When you’re tired of the crush of Rome, the monument overload, the lack of fresh air and green pastures, I have an idea. A microadventure you can bet your friends haven’t even thought of.
Malborghetto, north of Rome along the Via Flaminia, is a very interesting place. What is it? It’s a Roman arch, one of Constantine’s, and it stands at the crossroads of the Flaminia and the Via Veientana, 19.2 km from central Rome along the Flaminia.
The arch marks the place Constantine pitched his camp the night before the battle at which Constantine would beat his rival Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge in the year 312 AD.
Here it is today. In a big casale which appears medieval, there is the skeleton of the arch dated to the first half of the 4th century.
How’s that for continuous use of a structure?
Inside is a small museum. Since the word “malborghetto” would indicate a bad place, there’s a certain quality to the big house you can’t put a finger on. Even the exhibitions inside can make the hair on the back of your neck stand up. There is something evil in the air surrounding the place you can’t pinpoint.
Outside you see the remains of the monuments found along the old Flaminia.
The structure has undergone many changes of ownership over the years, which you’ll learn about when you visit.
Map showing the location of Arco di Malborghetto
(“Microadventure” is a term coined by Alastair Humphreys, who defines the concept in “A Year of Microadventure, “An adventure that is close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective.” I am expanding the concept to include the idea of “home” to be wherever you are on vacation. A vacation is seldom a continuous narative that flows, but a series of memorable microadventures embedded within a difficult journey.)
Unique: Forth century arch transformed into a large house and inn, still standing!
Region: Lazio Map
Days: 1 (day trip from Rome)
: No train station at Malborthetto, closest suburban train station at Sacofano
North of Rome and the Via Flaminia
Parking: Free parking
Place to Stay: Villa Acacia
How to get there without a car: Suburban Train: Rome Euclide to Sacrofano station, backtrack on foot for the Arco di Malborthetto.