By giove @ 2010-09-01 13:04:07
The Furlo Pass (Italian: Gola del Furlo or Passo del Furlo) is a gorge on the ancient Roman road Via Flaminia in the Marche region of central Italy, where it passes near the Candigliano river, an affluence of the Metauro.
The gorge was formed between the Pietralata (889 m) and Paganuccio (976 m) Mounts by the waters of the Candigliano, which, until in 1922 a dam, ran at high speed in the area. Since 2001 it is included into a State Natural Reserve with the same name.
The Roman emperor Vespasian had a gallery built here to facilitate passage on the Via Flaminia in the narrowest point of the gorge (hence the name, from the Latina forulum, meaning "small hole"); next to it, is a similar but smaller hole of Etruscan times. The gallery has a length of 38.30 meters and a height of 5.95 meters. During the Gothic Wars (6th century), the Ostrogoth King Totila had the pass fortified, but his troops were ousted by the Roman general Belisarius. The Lombards conquered the pass between 570 and 578, and destroyed the fortifications.
In the 1930, a profile of Benito Mussolini was sculpted on the slopes of Pietralata Mount, which was destroyed by partisans during World War II. In the 1980s, traffic in the Furlo gallery was bypassed by the construction of two highway galliers.