Sigeric the Serious: Via Francigena, Iohannis VIIII, Circa 990 AD

Iste sunt submansiones de Roma usque ad mare:

…; II, Iohannis VIIII;…

Iohannis VIIII was a burgus on the Via Cassia, corresponding more or less to present-day La Storta. The word storta (meaning: twisted or bent) refers to a series of curves that the Via Cassia makes through the village. The stop was also referred to as Sanctus Ioannes in Nono, since the way station was constructed next to a church dedicated to Saint John, and positioned at the nine-mile marker from the start of the Via Cassia in Rome.

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La Storta station as seen today. Photo courtesy of Zona Newspaper.

When Sigeric made a stop in 990, the burgus Johannis VIIII was part of the Papal States Territories which was under direct rule of the pope. This lasted until 1861 when most of the Papal States Territories were conquered by the Kingdom of Italy. By 1870, the pope even lost Lazio and Rome, and had no physical territory at all, not even the Vatican. The situation was finally resolved in 1929 with the Lateran Treaty, establishing the independent state of Vatican City.

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Political map of Italy in the year 1000

Nearby,  in the small town of Isola Farnese, lies the site of the Etruscan city of Veii.  By the time Sigeric was in the area, Veii had long been defeated, assimilated by the Romans, and eventually abandoned. The well-known statue of Apollo of Veii was later discovered in the Portonaccio sanctuary in 1916 by excavators from the Italian government.

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The Apollo of Veii, painted terracotta, Etruscan, c. 510-500BC. Courtesy of the National Etruscan Museum.

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