On 4 February 2006 I walked along the Via Appia Antica with the French culture group Rome et Son Histoire. We visited many of the ancient tombs and monuments along the way. In places the original Roman paving stones are still in place. Built in 312 BC, the road is still lined with pines and cypresses as it was centuries ago when the road was used by the Romans to carry their dead out of the city and bury them here. Ruined tombs and temples dot both sides of the road. Most of the tombs are shapeless stacks of bricks, left there by those who plundered their marble faÃ§ades. What a lovely day to take this walk: a hint of spring, the first crocus, soft, filtered sunlight… we were joined by those walking their dogs and riding their horses.