonderful carved sarcophagus from the adjacent church disappeared, (please make time to read the link, it is interesting) so what would protect this wonderful assemblage of stone? The Medici connection is also interesting...
It's a very serious question. How does one protect this heritage?
In the meantime, I had better get on with my painting for the cause! Who knows, we could be about to save some really important world history!
Today I am grateful for the little Italian I can speak.