The geographical coverage of the Route themes encompasses a central axis along the Danube Corridor which is anchored in the west by the Adriatic coast and in the east by the Black Sea and delta of the Danube. The western and eastern terminal points are important to note because these are the directions from which the Roman armies penetrated and gained control of the Danube corridor.

The Sava-Danube connection through Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, continuing with the Danube by Bulgaria and Romania provided the river highways for the bulk movement of goods (including distinctively Roman wine and olive oils and also fine table wares). Information and imperial officials, sometimes even the emperors themselves, could be passed quickly along the rivers. Parallel to the Danube river corridor were two important land routes which, in the first place, served to connect the European half of the Empire with the East. It ran from the head of the Adriatic along the Sava valley to connect with the Danube and then continued along the Danube to the confluence with the Morava river, where it turned south and east to eventually arrived at Constantinople (Istanbul). This was what a British scholar (Sir Ronald Syme) in the 1930’s called the Trans Balkan Highway, a functional description which is still useful today. The second trunk road ran along the south bank of the Danube and linked the series of military installations which protected the frontier and controlled commercial traffic on the river. The Romans, more precisely, called both roads viae militares (military highways) because of the frequent troop movements to meet border crises along the route. Alternatively emperors with their armies often faced off against one another in civil wars along the Danube corridor.

Specifically relevant to the wine part of the Route is the documented presence on virtually every site on the Route of Roman transport amphora. The amphoras are the linkage between wine transport and wine consumption in the Danube corridor. These ceramic containers for liquids were designed to be stacked in the holds of sea-going vessels and river transports. Three commodities typical of Roman taste were carried in the amphoras: wine, olive oil and the ubiquitous fish sauce called garum. The amphoras were often labelled as to their contents and point of origin, and extensive archaeological research around the Mediterranean in recent years have allowed the identification of trade patterns which reached into the Danube corridor from both the west and east. For the soldiers in the forts, also for Romans in civilian settlements and later Romanized natives in the Danube region these items, especially the wine, were daily necessities and also highly prized status commodities. Wine and olive oil were introduced into the region by Roman traders and military suppliers originally to satisfy soldiers’ demand. Eventually, however, wine was being produced locally, probably beginning in the later Empire. Curiously enough the wine amphoras were apparently only single-use containers, and so were discarded after they were emptied; this process created large quantities of amphora fragments in refuse areas on sites for later recovery and analysis by archaeologists.