Rome, Italy All Roads Lead to Rome Mini Guide by Tara Anbudaiyan

Of all the great roads leading to Rome, the most important was the La Via Appia Antica, or Appian Way. After careful restoration and preservation, today's visitors can walk the same path as ancient Romans, passing a variety of archeological treasures.

source: Triposo

 
The Appian Way reaches Rome via Porta San Sebastiano, one of the best preserved gates along the Aurelian Wall, with the original structure dating to AD 275. It offers a peek into daily life over the centuries through graffiti carved in its walls by travelers and pilgrims. Take a few minutes to wander the Museo Delle Mura, currently housed inside, to see the building phases of the walls and gates that protected Rome. Museum open Tue-Sun, 9am-2pm. Free entry.

Porta San Sebastiano

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source: Cartiera Latina

 
Leaving Porta San Sebastiano, you have a 7-minute walk to reach this old papermill, now the headquarters of the Parco Appia Antica. It's easy to miss - look for the large 'i' in the front. Stop by for information on the Appian Way and maps in the bookstore.

Punto Informativo Parco Appia Antica

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Sepolcro di Priscilla

source: wikipedia owner: user:Lalupa

 
A few minutes walk south of the park headquarters, you'll see a cylindrical cement structure on your right, which is the Sepolcro di Priscilla, a tomb dating to the first century. Priscilla was the wife of an influential freed slave during Emperor Domitian's reign. Just ahead, the road splits into three forks - take the middle fork up a small hill.

Sepolcro di Priscilla

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From Priscilla's tomb, it's a 15-minute walk to the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, one of the most important cemeterial complexes in Rome. Founded in the 2nd century, hundreds of thousands of tombs have been found in its 12 miles of tunnels, including several tombs of the original sixteen popes buried here. €8 entry fee. Open 9a-12p and 2-5p daily, except Wednesdays.

Catacombe di San Callisto

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source: Triposo

 
Another 8-minute walk and you will run into the Basilica di San Sebastiano, a 4th century church rebuilt in the 17th century. Underneath, you will find the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian. Named for the third Saint of Rome, this area originated as a mine but later became catacombs in the third century. According to some historians, they housed the relics of the Apostles Peter and Paul for a short time. €8 entry. Open Mon-Sat, 10a-4:30p.

Catacombe di San Sebastiano

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source: Triposo

 
Intersect back with the Via Appia Antica and continue walking for about 200 yards until you see a structure surrounded by three walls on the left-hand side. This and the adjacent 270-yard Circus are what remains of the residential complex of Emperor Maxentius, built AD 306-312. His son, Romulus, who died at a young age, is thought to be buried in the cylindrical tomb, hidden behind the farmhouse. Behind the walls of the tomb is the best-preserved Circus remains in Rome. It once held 10,000 spectators, although the only games to have been recorded as taking place was at its opening.

Circus of Maxentius

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source: Triposo

 
Just a few minutes walk from the Maxentius ruins, you will see a round mausoleum originally built around 50 B.C. for the daughter of a Roman consul. It was incorporated into a castle, Castrum Caetani, in 1303. Inside you may view the tomb, as well as remnants of a 260,000-year old lava flow. €6 entry. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9a-one hour before sunset.

Tomb of Caecilia Metella

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source: Triposo

 
Some loyal customers refer to this cafe as " the little bar ." Located in the heart of the park of Appia Antica, in the company of a very old olive tree, the cafe provides a few umbrellas for shade, has a large garden dotted with tables and coffee tables and shaded by huge pines leading to our private parking and an even quieter additional corner of the garden for events. The atmosphere is very casual and the staff here are happy to help at any time, whether to give you information on transportation, archaeological sites , or anything else you want to know.

Appia Antica Caffè

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source: Triposo

 
The next stretch of the Via Appia Antica is the best preserved, and typically much quieter, with remains of the tombs more easily accessible. Just past the Tomb of Cecilia Metella was a column marking Mile Four of the Via Appia Antica. Continue wandering and exploring for the next 20-30 minutes until you reach Via Erode Attico. From there, walk north about 15 minutes to reach the 118 bus on Appia Pignatelli and head back to central Rome. The Capo di Bove is a recently opened archaeological site displaying the thermal baths of the villa of the wealthy Herod Atticus. Also in the complex is a restored villa, until recently a private residence, that has an exterior completely covered with pieces from Roman ruins, including pipes used in the baths. There are some very helpful staff to show you around, although they only speak Italian. An interesting photographic exhibition in the house traces the development of the Appian Way over the last century. Almost opposite the entrance to the baths is a ruined tower known as the Torre di Capo di Bove.

Capo di Bove

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