Via Appia Antica

Also Refered As:

Appian Way

Via Appia Antica, Rome, Rome Overview

Also known as the Appian Way, Via Appia Antica is a stretch of an ancient road that connected Rome to Brindisi. At present, the route is part of the Parco Regionale dell'Appia Antica, an archaeological park in Rome. Via Appia Antica is a long stretch of road that people visit for early morning jogs, walking their dogs, or just exploring the ancient heritage of Rome and its scenic surroundings.

Via Appia Antica is named after a Roman Politician, Appius Claudius Caecus. Some part of Via Appia Antica serves as a functioning road for the city traffic. But, that is just the first 5 kilometres of the stretch. Beyond that, as the road proceeds in the archaeological park, it becomes less crowded. This portion onwards, travellers can explore the attraction on foot. One must wear a good pair of shoes to aid walking through this ancient road exploring the ruins. Via Appia Antica is also famous amongst bikers. There are places nearby where one can rent a bike to explore most of the expansive nature park.

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Origin of Appian Way

Via Appia Antica was constructed over a levelled dirt road with stone and mortar. It is the first road that was built int the region. Appius started and completed the first part of the military road during the Samnite Wars in the early 4th century. The reason for building this route was to have the means to transport military supplies, especially during war or battles. The road was highly beneficial during the second Samnite war as it made transporting military supplies to the troops and allowed them to concentrate their forces.

Main Sites at Via Appia Antica

There are several attractions along the stretch of Appian Way that visitors can explore. Some of these attractions are in ruins while some are decently preserved. Church of Domine Quo Vadis, the catacombs of Roman, Jewish and early Christian origin, the Baths of Caracalla, Tomb of Priscilla, Circus of Maxentius, The Tomb of Hilarus Fuscus, Villa Dei Quintili, Temple of Hercules, several Villas, Mausoleums, etc. are some of these attractions. Visiting Via Appia Antica early in the morning and carrying a camera to click some pictures is highly recommended. 

How to Reach Via Appia Antica

Via Appia Antica is located about 7.5 kilometres away from the city centre. One can take a city bus, taxi or metro to reach the attraction. Form the city centre, the route leading to Via Appia Antica goes through Via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando – Via delle Terme di Diocleziano – Via Giovanni Amendola – Via Camillo Benso di Cavour – Piazza del Colosseo – Largo delle Vittime del Terrorismo – Via di Porta San Sebastiano - Via Appia Antica.

Metro is another way to reach the attraction. One can head to the closest metro station and take a ride to Piramide Subway Station which is located about 6 kilometres away. From there, they can take a taxi or a bus to reach one of the stops on Via Appia Antica. Usually, buses stop at or near the Catacombs of San Callisto. This part of the route goes through Piazzale Ostiense – Viale Giotto – Via Antonina – Via delle Terme di Caracalla.

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