Source: Wikipedia, Appian Way.
The Appian Way was completed around 312 BC, linking Rome to the port city of Brundisium (Brindisi). It played a fundamental role in helping expanding the Roman hegemony which was then in its early stages. It also set engineering standards which would be applied to most of the roads subsequently built though the Roman Empire, leading to an extensive system. A road was typically surfaced with stone paving blocks, had a drainage ditch on each side and were built upon a foundation of laid rock which was constructed from a large ditch.