The archaeological park of the Tombs of Via Latina, one of the most important funerary complexes of the suburbium of Rome, still conserves the traditional aspect of the ancient Roman countryside practically intact. The site conserves part of the ancient Via Latina, a long stretch still with its original flag paving-stones, that connected Rome to Capua. On either side of the road, numerous funeral monuments, historical and material testimonies from the republican age up to the high Middle Ages. The area was discovered and excavated between 1857 and 1858 by Lorenzo Fortunati, a teacher with a passion for archaeology.
Near the entrance is the Corneli or Barberini Tomb
, so-named for the noble family who last owned the area. The funerary monument can be dated to the II century A.D. and is formed by two levels above ground and a subterranean burial chamber. Externally it conserves architectural decorations that were originally painted. The interior was surmounted by frescoed vaults and stuccowork.
On the right side of the road, the so-called Valerii Tomb
, with walls rebuilt in 1859-61 to protect the richly decorated underground burial chamber. The monument can be dated between 160 and 170 A.D. and was entirely lined with slabs of white marble. The interior conserves an elaborate decoration of medallions in white stucco. Various architectural structures have been excavated in the vicinity of the monument that were probably destined to providing food and shelter to travellers along the road, even as late as the IV century A.D. Opposite the Valerii Tomb stands the Pancrazi Tomb from the late I century A.D. and so named for the reference of two inscriptions that cite the funerary college of the "Pancratii". The first burial chamber is decorated with mosaics on the floor and frescoes in the vaults and in the lunettes of the arches. The second burial chamber conserves the fresco and stucco decoration of the vaults and, in the middle of the room, a large sarcophagus of Greek marble. The area to the rear of the sepulchre is the site of the remains of a large villa built in the late I century A.D. and inhabited until the early IV century when Demetriade, descendant of the Anicii family, ordered the construction of a basilica dedicated to Saint Stephen Protomartyr, a destination of pilgrimage until the XIII century, the remains of which are still visible in the area around the football field built in 1964.From 25 October 2017 the Barberini Tomb is open to the public.