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The Volturno River rises in the Abruzzese central Apennines of Samnium near Rocchetta a Volturno (province of Isernia, Molise) and flows southeast as far as its junction with the Calore River near Caiazzo and runs south as far as Venafro, and then turns southwest, past Capua, to enter the Tyrrhenian Sea in Castel Volturno, northwest of Naples. The river is 175 km long.
After a course of some 120 km it receives, about 8 km east of Caiazzo, the Calore River. The united stream now flows west-southwest past Capua, where the Via Appia and Latina joined just to the north of the bridge over it, and so through the Campanian plain, with many windings, into the sea. The direct length of the lower course is about 50 km, so that the whole is slightly longer than that of the Liri-Garigliano, and its basin far larger.
The river has always had considerable military importance, and the colony of Volturnum (Castel Volturno) was founded in 194 BC at its mouth on the south bank by the Romans; it is now about one mile inland. A fort had already been placed there during the Roman siege of Capua to serve, with Puteoli , for the provisioning of the army. Augustus placed a colony of veterans here. The Via Domitiana from Sinuessa to Puteoli crossed the river at this point, and some remains of the bridge are visible. The river was navigable as far as Capua. In 554 , the Byzantine general Narses  a Frankish  army near this river, during the Gothic War .
Following the invasion of southern Italy by revolutionary forces led by Giuseppe Garibaldi  in 1860, Francis II of the Two Sicilies  fled from Naples  and took up a defensive position on the south bank of the Volturno, near S. Maria di Capua Vetere . The Piedmontese  troops and those of Garibaldi inflicted on the Neapolitan forces at the battle of the Volturno , on October 1 and 2, a defeat which led to the fall of Capua. The Volturno also gave its name to the Volturno Line , a German  defensive position in Italy during World War II.
The Volturno River