An Adventure A Day

Because "life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all" – Helen Keller

Friday Fotos: The Road Taken – The Appia Antica

March 3, 2017


In its heyday, the Appia Antica ran from the Roman Forum to Brindisi a port town on the coast of what is today Southern Puglia. Construction on the road began in 312 BC under the censor Appius Claudis Caecus and was completed in 244 BC. While much of the original 350 miles (563km) are gone, within the Parco Regionale Dell’Appia Antica remnants of the original road survive to this day.

The Appia Antica is one of my favorite places to explore. Although it is just to the south of the city, the park seems like another world, where you’re as likely to encounter sheep and horses as you are cars, bicycles and joggers.

Along the way, you’ll stumble across churches, catacombs, tombs and homes – both currently occupied and ancient ruins, like the Complesso di Massenzio. On this enormous complex, that was once the site of the emperor’s villa, you can run along the remains of a giant circus and explore the eerily silent tomb of his son Romulus.

Not far from the Complesso you’ll find one of the most recognizable symbols of the Appian Antica – the tomb of Cecelia. This tomb is thought to have been built for either the wife or daughter-in-law of Marcus Crassus, a contemporary of Julius Caesar. The tomb of Seneca, the Catacombs of San Callisto and San Sebastiano, and the spot where St Peter encountered Jesus in what is now the Church Domine quo Vadis are just a few of the incredible monuments you’ll encounter on your journey. The information center at Via Appia Antica 58/60 is very helpful and offers free maps as well as maps to purchase. You can find an interactive map on the official Appia Antica Website.

The atmosphere of the Appian Way is spectacular. You’ll find yourself transported through the ages as you stand among the same stones that the figures you’ve read about in your history books traveled on over the centuries.

I find it amazing that many of the original stones are still in the ground. In places, they are intermixed with modern cobblestones, but they remain. Etched deeply in places with continued use, but through everything, they are there still.

I have not tried to get there by public transportation, but you can visit the park by bus. The 118, 218 and 660 bus lines all have stops on the Via Appia Antica. If you wish to plan your trip by bus,  I find MouversiRoma and Google Maps to be great help when I travel by public transportation in Rome.

Stop by the DailyPost and see what others have found on their journey down the road taken.

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4 thoughts on “Friday Fotos: The Road Taken – The Appia Antica

  1. Wonderful pics. I’ve visited Rome a few years ago but sadly did not have enough time for the Appia Antica. It pained me then, and it still pains me today. So much history and so much to see… I hope to return one day and then I’d love to explore it on horseback – love the idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! 😊 There are so many things to see here, it is definitely difficult to see all of it. I hope you do make it back for another visit. Horseback riding on the Appia Antica was a top memory for me, but I have to admit being a little nervous when the horse had trouble keeping steady footing over the ancient stones. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha, yes! I would just hope for a very tame (and patient!) horse that’s not afraid of ancient stones 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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