Ancient Rome’s Appian Way


Road to the Catacombs

Sunday afternoon I visited the Appian Way, “ancient Rome’s most important military and economic artery”. The road is one of the “oldest roads in existence” and called the “Queen of Roads”. It was built in 312 BC!

19th Century Domine Quo Vadis Church

History

“The Appian Way was a crucial road for the Roman Empire. It connected Rome to its most distant settlements. Originally built by Appius Claudius Caecus, the censor of Rome, the road connected Rome to Capua near Naples. Eventually, it extended more than 300 miles to the Adriatic Coast, making it the widest and longest road in existence at the time.”

Catacombs Along the Appian Way

__________________________________

“The road is made of large, flat stones firmly set in place by thousands of years of rain, wheels, and feet passing over them….”

__________________________________

Vista Near Porta San Sebastián

Getting There

The Appian Way starts at Via Appia south of the Coliseum. Circo Massimo metro station is the best access point. For me getting there was an effort and required connecting through metro lines A and B, and then taking a bus. It’s a beautiful area and I enjoyed the afternoon despite the heat. The Appian Way is best seen on bicycle using the worn dirt tracks along the road. On Sunday, cars are not permitted.

Villa Appian Way

Well-Preserved Pavement

I walked portions of the incredibly well-preserved road and visited the Catacombs of San Sebastiano and San Callisto. The road is made of “large, flat stones firmly set in place by thousands of years of rain, wheels, and feet passing over them”.

Walking gives you a funny feeling wondering whose footsteps previously passed on the historical road – “emperors like Julius Caesar, merchants, saints, and maybe St. Peter”. In 71 BC, before the road was built, gladiator and slave leader Spartacus was crucified on Via Appia.

__________________________________

“The Ancient Appian Way was the first and greatest, a surviving testament to the mighty Roman Empire.”

__________________________________

Along Appian Way

Points of Interest

You can continue for miles though about 30 roads fanning out from Rome. Beginning at Porta San Sebastián, there are various points of interest:

Roman Ruins

“The Ancient Appian Way was the first and greatest, a surviving testament to the mighty Roman Empire. The road is strewn with historic tombs and ancient ruins, all nearly unchanged since the 4th century.” There is so much ancient Roman history along the Appian Way – you would need lots of time there to absorb it all!

Catacombs of San Callisto

Dedication to My Parents

This post is dedicated with love to the memory of my mother and father whose birthdays are June 10 and 11th.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s