Although the Almone River, which runs for 6 km between the Roman Via Latina and Via Appia, inside the present Appian Way Regional Park, is a short tributary of the Tiber River, it played a crucial role among the cults for protection of the ancient city of Rome: the rite of lavatio (a ritual washing) of the lithic symbol of the Great Mother-Cybele goddess from Pessinus (the present village of Ballihisar, southwest of Ankara, Turkey) in the cold and fast-flowing water of the Almone River. In later times, the Almone River lost its sacrality and its flowing water got a new useful and hydraulic meaning. So it deeply characterised the local area and human settlements, enhancing their artisanal potential, especially in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and in part until the 20th century. The river area has records of water mills and ‘valche’ (from the Longobard word walkan, rolling), i.e. wool-fulling mills. One of the latter (converted into a paper mill in the early 20th century) has been restored and is now used as the headquarters and visitors' centre of the Appian Way Regional Park, of which the Almone is one of the key attractions for its tourist, natural, historical and cultural value.
The Sacred Almone River of the Appian Way Regional Park in Rome: ancient myths, a ritual link between Rome and Asia Minor and water uses in the modern age
M. Tallini, A. Di Leo, C. Rossetti, F. Berardi; The Sacred Almone River of the Appian Way Regional Park in Rome: ancient myths, a ritual link between Rome and Asia Minor and water uses in the modern age. Water Supply 1 May 2013; 13 (3): 727–734. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2013.098
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