During the Ancient Roman period, it was an important agricultural and residential area, but it was abandoned during the Middle Ages due to malaria and insufficient water supplies for farming needs. The pastoral beauty of the Campagna inspired the painters who flocked into Rome in the 18th and 19th centuries. During that time, the Campagna became the most painted landscape in Europe (see Gallery below). An excursion into the Roman countryside was an essential part of the Grand Tour.
The region was reclaimed in the 19th and 20th centuries for use in mixed farming, and new settlements have been built. Starting with the 1950s, the expansion of Rome destroyed large parts of the Campagna, all around the city. The only continuous green area where the natural resources of the region were saved from overbuilding is along the Appian Way.
By Thomas Cole
By Jean Achille Benouville, View of the Ponte Nomentano in the Roman Campagna
By Jervis McEntee,Journey's Pause in the Roman Campagna
By Claude Gellée,A view of the Roman Campagna from Tivoli
By Pierre-Nicolas Brisset,View of the Ponte Nomentano
By Jan Frans van Bloemen, A Scene in the Roman Campagna, 1736
By Franz Nadorp
By Thomas Worthington Whittredge, The Amphitheatre of Tusculum and Albano Mountains, Rome, 1860
By Joseph Wright,The Convent of San Cosimato, c.1786
By Carl Spitzweg, English tourists in the Roman Campagna
By Donald McLeish, Two Gay Ragazzi of the Campagna
Gerardus Mercator's map