This street, Via Appia, later named Via Appia Antica to discern it from the more recent Via Appia Nuova, was constructed in 312 B.C. by the Roman concul Appius Claudius and named accordingly. It was meant t be the new main route towards the southern province of Campania. Whatâ€™s there left to see now, is it just the remains of an ancient street? No, actually thereâ€™s much more.
To start with, there is the Appia Antica Park, a protected area where you can enjoy beautiful sceneries created by nature or history, comfortably close to the city. The park offers a wide range of services to the visitors, such as guided tour, bicycle rental, horse back riding and restaurants.
Along the Via Appia Antica are also located most of the catacombs of Rome: those of Saint Calistus, Saint Sebastian and Saint Domitilla which all date to the second century. To see the opening hours and ticket prices or just to polish up your knowledge of the early phases of the Christian Church, have a look at the site of the Roman catacombs.
On Via Appia Antica you can admire the huge sepulchral monument of a remarkable lady, Cecilia Metella, daughter of an ancient Roman war hero and wife of the great general Crassus, Cesarâ€™s ally. The tomb was constructed around the year 50 BC. Along the way, you can see many more modest family tombs with the portraits of the family members sculpted on the grave.
How to get there from your hotel? Well, if youâ€™re feeling lazy, you can just jump on a tour bus â€“ the Archeobus – which does a 2-hour tour starting fro the Termini station in the city center. But if youâ€™re going on a nice sunny day, the best option is to take the bus from the center to the beginning of Via Appia and then rent a bicycle to explore the area! For example the bus number 218 from the S. Giovanni metro station (of the line A) will take you there.
While planning you stay in Rome, try also booking your accomodation in the brand new and sofisticated Yes Hotel in the Rome city center, or, if you’re looking for easy atmosphere and nice company, in the Hostel Des Artistes near the central Termini station.
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